TechDirt tears apart post hoc reasoning in analysts reports on the "failure" of hot spots: TechDirt wisely describes why reports that show that people aren't using hot spots aren't a good predicter of whether people will use in the future because the analysts don't provide a case for the low uptake. Couple that with the hockey stick upswing in usage I'm hearing and Boingo's drop in price, and I think we have a different story than the one the analysts perpetuate.
Mike Masnick also notes that he doesn't have a subscription to any hot spot network. Neither do I. Don't be shocked.
I travel about a week out of every six to eight, usually to one destination. I leave from Seatac (Wayport, and thus Boingo, iPass, GRIC, etc.). I fly into Newark (soon AT&T and by extension Wayport, etc.), San Francisco (T-Mobile, still not open to other vendors despite agreement), San Jose (Wayport, but too small an airport for my needs), and Boston (Logan's misguided "pay us and don't make money" RFP just out).
I use a Mac, thus no support from aggregators (yet). I don't like Starbucks coffee much (too burnt for my taste). Everywhere I go there's free wireless, including the coffeeshop 10 blocks from my office. I have Wi-Fi at home and at my office. When I'm at conferences, I typically get free Wi-Fi either in the press room or speaker room. In the hotels I stay in, they either have no service or wired only.
So tell me where in that equation would a subscription help? I've probably spent a grand total of $75 in the last 12 months on Wi-Fi access. What would tip me over? Roaming, seamless roaming. 2.5G/Wi-Fi service plans. More airports. Mac Boingo client.
Any of those factors could pull $20 or $30 out of my pocket each month -- and the pockets of somewhere between 5 and 10 million other business travelers who travel at my frequency with a laptop who are aching for better service. Any takers?