> "This system is entirely different than the wireless card that you pay a monthly fee for..correct or not?"
What do you mean by that? You don't pay a monthly fee for a wireless card.
You can pay a monthly fee for internet service to a Internet Service Provider (ISP) and to access it from a wireless card, you have two options:
1. You get a wireless router, connect it to the ISP's modem and configure other wireless router settings needed. Some ISP's will give you a wireless router and configure it for you as part of the setup package.
2. Your ISP is a service where you connect to their wireless router that is a certain distance away.
Some places like book stores, coffee places, etc. have a wireless router for customers to use that is like #2 above. Some of those places provide service while you are there for free.