RealTime IT News

Hotspot Hits for Week of August 13 & 20, 2004

  • The newest hot spot in Las Vegas will literally be a hotspot (for Wi-Fi). The Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel—currently under construction near the Las Vegas Convention Center, and scheduled to open in 2005—will be providing full high-speed Internet access with service from StayOnline. They're installing wired connections in guest rooms (it's cheap to put in before the walls are done) and wireless in meeting areas. The property is managed by Interstate Hotels & Resorts, which says it will be working with StayOnline as an "approved vendor" to do installations at other properties in the coming months.—August 20, 2004

  • Stage West Hotels says it has reduced the number of access points it needed to unwire its All-Suite Hotel near Toronto, Ontario from 27 to 3 by using specialized antennas from WiFi-Plus. The project, run by Canlink Wireless, achieved full coverage in 128 rooms on one side of the building with a signal antenna/AP combo setup outside. Canlink says the cost was also low: only about $5,000 compared to bids received for as much as $40,000.—August 20, 2004

  • Spend any time sitting around the park area of Boston's Post Office Square? Soon you'll be able to do work there. The Boston Globe says that in the next six weeks the quadrangle should have Wi-Fi coverage, thanks to the work of the Friends of Post Office Square. By next year, they may even have coverage through the seven-level underground parking garage below the park. The service was installed by local integrator ESI Enterprises, but pushed for by the park's 86-year-old founder, real estate developer Norman B. Leventhal who called the Friends group weekly to bug them about the status of Wi-Fi coverage. Go, Norman!—August 20, 2004

  • On Sacramento, Calif.'s downtown Capitol Mall sits the Plaza Five Fifty Five office building (formerly the Plaza Towers), which has recently been remodeled to include (among other things, like a new lobby) an entire in-building wireless infrastructure. All 15 floors have been unwired, as well as the areas just outside—including the parking garage. Access in those public spaces will be free. The offices inside can take advantage of VoIP phone systems, and administrators can use the Wi-Fi access to control the building security, heating, and air conditioning via handhelds. The equipment is from Cisco and Netgear.—August 19, 2004

  • Denver-based Brunetti DEC (a division of Intercell International Corp.) has a contract to provide the village of Jackson, Wis. with wireless broadband. They had previously done a feasibility study that indicated that the 400-acre business district was a prime candidate for such a network. The plans are for a network that will combine the use of Wi-Fi and WiMax (well, that's what the announcement says, but someone else can break it to them that no actual WiMax equipment exists yet). End users should get a 20Mbps connection when completed, so it looks like the whole town will standardize on 802.11g for the Wi-Fi. The village is also "committed to Fiber to the Home (FTTH) and a fiber optical backbone for business and industry."—August 18, 2004

  • Users of Wayport hotspots in hotels may soon be able to print. The company, which has 3000 locations including the McDonald's restaurant chain, will be using the Guest Print Service from PrinterOn. Hotel guests will be able to use it to print from their room to a hotel printer without needing any special software. The service has to be installed at the hotel, however, and Wayport's sales department will be working to sell PrinterOn service along with its own hotspot program. PrinterOn is currently available in 70,000 hotel rooms in North America.—August 18, 2004

  • NomadISP, which provides Wi-Fi connectivity for remote locations like marinas and recreational vehicle (RV) parks, is launching a franchise program. Owners of coaches and RVs can get set up to sell and deploy Wi-Fi service at any location they visit in North America, basically becoming a WISP out of the back of the motor home. The system used by franchisees would include satellite backhaul, the NomadISP HotSpot Gateway, antennas, and all the training. People can sign up as a franchise for $3,995 for a manually configured system, or pay $9,996 if they want the automatic "robotic" positioning version.—August 18, 2004

  • Culver City, Calif.—home to many a TV studio that might be home to your favorite game show—is now home to a one square mile hotzone covering its downtown business district. It's live now, and on September 9 there will be an official ceremony to launch the service, which is run by Wireless Hotspot using mesh equipment from Firetide.—August 18, 2004

  • If you're still without power, phone, or broadband connections after the hit of Hurricane Charley, T-Mobile HotSpot is offering free access at 300 locations in Florida. Those include all the Starbucks, Borders Books and FedEx Kinko's locations with hotspot service throughout the state—even the airport clubs like American Airlines, Delta, and US Airways with T-Mobile service will have free access. Service will last through the end of the day today, Monday the 16th of August. —August 16, 2004

  • Swiss company E@glecom says it's been developing a free Wi-Fi Hotspot network across Europe in cities like Lausanne, Athens, Megheve and Vevey, and will soon launch a mobile VoIP service that will take advantage of the network in the city of Romania to start. They demonstrated a call with a Wi-Fi handset from the Athens games, where E@glecom set up a hotspot at the official Swiss government's presence at the Olympics, to the city of Lausanne. Four computers there are set up to allow visitors to make free telephone calls, even internationally, using the Wi-Fi network. —August 16, 2004

  • The Maryland National Golf Club in Middleton, Maryland has decided to go wireless, and will be installing the Inforemer system from GPS Industries to provide global positioning of golf carts and Wi-Fi Internet access for golfers.—August 16, 2004

  • Skyy-Fi says it has its first Wi-Fi Beta test site up and running, at the Postal Max in Placentia, Calif. No details on the network or cost. Hope it's free!—August 11, 2004

  • Wi-Fi Guys says it has finished installing wireless high-speed Internet access at the Orchard Hotel in San Francisco. Uh... that's it. It's "no details" day in Hotspot Hits...—August 11, 2004

  • Wayport wireless service will be installed at the Doubletree International Plaza hotel in Toronto, Ontario. The hotel just finished $15 million in renovations, and will complete the upgrades by adding high-speed Internet access with VPN support. Wireless service will be available in all 433 guest rooms, plus 14 suites and 8 Whirlpool suites (unplug your laptop before you use the hot tub, kids), plus the lobby and lounges.—August 10, 2004

  • The Resort Suites of Scottsdale, Arizona has installed wireless service across the entire property. The family-owned resort has 312 multi-room suites and 488 regular guest rooms, along with the usual complement of meeting space, pools, fitness center, etc. Cost of Wi-Fi service will be $9.95 per 24-hour period, and 802.11 adapters can be picked up at the desk to use for free—though you probably have to give them back when you're done.—August 10, 2004