RealTime IT News

Hotspot Hits for October 3, 2003

  • The rumor mill is buzzing that Apple is getting into the hotspot business. Apparently Apple's U.K. division had recently posted a job (the listing has since been removed) looking for a hotspot evangelist. The reason most often hypothosized? Intel's Centrino chip marketing is on its way to making the world believe Intel created wireless access. Apple was one of the first out with 802.11 equipment and doesn't want to be forgotten.

  • Public IP plans to offer hotspot services to the usual locations -- cafés, hotels, laundromats, etc., -- wherever it can provide DSL service. Its WISP service, called Public IP Zone Access, will utilize Netopia's Cayman 3347W ADSL/Wireless gateway hardware to venues to set up the hotspot; the hardware includes a DSL router. The price for venues will be either $69.95 a month (for 1.5Mbps DSL) or $149.95 a month (with 3Mbps DSL). The service is meant to offer free wireless access to venue customers.

  • Starbucks hotspot fun for October: The coffee maker, T-Mobile Hotspot, and HP are celebrating a year of Wi-Fi service by offering laptop users video and audio performances by blues musicians. The multimedia is from HP from the CD Got a Feeling Called the Blues. Plus, the company lit up another 250 Starbucks locations with Wi-Fi; the stores are in North Carolina and Michigan. T-Mobile plans to add 100 more Starbucks by the end of the year, for a total of 2,700. Starbucks has 7000 locations worldwide.

  • Chicago-based Coastal Hotel Group, which owns 14 luxury hotels in Washington, California, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky and Illinois, is going to be adding Wi-Fi for guests. The 802.11b-based service, which will be available in guest rooms and common areas, will be provided by Wi-Fi Guys, a hotspot provider from Finland, Minn. No word on when the installations will be finished. Coastal's properties include the Embassy Suites Chicago, Sea Turtle Inn in Jacksonville, Fla., and four different locations in Monterey, Calif.

  • Downtown Salt Lake City's Peery Hotel, a 73-room "boutique hotel" is offering free 802.11b-based Internet connections to guests. Those with laptops with Wi-Fi can just connect, and the hotel also offers an Ethernet-to-wireless bridge for anyone without Wi-Fi but wishing to sign on in guest rooms, the lobby, or the hotel restaurant. The service is provided by SuiteSpeed , which provides Internet services exclusively for the hospitality industry using equipment from Buffalo Technology.

  • Illinois Institute of Technology's Rice Campus (IIT) has gone wireless to support student access to the Web. It helps that the student who got this project rolling and set up on the campus network is an employee of U.S. Robotics; indeed, he persuaded USR to donate equipment for free. The vendor delivered five U.S. Robotics 802.11g Wireless Turbo Multi-Function Access Points (the 5450 models, which cost around $249 each). To get online, students purchase a network adapter though USR's Student Purchase Program (altruism comes at a price).

  • Hotspots are not limited to cafés or even just metro-area downtowns. The Blood Tribe Indian Reservation in Alberta, Canada, now offers a Wi-Fi network to provide Internet and network access to all the town residents. It's powered by wireless backhaul from SkyBridge Wireless of Las Vegas, which connects the reservation's administration building to government and public facilities.