February Newsbits

Market research firm Maravedis has released a new study, which makes predictions about the future of WiMAX technology. The report “profiles more than 23 carriers, vendors, spectrum holders, and industry stakeholders to ascertain, primarily from the carrier point of view, opportunities, realities, and threats.” For a sneak peak at the results, visit ISP-Planet.com.

February 28, 2008


Hess, a Fortune 100 energy company headquartered in New York, centrally configures and manages the network, which serves offices and deepwater platforms in many countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Norway, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia, from one U.S. data center.

Aruba’s ruggedized outdoor APs are used to connect five deepwater platforms in total, some more than six miles apart. The platforms communicate via a redundant mesh network.

“The same equipment, the same security protection, and the same network management infrastructure simultaneously serve the CEO and the remote oil rig workers,” said Keerti Melkote, Aruba’s founder and head of products and partnerships, in a press release Monday.

For more on Wi-Fi deployments in the oil industry, read Black Gold.

February 14, 2008

Wayport and Boingo Wireless today announced that they have extended their agreement for three years. The deal enables Boingo subscribers to access Wayport’s entire North American network of Wi-Fi hotspots, including more than 9,000 newly-added McDonald’s restaurants.

Boingo’s network contains more than 100,000 hotspots worldwide from roughly 150 leading Wi-Fi operators, including Wayport. Boingo users can connect to any Boingo hotspot with a single Boingo account using Boingo’s free Wi-Fi client software.

Wayport is a neutral host, enabling wireless carriers, ILECs, ISPs, device manufacturers, and aggregators (such as Boingo) to offer their own branded Wi-Fi experience to their subscribers through Wayport’s Wi-Fi locations.

February 13, 2008

Ekahau today announced the release of Ekahau Positioning Engine (EPE) 4.2. The Wi-Fi based RTLS (Real Time Location System) is a comprehensive turn-key solution that can be installed over any brand or generation of Wi-Fi infrastructure. Ekahau’s RTLS supports location tracking with room-level (or better) accuracy, without the need to upgrade the existing Wi-Fi network. No UWB antennas or other proprietary infrastructure need be installed.

EPE 4.2 offers new features over the previous version, including:

  • Added Event Management
  • Better scalability
  • Faster deployment

Several Ekahau customers have already deployed EPE 4.2, including the Helsinki District Hospital in Finland.

For more on Ekahau, RTLS, or Wi-Fi in health care, read these stories:

The Doctor is In: Wi-Fi’s Increasingly Valuable Role in the Business of Healthcare by Jeff Goldman

Location, Location, Location by Naomi Graychase

UWB Brings Greater Precision to RTLS by Jeff Goldman

February 12, 2008

De-Fi Mobile unveiled its new Straight Talk service today at Mobile World Congress. According to a release issued by its VoIP partner, BroadSoft, the service “disrupts the existing mobile services market by bridging the gaps between carrier networks, handset manufacturers, and mobile application providers.”

De-Fi is incorporating the BroadWorks VoIP application platform from BroadSoft, which will enable users to take advantage of BroadWorks calling features on dual-mode handsets. Callers will also have the ability to make calls to and from anywhere in the world, without roaming or long distance charges.

De-Fi Mobile has created its own IP Network; BroadWorks allows Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phones to access the SIP-based network. De-Fi hopes that its peering and interconnect agreements with over 220 carriers, and cable and DSL providers worldwide, will help to deliver a seamless user experience. Wherever Wi-Fi is available, De-Fi expects that mobile users (of supported devices) will be able to access De-Fi’s application platform to receive BroadWorks-based Vo-Wi-Fi services.

Straight Talk is currently only available on Nokia E and N series phones, but access for more devices is in the works. To sign up for the Straight Talk service, visit De-Fi’s Web site. Subscribers can choose from phone numbers in 28 countries.


Devicescape announced today that it has partnered with Deutsche Telekom (owners of the T-Mobile and T-Home brands). The partnership will enable T-Home and T-Mobile users to have simpler access to more than 8,000 T-Mobile HotSpots in Europe.

The Devicescape service, which is free to end users, simplifies Wi-Fi hotspot log-ins by eliminating the need to type in login and password information. It also supports automatic login for devices without browsers (such as cameras or media players).

Devicescape also announced today the launch of its Devicescape Connect Service for operators. According to Devicescape, this new “out-of-the-box” Wi-Fi solution allows carriers to “provide better integration of cellular and Wi-Fi services to customers, increase the number of users and number of sessions, and bring new types of devices onto their networks and reduce support costs.” More information is available at the Devicescape Web site.

February 11th, 2008

The Wi-Fi Alliance announced today that it has certified more than 200 devices as part of its Wi-Fi Protected Setup Program.  The program, which was launched just over a year ago, is intended to help consumer and small-business users to secure their Wi-Fi networks.  Products certified for Wi-Fi Protected Setup include dual-mode Wi-Fi/cellular phones, Wi-Fi enabled printers, and more than 80 products featuring Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11n draft 2.0 technology. Just over half of the devices are also certified for WMM® (Wi-Fi Multimedia) Quality of Service, which optimizes them for voice, gaming, and multimedia applications. 

The WFA has also launched testing support for NFC (Near-Field Communication) as an additional Wi-Fi Protected Setup network configuration method. 

“In the NFC method, a user touches a card or token to designated areas on an access point and a client device to connect them. NFC joins two previously-tested mechanisms, push-button and PIN entry, to simplify the process of joining devices to a security-enabled Wi-Fi network. Like the push-button method, the NFC technique is especially useful to connect devices that don’t have a keyboard-oriented user interface, such as cameras, gaming devices, and other consumer electronics. Manufacturers now have even more flexibility in how to deploy Wi-Fi Protected Setup, ultimately giving consumers more choice when they buy Wi-Fi CERTIFIED phones and consumer electronics,” said the WFA in a press release issued today. 

A list of all products Wi-Fi CERTIFIED for Wi-Fi Protected Setup, as well as a white paper (available at no charge) which describes the specification in detail, is available at the Wi-Fi Alliance Web site. 

February 7, 2008

Motorola announced today two new Wave 2-ready devices, the desktop CPEi 750 and a new PC card. These new WiMAX (802.16e ) devices are the newest in Motorola’s portfolio of WiMAX customer premises equipment (CPE).

The new PCCw 200 PC card can support both 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz and is expected to be available for commercial deployment in the second quarter of this year. The desktop CPEi 750 is a second-generation WiMAX 802.16e-compliant wireless broadband modem, which features one data and two VoIP/ATA ports. It is available in both 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz, and is scheduled to ship mid-year.


Film legend and founder of the Sundance Institute, Robert Redford will be delivering a keynote address at the Mobile World Congress is Barcelona next week. The conference, sponsored by the GSM Association (GSMA) is the world’s largest communications industry event. Redford will be discussing the potential of mobile—the ‘4th screen’—as a medium for independent filmmakers to reach new audiences on a global basis.

February 5th, 2008

Today, Devicescape, the company that makes it easier for you to connect your mobile device to hotspots, announced the creation of the Devicescape Developer Community (DDC). The DDC is “designed to speed evaluations and encourage non-commercial innovation.” Members will get access to source code and can license the Devicescape Connect 2.0 software (an upgrade released today) for free. The source code is available for Windows, MacOSX, iPhone and iPod touch, Nokia S60, and Internet Tablets. Interested developers can apply to join the program by visiting this site


BelAir Networks announced two new products today, the new BelAir200D and BelAir100D Wireless Mesh Node for Defense Applications, which both support the 4.4GHz military spectrum, as well as the new 802.11n draft standard.

Among BelAir’s newest military clients is the SPAWAR (Space and Naval Warfare) Systems Center, Charleston (SSC Charleston), which will use BelAir equipment to support its Wireless Pier Connection Systems (WPCS).

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