Boingo Wireless CEO issues statement critiquing Cometa Networks' failures: In a rare case of this sort, Sky Dayton, Boingo's founder and CEO, issued a brief statement reiterating the overall growth in revenue and use of public Wi-Fi hotspots, and critiquing Cometa's missteps.
The statement notes, "Cometa had the potential to become a leading wholesale hot spot provider. The company's business plan made a lot of sense -- build lots of hot spots on the cheap and wholesale them to brands who shoulder the costs of marketing, support and billing. But they didn't execute well. They spent too much money before they needed to and demanded carriers pay high minimums for access to a network that wasn't yet built. No carrier wanted to go along with that."
Dayton also noted that despite Boingo's ability to sign up networks worldwide as part of their roaming and aggregation system, that Cometa wouldn't work with them. Cometa signed a roaming deal with iPass which was just ramping up this month; iPass reports seeing reasonable usage with the locations already available in their network. Dayton wrote, "Boingo had attempted to strike a roaming agreement with Cometa, but they claimed to not be interested. Even though their network wasn't much more than a promise, they were acting as if they were already the market leader. They succeeded in alienating the very people they needed to help them succeed."
We've heard now from other sources that Dayton's experience was consistent with Cometa's approach to other firms.