RealTime IT News

Hotspot Hits for Week of September 24, 2004

  • In its release about the completed renovation of the Bourbon Orleans in New Orleans's French Quarter, Wyndham International says that in addition to a new jazz/blues bar, a southern-fusion restaurant, and packages for those going to Mardi Gras or hoping to see some paranormal happenings in the reportedly haunted floors of the hotel, they've also got wireless in every guest room and common area. After seeing ghosts during carnival, you would of course want to go online.—September 24, 2004

  • Alvarion says its BreezeMAX equipment will be used by Altitude Telecom to build out a wireless broadband network across the entire country of France. Altitude owns the license on spectrum in the 3.5GHz range there, and will use that frequency in four counties, starting with Vendee. More counties will come through the next year.—September 23, 2004

  • It's been a busy week for ICOA, what with new airports and marina deployments. Now they've announced that the city of Lexington, Kentucky's 2.68 square mile hotzone will be managed by ICOA subsidiaries QGo and AuthDirect. Initially, the network will cover the city's business district, including a 500-home MDU and two residential neighborhoods, as well as the Beaumont Farms area. The fixed-wireless Wi-Fi signal will provided with equipment from Vivato. This is supposed to be just the first phase in covering 80 square miles of Fayette County, part of the Lexington Wi-Fi service we reported on here.—September 22, 2004

  • WISPs take note. Mesh equipment maker FireTide is teaming with gateway maker Nomadix to "deploy instant public access wireless networks." They have a joint marketing agreement to sell the former's HotPoint Wireless Mesh Routers and the latter's Nomadix Service Engine. —September 21, 2004

  • The city of Sydney, Australia's NSW State Transit Authority might be putting wireless on the entire Sydney ferry fleet, according to ZDNet Australia, letting commuters there get Internet access while on the water. Details are sketchy, but trials with a WISP are apparently under way. —September 21, 2004

  • Score another airport for Concourse Communications: Ottawa International Airport Authority in Canada will be the latest home for Concourse's brand of neutral-host hotspot. The network will be installed in partnership with BOLDstreet Wireless of Ottawa. It should be live by the end of the year. —September 21, 2004

  • Add Lincoln, Nebraska, to the ever-growing list of cities that will be offering a Wi-Fi cloud of coverage for use by municipal workers. In this case, the administrators for healthcare, waste management, and for the city itself will take advantage of the network to be installed by AxtellTech Wholesale using mesh networking equipment from BelAir Networks. The setup builds on an existing fiber network. Phase 1 is complete; it included five BelAir200 units being set up downtown. Phase 2 requires one more unit that will finish off a ring of pure 5GHz wireless backhaul to that fiber. No word on whether or not this network will be used for public Internet access. —September 21, 2004

  • Lodging access provider STSN has teamed up with the Mobil Travel Guide to create an online booking engine that allows you to choose a hotel based on the most important thing anyone can get next to room service: HSIA (high speed Internet access). You can find hotels with secure broadband based on the STSN icon. It's powered by Mobil, but you can find the link at STSN's Web site. —September 21, 2004

  • SBC Park in San Francisco, home of the Giants, has a public access wireless network covering the stands, based on the SBC FreedomLink service and installed by Nortel Networks . Turns out they're offering programming on the network, the Giants Digital Dugout, to show instant replays, stats, and team info to spectators in the one million square foot stadium. Officials say hundreds of fans log onto this Web site every game—a site only available to those in the park—for the custom content. The suites in the park are set up with big flat panel displays that show even more, including video footage from the Giants archive. —September 21, 2004

  • Using equipment from Aruba Networks, the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, says it is building the largest Wi-Fi network in the Middle East. The coverage will consist of 300 Aruba grid points supporting 802.11a/g, and the signal will extend across the school's 70-acre campus and all 33 buildings. It's being installed in phases by integrator Triple C, also of Beirut, and should be complete one year from now.—September 20, 2004

  • T-Systems in Europe has a division called ICSS that runs a Wi-Fi Roaming Solution service so various hotspot providers can let their end users roam across networks. As of last week, the latest to join was Reach Wireless of New Zealand. Reach runs 100 hotspots on the island nation, and they own the large Auckland CBD Wi-Fi Zone cloud. The agreement means Reach customers can now travel and use any T-Systems hotspot without paying extra, and vice versa. The two networks should be integrated by November.—September 20, 2004

  • T-Mobile has also cut a deal with a company called Option. The provider of wireless tech will be offering the official T-Mobile card for seamless data access for laptops traveling from T-Mobile's 3G/UMTS/GPRS wireless networks to its Wi-Fi hotspots in Europe. The broadband wireless card in question is called the Option GlobeTrotter Fusion.—September 20, 2004

  • ICOA's Airport Network Solutions subsidiary has hotspot service in its seventh regional airport in the US, this time at the Killeen-Ft. Hood Regional Airport (GRK) in Texas. The service is available throughout the terminal, and there are also public kiosks for those without a Wi-Fi device. Cost to use it is $6.95 per day. Because ICOA is a Boingo and iPass partner, subscribers to those services can get access without additional charges.—September 20, 2004

  • More airport news: Wayport says it has re-upped its contract to provide Wi-Fi service at the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) in California for another five years. The service started in April 2001, and the company says there have been 60,000 connections to its network since then.—September 20, 2004

  • Even more airport news: Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT) in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada will be getting a wireless network for use by public and staff (on segregated networks), courtesy of Opti-Fi Networks. The company will install it and manage it after deployment.—September 20, 2004

  • Again with the airport news: Wi-Fi is showing up all over these airports, but what about voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi)? Well, check in at Newark Liberty airport in New Jersey and give it a try. Concourse Communications says it's in a deal with a "national telecommunications service provider" to do a trial of Wi-Fi phone service there, and soon at other airports—specifically, JFK and LaGuardia in New York City. The Concourse Wi-Fi network will be used for VoIP calls which will travel to the telecom's network so calls can be made from a Wi-Fi device to any real-world POTS (plain old telephone system) phone. They expect it will work with Wi-Fi equipped handsets, as well as PDAs and laptops using software-based phones.—September 20, 2004