RealTime IT News

Wireless News Briefs

A Glut of 5.8 GHz Gear

A pair of vendors introduced new 5.8 Ghz radio products of interest to wireless Internet Sservice Providers (WISPs) recently. Advanced Radio Cells Inc. (ARCi) of Campbell, Calif. announced availability of a new 5GHz omni-directional broadband hub transceiver/antenna system. And ADTRAN Inc. of Huntsville AL unveiled its TRACER 4305 DS3 and TRACER 4206 Quad T1 radios.

The ARCi product, the AR2250-1, is based on the company's point-to-multipoint wireless solution. It's optimized to service from 100-500 subscribers in rural or underserved areas.

"Our omni-directional product is a tremendous solution for those service providers looking to deliver truly affordable wireless broadband to their customers at a very attractive price point," says ARCi president and Chief Executive Officer Jim Bertonis.

"The omni-directional antenna solution provides four miles of 360 degrees of transmit coverage for up to 500 subscribers at a price point of less than $10,000. Now that's a value to both the service provider and eventually the end customer."

The system is the first commercially available DOCSIS-compatible product to use the 5 GHz band, the company says. It uses a Wireless Cable Modem Termination System (W-CMTS) and a hub transceiver antenna at the base station, along with a subscriber transceiver antenna and modem at the customer site.

The AR2250-1 available now.

The two ADTRAN products are the latest members of the company's TRACER Series of fixed wireless systems. The TRACER 4305 is a compact, point-to-point radio offering 45 Mbps of full-duplex connectivity at a significantly lower cost than competing products, the company says.

The TRACER 4206 offers up to four T1s of bandwidth for cost-effective high-speed voice, video or data applications.

Both products eliminate monthly recurring costs and reduce capital expenditures to provide rapid return on investment, the company says. They're designed to be used by wireless carriers and in corporate networks where rapid deployment and cost savings are essential or where high-bandwidth infrastructure is inadequate or nonexistent.

"The TRACER 4000 Series products have been engineered to minimize interference and achieve carrier-class quality and reliability in a form factor that conserves valuable rack space," says Dan Pritchett, ADTRAN's director of wireless products.

"They provide the performance required to meet the growing needs of carrier and enterprise applications much more economically than similar transport alternatives."

The TRACER 4305 has a list price of $10,995 and is currently shipping. The TRACER 4206 has a list price of $7,995 and will be available in October.

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Wayport Working Hard

Pioneer hotspot network operator Wayport Inc. of Austin, TX, is still selling aggressively despite an increasingly fragmented and complicated multi-tiered hotspot market.

After signing up its one millionth subscriber early last month, Wayport recently announced an innovative promotional program with Sharp Electronics and another service deal with the high-profile Loews Hotels chain.

Under the Loews deal, announced in the middle of last month, Wayport will provide broadband Internet service in seven properties, a collection of one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts in the United States and Canada.

"Because we value the highest-quality guest experience, selecting Wayport as a partner was a natural fit for us, as they truly understand how to provide a seamless turnkey Internet solution and unsurpassed customer care," says Charlotte St. Martin, Loews Hotels' executive vice president of marketing.

"In addition, Wayport has been in the industry longer than any other provider and offers ongoing sales and marketing support, which helps drive incremental business travel and meeting revenue to our properties."

Wayport will provide high-speed wired Internet access in more than 2,200 guest rooms, Wi-Fi wireless access in common areas (such as lobbies), and both Wi-Fi wireless and wired access in more than 100 meeting facilities.

The properties include Loews Philadelphia Hotel, The Regency in New York City, Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Loews Vanderbilt in Nashville, Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, Loews Denver Hotel and Loews Annapolis Hotel.

Under the marketing agreement with Sharp Systems of America, Sharp customers will get 30 days of free wireless and wired access in Wayport's nationwide network hotels and airports when they purchase one of Sharp's Actius notebook computers.

"This partnership brings together the ultimate in mobile computing with the ultimate in wireless networking," said Craig Rittenhouse, Sharp's vice president of marketing and product planning.

"Wayport's growing network provides business travelers the ability to stay connected where they need it most, in hotels and airports, and is gaining widespread acceptance by the new generation of mobile warriors."

Sharp Actius customers can sign up for the 30-day free trial of Wayport's service. Customers will receive unlimited high-speed Internet connectivity in more than 460 hotels, as well as at gates and terminals in four international airports: Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle-Tacoma, San Jose and Austin-Bergstrom.

"The Sharp Actius features a utility program that enables customers to seamlessly find and use Wi-Fi networks, which is a crucial benefit to the millions of travelers who are actively seeking high-speed Internet as a way to stay connected on the road," says Wayport vice president of marketing Dan Lowden.

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New Kid on the WISP Block

New WISPs and hotspot network operators keep popping up in the darnedest places. ClearSKY Networks recently launched high-speed wireless Internet service in a six-block hotzone in the university town of Clemson SC.

The service, launched late last month, "propels the Clemson community to the vanguard among U.S. cities as computer technology advances in the 21st century," the company said somewhat grandiosely in its announcement.

ClearSKY's Clemson project provides inside and outside coverage across six city blocks and numerous apartment complexes. Expansion is already underway. The company anticipates that demand for wireless Internet usage will skyrocket among many of the city's 12,000 residents and 17,000 full-time students.

Headquartered in Clemson, ClearSKY Networks is expanding its current operation there. Long-range plans include providing wireless service to other cities throughout the southern United States.

Reprinted from ISP Planet.

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