The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners has approved a concession agreement with T-Mobile USA, Inc. to provide public broadband wireless Internet (WiFi) access at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), as well as Ontario International and Van Nuys Airports.
The Airport Commission approved the three-year contract with T-Mobile Monday, April 3rd.
The plan must still be approved by the Los Angeles City Council.
Service is expected to begin 120 days after the contract is executed.
T-Mobile has committed to enough access points to provide top quality broadband wireless Internet access to all public areas in passenger terminals and to airport tenants, airport officials said.
Wireless Internet users will pay the industry standard of $9.99 for each 24 hours to use the service.
Existing T-Mobile customers will be charged according to their current wireless plans.
The three-year contract with T-Mobile includes two one-year options.
Under the concession agreement, T-Mobile will pay Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) — the city agency that operates LAX and three other airports — $4.8 million over the first three years.
The company will also pay Los Angeles World Airports 25 cents for each completed WiFi connection.
Wireless Internet technology has become an important service at many major airports, but Los Angeles World Airports currently has no WiFi concessions, airport officials said.
Due to numerous and increasing complaints from the public regarding the lack of wireless Internet service at LAX, airport officials decided to create an interim WiFi concession.
Los Angeles World Airports staff reviewed the WiFi technology and planned for its implementation.
In order to mitigate construction concerns and eliminate the need to invest in equipment, staff proposed a WiFi concession that uses existing payphone infrastructure, officials said.
T-Mobile, which operates 6,300 WiFi access points in the U.S. and another 20,000 locations worldwide, will provide the latest technologies and services to LAWA passengers.
The company has also committed to invest $700,000 in fixtures and equipment and $250,000 in marketing per year.