RealTime IT News

Hotspot Hits for Week of July 23, 2004

  • Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport is the latest to go wireless, with hotspot service at all gates -- even the ticket counters and baggage claim -- via SBC FreedomLink. The service is also accessible on kiosks through the airport from Neptune Networks. Monthly cost for FreedomLink is $19.95, or daily access for $7.95. -- July 23, 2004

  • Airimba Wireless, which provides high-speed wireless Internet services for multi-dwelling units, is moving into a new market, Gainesville, Fla. -- so if you live there, start bugging your landlord to get service. Airimba will also have a storefront inside the Apartment Hunters on University Avenue, where local employees, including tech support, will reside. -- July 23, 2004

  • Wi-Fi laptop users attending the upcoming Democratic National Convention at Boston's Fleet Center are supposed to be out of luck -- according to an eWeek article, only a select few folks will be able to get any kind of wireless Internet access. Newbury Networks, the location-aware security company headquartered not far from the Fleet Center, says the DNC network could be hosed anyway by people who connect even with a wired connection, since they might have wireless functionality in the laptops. Newbury did a quick wardrive around the area last week and found that a wireless client tried to associate with their own open "honey pot" access point every two minutes, and that 65% of the 3,000 wireless devices they detected in the Back Bay area had no encryption enabled on them. -- July 22, 2004

  • On July 23, the CenterG Wi-Fi Network, located in Center City Park in downtown Greensboro, N.C., will go live with a celebration -- free soda and popsicles to the first 500 visitors! -- sponsored by local radio station 94.5 The Beat and Time Warner Cable. The 802.11b network in the 1.5 acre park, bordered by North Elm Street, Davie Street and East Friendly Avenue, is free to all visitors (the park itself isn't scheduled to be complete until 2005, according to the Web site). The network was developed as part of Action Greensboro's synerG consortium of young adult organizations that tries to get young adults to connect with the community. -- July 22, 2004

  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts says that by June 2005 across North America, all of its locations will offer the "Hilton Integrated Business Solution," a set of six services including high-speed Internet access (HSIA) in all guest rooms and meeting rooms (wired or wireless), and wireless HSIA in common areas. They'll also offer 24-hour business centers, remote printing services, shipping services, and more spacious desk space in each room (which will go unused by the wireless users who camp out on the bed). -- July 22, 2004

  • Online auction site BidChaser.com is getting into the hotspot business, partnering with PicoPoint to bring the Global Broadband Internet Access (GBIA) network to the U.S. and Canada. BidChaser has announced a number of locations that will go live starting in August in Florida and Georgia:
    • Comfort Suites Baymeadows, Jacksonville
    • Orlando Airport Clarion Hotel and Convention Center
    • Travelodge Westwood, Orlando
    • Villager Premier Seaworld, Orlando
    • Kirkman Rd. Howard Johnson, Orlando
    • Kirkman Rd. Villager Premier, Orlando
    • North Lake Inn, Atlanta
    • Clarion North Lake, Atlanta
    Netgotiations with other locations are underway. Each hotspot will prominently feature Bidchaser Auction, Stores, and Automotive online marketplaces. PicoPoint currently helps run GBIA sites in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. -- July 22, 2004

  • Milwaukee's Renner Automotive, a Kia dealership, now has a free hotspot for waiting customers to take advantage of, courtesy of provider CopperSite. To get logged on, users have to see the Renner advertisement page, which they can use to conduct surveys and offer e-mail coupons. -- July 22, 2004

  • Best Western motels with wired and wireless Internet connections for guests will be powered by BestComm Networks, using equipment from Nomadix. Using the Nomadix Hotspot Gateway, Bestcomm created a SpeedLinks by Best Western Starter Kit that can be easily deployed at motel locations, of which there are 4,100 in 83 countries and territories around the world. -- July 20, 2004

  • AT&T Wireless says it is offering customers in Detroit, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle wireless broadband via a 3G UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System; also known as W-CDMA) "metropolitan hotspot" network. Soon, the network should be running in Dallas, San Diego, and three other markets as well. This is part of a strategic relationship deal with NTT DoCoMo. Average data speed is expected to be 220 to 320Kbps, with bursts up to 384 (the max). Service works with two handsets (the Motorola A845 and Nokia 6651) using the mMode service, plus the company plans to offer a $150 modem created by Lucent and Novatel to get laptops on the network. Unlimited data access is $79.99 per month. -- July 20, 2004

  • The Sheraton Steamboat Springs Resort and Conference Center in Steamboat Springs, Colo., is now a Wayport-powered hotspot. This ski center with golf course will have Wi-Fi in 318 guest rooms and all 11 meeting rooms, plus the lobby and other common areas. -- July 19, 2004

  • T-Mobile is launching a 3G network in the United Kingdom and will sell access cards for 199 pounds (plus 70 per month). Speed is 128Kbps and will eventually go up to 384kbps. The release says the card provides "unlimited Wi-Fi, GPRS, and 3G access," but doesn't mention seamless roaming from Wi-Fi to cellular. It does say that T-Mobile plans to increase the rollout of hotspots past the 500 it has there today. At the same time, Orange, a major mobile telco in France, also began offering a 384Kbps-capable 3G card. Vodafone has offered such service since February, but both of the latter companies don't offer Wi-Fi in the same card. -- July 19, 2004