The New York Times thoughtfully examines the growth of free or fee in one hotspot: The article looks at how venues are now having the best of both worlds, providing free Wi-Fi or Internet access in exchange for loyalty or viewing ads, while also offering a pay option for those who choose to avoid advertising or exceed the free offer's limits. Starbucks is a notable example, given that Starbucks Card users (who buy something with the card or charge it monthly) get two consecutive hours of free use every day in AT&T managed locations. The hotel market is murkier; the writer missing mentioning Wyndham's switchover to free Internet access when you join their no-cost loyalty program, mentioning the smaller Omni chain's similar move. The article also notes a few free airports, but doesn't get the picture there, that airport costs and captivity are so high, it's unlikely that premium airports will switch to ad-support, even with the example of Denver and Las Vegas in hand.
The Cloud partners with Devicescape for no-configuration connections: The Cloud will use their software and service to allow its users to connect to its hotspots and those of its roaming partners. There are 10,500 locations in The Cloud's own network. Devicescape's software is available for computer operating systems, as well as several mobile platforms. While Devicescape's software works across many networks without their direct promotion, the distribution of their package by the Cloud gives Devicescape more leverage with equipment makers, and makes use of The Cloud much easier for that network's customers, increasing retention and ostensibly signups.
Ruckus alleges patent infringement by partner NetGear: Ruckus Wireless did license its patents to NetGear for two models of the WPN824 router released by NetGear, but alleges in its lawsuit that NetGear released a subsequent model that wasn't covered by the deal. I rarely mention legal matters, but this is a unique case: hardware is involved and an existing partnership. The outcome could be expensive for NetGear if it's found to infringe, because this model (I don't know about the particular version) was one of the best-selling Draft N routers.