What I think he meant is that you use a single wireless network card in the laptop but buy network connection time. You normally buy this as scratchcards - scratching reveals a code which you use when you log on to a wireless access point.
There are a lot of systems in the UK, most of which are not interoperable; also, you often have to use the network card in one go, i.e. one hour connection time means one unit of one hour, not 10 separate units of 6 minutes.
As an example, have a look at this site: click here It will give you an idea of how it works.