Vending machines sell drinks, chips and phones. Why not WiFi?
Miami International Airport now has vending machines that sell palm-sized portable hot spots.
The boxy vending machines, which also include power packs and adapters, are from Skyroam, an international WiFi provider that describes its orange devices as “grab-and-go-WIFI.” Seven vending machines arrived at the airport beginning in March and there is one in each of the concourses, according to the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, which oversees the airport.
Through its network, the airport does provide complimentary WiFi for travelers in the main terminal, departure gates and baggage areas, with some advertising. Other airport wireless services start at $4.95 for uninterrrupted service, according to MIA.
The Skyroam devices called Skyroam Solis are intended for travelers looking for continuous digital connectivity whether they are at the airport or leaving the facility to continue their trip, such as catching a cruise.
The cost? You can buy the gadget for $149 and use a 24-hour day pass for $9 that allows unlimited global WiFi, according to the company. People can also rent the device for $9.95 a day and then drop it in the mail with a prepaid envelope.
Skyroam said the vending machines are also available at other U.S. airports including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport. No word yet whether the vending machines will be coming to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
“Skyroam’s vending machines ensure that travelers stay seamlessly connected with a cost effective alternative to crazy international roaming fees,” said Jing Liu, chief executive officer of Skyroam. “Our mission is to allow for global connectivity for you and your travel companions no matter where you are in the world.”