A short review of Boingo Global Roaming

I signed up to Boingo’s $59/month global roaming plan for Korea & Japan because I’d heard that getting Internet access was troublesome, and 3G data is an eye-bleeding £6/megabyte on O2. I needn’t have bothered; in S. Korea there is free Wi-Fi on virtually every street corner. In both Korea and Japan every hotel we stayed in, bar one, had free, unlimited CAT5. Japan had surprisingly few Wi-Fi hotspots, free or otherwise. To locate Boingo hotspots you can use the iPhone app – this requires data roaming to be turned on and a bandwidth-sucking Google Maps interface to be used. The nearest hotspots were invariably a long walk from where we were, despite us being in popular tourist centres. Most hotspots seemed to be in branches of MacDonalds which are often smoke-filled. On the few occasions I made it to a hotspot location the access point didn’t exist or I couldn’t connect. Verdict: don’t bother with Boingo when travelling in Asia.