April 16, 2003, 12:00 AM

Kinko`s rolls out wi-fi Internet access in more than 1,000 stores

Kinko`s has agreed to make the wi-fi network of T-Mobile USA available in its more than 1,000 stores. T-Mobile subscribers can pay a monthly fee or choose a pay-as-you-go option.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Kinko`s Inc. is joining Starbucks Coffee Co. and Borders Group Inc. in making high-speed wireless fidelity Internet access available to in-store customers. Kinko`s, a provider of business services such as web-based printing and video-conferencing, has agreed to make available in its more than 1,000 stores access to the wi-fi network of T-Mobile USA. To access the wi-fi network, consumers must subscribe to T-Mobile. Fees run $29.99 a month for unlimited access, or a pay-as-you-go option at $2.99 for 15 minutes of access time.

Although each store location is set up with its own wi-fi local area network, more commonly known as hotspots, a single subscription to T-Mobile provides access to any wi-fi hotspot at Kinko`s, Starbucks, Borders or other participating companies. T-Mobile, which has also set up wi-fi hotspots at American Airlines Admiral Clubs, says its wi-fi service is now available at more than 2,300 locations, including about 2,000 Starbucks stores.

By the end of this year, T-Mobile expects to have wi-fi access available in about 5,000 locations. Borders, which recently started to participate, expects to have most of its 410 retail stores offering wi-fi access by mid-June, and T-Mobile says it`s also planning to offer wi-fi in airport travel clubs sponsored by United Air Lines and Delta Airlines.

T-Mobile installs the wi-fi antennas that extend each location`s Internet access over a wireless local area network, but it declines to discuss the terms it works out with retailers and others that host its hotspots.

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