Rental giant Avis, which made a successful brand out of the earnest slogan "We try harder," has just demonstrated its willing to go a mile extra to win the Web-savvy -- or addicted, as you prefer.
We're not sure whether wireless Internet is one of those things you should have in a vehicle. Either way, if you rent from Avis, it's at your disposal.It probably comes as no surprise that Web 2.0, and growing use of high-speed Internet in general, have changed the dynamics of the standard brick and mortar enterprise. In particular, mobile technology is riding the benefits of the Internet's ever-increasing ease of availability. This well of untapped potential is only recently getting due notice from major firms like Openwave, Microsoft and even Sun Microsystems, which diverted its attention from the ECM gates just long enough to start developing a proprietary mobile-friendly Java program.
Avis has begun proffering a Wi-fi service based on Autonet Mobile technology. Called Avis Connect, multiple users can connect to one another and the Internet through a hotspot device powered by a vehicle's cigarette lighter or an adapter.
Provided there's a power source and a mobile signal, high-maintenance road-trippers are guaranteed Internet access at their nearest airport, conference, hotel room or Nowheresville Diner.
“The Avis Connect service allows multiple Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect to the Internet, giving business and leisure travelers unlimited access to data, music, games, chat and anything else they might like to access while they travel,” gushed Autonet Mobile CEO Sterling Pratz.
The Autonet Mobile system is able to connect to both 2.5G and 3G cellular data networks. And while Avis isn't dropping names about mobile providers, CDMA-based Avis Connect technology brings potential suitors down to two options: either Verizon or Sprint.
The In-Car Wi-fi service launches at SFO, but will soon be syncing in San Jose, LA and Newark, NJ in the next month or so. Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, San Diego, New York and Seattle will follow in the third quarter of '07.
The service is priced at an upmarket US$ 10.95 per day for unlimited usage. This fee is tacked onto the car rental fee. At some point it will also be available to consumers at US$ 399 for a router and US$ 49.95 for monthly service.
Learn more about Avis at the Avis website -- or better yet, at their blog (yes! -- blog), We Try Harder.
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