Miami-Dade County

Where's the new place to get wireless at the airport? The vending machine, of course

Wireless is now available for sale at an airport vending machine in Miami.
Wireless is now available for sale at an airport vending machine in Miami.

Need a candy bar? Head to a vending machine.

Need some Wi-Fi? Well, now you can head to a vending machine.

Travelers going through Miami International Airport can now get their wireless from machines in two terminals at MIA. A company called Skyroam, which is partnering with ZoomSystems, is renting and selling devices with unlimited Internet service.

“Vending machines traditionally dispense water and snacks, but nowadays Wi-Fi is a necessity,” said Skyroam Executive Director Jing Liu.

But this is no $1.25 snack. Mobile Wi-Fi to go at the airport comes with a cost.

The Skyroam Solis gadget, which can be connected to five devices, is $149.99. Each 24 hours of connection costs $9. Customers can also pay $99 monthly for an unlimited subscription.

Renting the device runs for $9.95 a day, and customers can mail it back in a prepaid envelope when they return from their trip.

Liu said that the system allows its users to stay connected with a cost-effective alternative to local international roaming rates.

ZoomSystems Executive Director Elias Bizannes says the service can connect "with the best available network available in more than 120 countries."

The companies feel there is a market for the service.

With more than 44 million passengers a year, MIA has more flights from Latin America and the Caribbean than any other airport in the U.S. Almost half of the passengers leave for Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The connection, according to Skyroam, is secure, whether the user is on a Caribbean cruise or on a trip to Bolivia. Any traveler who uses the MIA vending machine has the option to buy unlimited worldwide Wi-Fi, mobile charging and other accessories for their trip abroad.

Skyroam’s newest vending machines are at MIA's international Terminal Jl, Gate J9, and in Terminal E, Gate E8.

Vending machines are also at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport.