The service features an ad-supported home page with breaking local and national news, sports, weather, music and a social network. The super-local focus lets users search for nearby shops, restaurants and entertainment.
Citi and Salesgenie.com are initial sponsors of the Wi-Fi zone.
The effort is powered by CBS Outdoor billboards and MTA New York City Transit urban panels located above select subway station entrances. Many local businesses will be given free routers, allowing companies and customers to tap into the CBS Mobile Zone indoors.
"We are pleased to deliver what may be the most advanced wireless and pre-WiMax outdoor offering of its kind in the U.S.," said Cyriac Roeding, executive vice president, CBS Mobile. Adds Wally Kelly, Chairman and CEO of CBS Outdoor: "What better way to show we are committed to turning our Outdoor assets into interactive platforms than providing free Wi-Fi service in what is arguably the busiest stretch of real estate in the world."
If the program clicks, CBS Outdoor may extend Wi-Fi capabilities across its global properties.
In addition to the MTA association, CBS partnered with several next-generation companies, including Tropos, BIG, Fon, Ning, Goowy, Veoh, Yelp, 1020, Aptilo and Can-Do Entertainment. The CBS Mobile Zone provides interactive ad opportunities for individual billboards.