Around the World in 80 Nodes, 2008

By Naomi Graychase

December 12, 2008

Aruba in Rio de Janeiro; Boingo adds 500 Indian hotspots; Chinese university gets Motorola WLAN; Boingo teams up with Telefonica; Aruba lands large corporate contract in Europe; and more.

Aruba Networks has deployed a secure mobility solution, including an outdoor mesh network, at the Escola de Aperfeiçoamento de Oficiais (EsAO) Brazilian Army School and surrounding housing complexes.

EsAO is the primary training institute for Brazil’s company- and field-grade officers. The new WLAN provides Wi-Fi access throughout the classrooms and auditoriums on campus, as well as to the campus housing complexes, which are outside the range of DSL service.

Established in 1919, EsAO covers 46 acres in Rio de Janeiro. According to an Aruba press release, "The school wanted to provide secure student, faculty, and guest wireless access across the entire campus, while offering high speed Internet access to the housing complexes. Prior to this deployment the school offered only limited hotspot wireless access, while the housing units had no Internet access due to their distance from the central telephone exchange. Aruba authorized partner Synergy deployed access points throughout the classrooms and auditoriums, and then used outdoor secure wireless mesh to deliver wireless access to the housing complexes. Mesh technology enables Wi-Fi access points to be deployed without installing new data cabling."

October 28, 2008

Boingo Wireless announced another international win. Today it announced the addition of Tata Communications hotspots to the Boingo Roaming Network, giving Boingo members access to over 500 new hotspots under the Tata Indicom brand. With the addition of the Tata Communications network, Boingo members will be able to access Wi-Fi connections in restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and airports in India.

October 27, 2008

Nanjing University, a top school in China serving over 15,000 students and faculty, has deployed a campus-wide Motorola WLAN spanning 4.5 million square feet.

The Enterprise Mobility business of Motorola deployed the campus-wide wireless LAN to enable multimedia Internet-based teaching, automatic academic office management, Internet access, distance learning, and other services that rely on wireless broadband access. For more, click here.

October 21, 2008

Boingo Wireless and Telefonica, a leading telecommunications company with a presence in 24 countries, today announced that they have signed an agreement. Boingo will add Telefonica to its Roaming Network of hotspots. Telefonica customers will be able to log in to Boingo's 7,000+ hotspots around the world, including more than 20 of the top airports in North America.

Telefonica operates a roaming network in Spain with nearly 2,200 hotspots. Telefonica Spain is the first affiliate within the Telefonica Group to launch with Boingo. It will be followed later this year by Telefonica Argentina.

October 15, 2008

Aruba Networks announced today that Galderma, a joint venture between Nestlé and L'Oréal formed in the 1980s, has selected Aruba for its wireless LANs. Deployments have been completed at Galderma’s French Corporate Services, UK office, production sites, and a central data center in Switzerland (by Ipelium, an Aruba-certified French solutions provider). 

“Our offices and production sites are geographically dispersed, and prior to Aruba, concerns about the integrity of this far-flung network lead us to enforce a ‘no wireless’ policy everywhere,” said Marc Tournier, Security and Compliance Manager at Galderma in an Aruba press release today. “Faced with strong demand for wireless access and greater mobility, we sought a mobility solution that would protect the integrity of our data. We also wanted a solution that could be managed with minimal IT overhead yet was flexible enough to meet the different needs of our field offices and logistics facilities. Aruba offered solutions on all counts, and in conjunction with Aruba partner, Ipelium, we’ve now deployed wireless networks across France, the U.S., U.K., Canada and the central data center in Switzerland.”

October 14, 2008

Trapeze Networks announced today that it is opening its second R&D center in China. The Hangzhou-based center will focus on embedded wireless technologies. 

"Trapeze Networks continues to invest in China for three important reasons," said James Reeves, vice president of product operations in a press release today.  "China--and the entire region--is a huge market for Trapeze Networks, so we want to ensure we're developing the right product with the right features for this market. Second, we think that tapping the wealth of world-class engineering talent in China is giving us a competitive edge. Finally, having a Mandarin-speaking team in Hangzhou working with our manufacturing partners in Taiwan will accelerate our time to market."

September 29, 2008

Trapeze Networks announced today that it has won the Hangzhou Wi-Fi Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) project, the largest Wi-Fi MAN in China. Trapeze Networks will deploy more than 3,000 access points in Hangzhou to serve the city's 6.5 million residents.

Hangzhou is located 180 km southwest of Shanghai and is a key city in the Yangzi River Delta region of China. Most of its six-and-a-half million residents live in eight metropolitan districts where there is a high demand for broadband wireless internet access. The Hangzhou government launched the "Wi-Fi City" project as part of a city development initiative.

Commnet, a subsidiary of SOYEA Technology, and Trapeze Networks will install the Wi-Fi network over three phases.  The first phase will enable Wi-Fi access along Hangzhou's main ring roads, important scenic spots, the central business district, and some residential areas. Phases two and three will extend that coverage to the entire Greater Hangzhou area.  If all goes as planned, by the end of 2009, the whole of Hangzhou will be blanketed with Wi-Fi.

 "We are very proud to be involved in the Hangzhou Wi-Fi City project," said Jim Vogt, president, Trapeze Networks in a press release today. "This is the first time Trapeze Networks has worked on a city-level Wi-Fi project in China where the entire range of our Smart Mobile products will be used. Trapeze Networks will help the city realize centralized control and management of its wireless network, and creating a valuable example for other Chinese cities looking to deploy Wi-Fi MANs in the future."

Applications will include location-based services, IPTV, and other applications.

 **

Exalt Communications, a leading innovator of next generation wireless backhaul systems for service providers and enterprises, today announced that GUAMCELL, the leading fixed and mobile operator in Guam, has selected Exalt Communications for its cellular backhaul network.

"The selection of our microwave backhaul solutions by a leading operator with such challenging environmental conditions as GUAMCELL demonstrates the growing market acceptance of our broad product portfolio," said Amir Zoufonoun, President and Chief Executive Officer of Exalt in a press release today. "GUAMCELL joins a growing list of Exalt customers deploying advanced wireless backhaul solutions that lead the market in reliability, capacity and field upgradeability."

GUAMCELL, which operates a CDMA network on the island of Guam, launched a GSM overlay across the island in late 2007. The GSM service includes a GPRS core network. The provider has plans to deploy 3G. As part of this upgrade strategy, GUAMCELL added Exalt's EX-i Series of wireless backhaul products, which simultaneously support both native TDM and native IP.

"Guam is a tough environment to deliver high quality service. Exalt's wireless solutions meet our requirements for flexibility and scalability in an all-indoor carrier grade package that survives typhoons," said Dameron Porter, RF Engineer at GUAMCELL in an Exalt release today.

Exalt's portfolio of all-indoor, all-outdoor, and split-mount configurations support native TDM and native Ethernet in a single platform. At WiMAX World in Chicago this week, Exalt will demo its 5 GHz microwave backhaul radio.

 July 10, 2008

Norwegian State Railway (NSB) has launched a project, which will make it the first in the world to cover a national rail network with broadband data connectivity. The pilot phase of the deployment, which began this spring, is on commuter trains around Oslo and inter-city trains to Bergen and Trondheim.

The plan is for Nomad Digital to deploy its solution on NSB’s entire rail fleets. In addition to Wi-Fi, NSB passengers will be offered access to broadband entertainment content, including films, TV shows, news, music, games, instant messaging, and mapping while traveling on inter-city trains.

Portable media player devices will be distributed to give passengers without laptops a chance to use the Internet and entertainment services.

Ståle Nistov, NSB marketing director said in a Nomad Digital press release that “NSB has for the recent years been working to make it possible for customers on board to use their time as they want on trains—to work, read, sleep or eat—we want to make this new possibility. Many people have asked for the Internet, and we also give them entertainment and information through this new Wi-Fi service.”

NSB will also use the Nomad connectivity platform operational applications, such as real-time train location tracking, passenger counting, and on-board CCTV access.

Nomad’s bearer-switching technology integrates multiple backhaul networks for the NSB project, including 3G and Wi-Fi at stations, to deliver the best of continuous connectivity and high bandwidth.

For more on Nomad Digital and Wi-Fi/WiMAX on trains, read “Free Wi-Fi for Rail Passengers in Utah," "Taking it to the Rails: WiMAX on Trains," "Is In-Vehicle Wi-Fi a Boon For Commuters?," and "Stockholm Tests WiMAX for Commuters."

July 2, 2008

Moovera Networks, a UK-based developer of fixed and mobile wireless communications systems, today announced that Swebus Express AB, the largest long-distance express bus service in Sweden, has selected Moovera’s Moovbox M Series Mobile Broadband Gateway to deliver Internet connectivity on its entire fleet. More than eighty buses will be equipped with mobile Wi-Fi hotspots.

With service to over two million passengers each year, this deployment will be the largest of its kind in Scandinavia. The busline covers southern and central Sweden, as well as parts of Norway and Denmark. Swebus Express, a subsidiary of Concordia Bus Nordic AB, will also utilize the Moovbox to connect ticket machines on each bus to the Internet, and to provide GPS-based fleet location monitoring.

“We’re delighted to have been selected by Swebus Express for this landmark roll out of in-vehicle Internet,” said Jim Baker, Moovera CEO and founder in a press release issued today. “Such a major commitment to this technology from Sweden’s largest player is clear evidence that public transport is the new major market for Wi-Fi hotspots and the ancillary services that in-bus Internet connectivity enables.”

According to the iPass Mobile Broadband Index March 2008 report, public Wi-Fi hotspot usage grew by over 142% in Europe (in 2006/2007), with the largest growth occurring in the Public Transport sector (up 238%).

“Increased competition in the public transport sector has led Swebus to examine ways in which we can differentiate ourselves from other operators,” said Joakim Palmkvist, Managing Director of Swebus Express in a press release today. “Providing Internet connectivity to our entire fleet introduces a technology platform on which we can build new and innovative services that not only benefit our passengers but also improve the way our fleet operates. We chose the Moovbox from Moovera primarily as it offered the widest range of features at the most cost-effective price point.”

The Moovbox mobile gateway is a ruggedized Wi-Fi AP and cellular router, which offers multiple wide area network radios for automatic failover between carriers. It also features built-in GPS for real-time positioning.

Moovbox products also offer secure Ethernet for IP-CCTV, DVR, and telematics equipment with remote in-bound access for device control, and supports plug-and-play upgradability to future technologies such as WiMAX and LTE. The multi-user MoovManage service provides real-time device tracking, schedule adherence monitoring, remote device configuration, and Wi-Fi portal and usage statistics.

For more on Moovera, read “Hotspot Hits: British Buses from Oxford to London," "UK Ferries Get Wi-Fi," and "Is In-Vehicle Wi-Fi a Boon For Commuters?."

For more on Wi-Fi on buses and trains, read "Greyhound Launches In-Bus Wi-Fi," "Stockholm Tests WiMAX for Commuters," and "Wi-Fi Railroads Next Destination: The US."

June 12, 2008

iPass, the Northern California-based virtual network operator and Wi-Fi hotspot aggregator, announced today that it has reached an agreement with Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates' (UAE’s) largest telecommunications operator. Under the terms of the partnership, hundreds of hotspots will be added to the iPass network, including locations in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Khorfakkan. The UAE hotspots are located at four international airports, big-name hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton, coffee shops, and other likely destinations for travelers.

All of the Etisalat Wi-Fi hotspots will go through the iPass Enterprise Ready certification process, which includes testing for performance, reliability, and compatibility with a broad range of virtual private network (VPN), personal firewall, and anti-virus software solutions.

"The addition of Etisalat to our network is an important boost to the broadband access coverage our customers will receive when traveling to the influential emirates," said Rene Hendrikse, Managing Director EMEA, iPass in a press release today. "With over 100,000 hotspot locations to choose from worldwide, iPass users now have more ways than ever to stay productive on the road."

Earlier this year, iPass expanded its services to include offerings for individual consumers and SMBs. The iPass network has more than 100,000 enterprise-class hotspots around the world, as well as 3G mobile data, Ethernet, and dial-up.

For more on iPass read, “iPass Takes Care of ISP Financials,” “iPass Heads North,” and “iPass Offers Worldwide Hotspot Access to SMBs and Consumers.”

June 3, 2008

The state-run Korean Highway Corporation is testing a solution from California-based Strix Systems that will enable broadband access along the entire length of the highway that runs between Korea’s two largest cities, Seoul and Pusan. In initial tests, the network successfully streamed high-bandwidth video to vehicles moving at speeds over 100 km/h. For more, read "Korean Highway Corporation Tests Highway Wi-Fi."

May 28th, 2008

Altair Semiconductor, an Israel-based fabless semiconductor company developing ultra-low power mobile WiMAX silicon solutions for handheld devices, has been selected to supply the chipsets for wireless devices operating on WILLCOM’s next generation Personal Handyphone System (“XG-PHS”) in Japan.

WILLCOM is a leading mobile data telecommunications company, providing PHS services in Japan to more than four million subscribers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Altair will supply its ALTx150 series ultra-low power and high performance chipsets to WILLCOM’s authorized ecosystem of mobile handset and handheld device manufacturers. 

May 22, 2008

A conference entirely devoted to Wi-Fi on trains will take place next month in London.

Train Communications 2008 (June 11th-12th), hosted by technology consultancy BWCS, is sponsored by Nokia Siemens Networks, Icomera, InfoGlobal, and Lloyd’s Register Rail with lunches sponsored by Nomad Digital.

This third annual event will see train companies from around the world participating in a combination of interactive workshops, panel sessions, presentations, and networking sessions that will, according to a press release issued today, “explore the commercial and technical issues arising from the deployment of train Wi-Fi around the world.”

Among those presenting are: SNCF, SJ, Trains (Sweden), Deutsche Bahn, Danish Rail, Nokia Siemens Networks, Lloyd’s Register Rail, NS Trains, Parsons Corporation, Icomera, WiFi Rail, Nomad Digital, and many more.

For more on Wi-Fi on trains, read “Taking it to the Rails: WiMAX on Trains,” “Is In-Vehicle Wi-Fi a Boon For Commuters?”, and “Wi-Fi Riding More Rails.”

May 21, 2008

Today, Ontario-based BelAir Networks, a leading provider of mobile broadband mesh networks, announced that REACT Technologies, headquartered in Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK, has joined BelAir Networks’ Value-Added Reseller (VAR) Channel Program.  REACT Technologies has already deployed BelAir Networks equipment at popular theme parks in the UK to support both employee communications and Point-of-Sale (POS) applications. For more on BelAir read "BelAir Embraces Multiple Radios" or "BelAir: Meshing Quite Nicely."

May 19, 2008

Ekahau, maker of Wi-Fi-based Real Time Location Systems (RTLS), today announced that GGZ-NML, a hospital in Venray, The Netherlands, has deployed Ekahau’s RTLS solution as a safety measure for its employees in the psychiatric care unit. Ekahau’s real-time location tracking can help find employees quickly in dangerous situations.

“With unpredictable psychiatric patients under our care, our staff often finds themselves in a position where their personal safety can be compromised,” said Erik Stijnen, project manager for ICT at GGZ-NML in an Ekahau press release today. “As we were renovating our facility, we realized that we needed a safety application that could easily integrate with our new wireless IP infrastructure. We tested several real-time location tracking applications, but only Ekahau met our demands for accuracy and rapid positioning.”Systems integrator Zetacom deployed Ekahau RTLS, which, according to Ekahau, is the only Wi-Fi-based location tracking solution that can operate over any brand or generation of WLAN.

Hospital employees wear Ekahau’s Wi-Fi tags, which feature a panic button that can be pressed when they need help. Through an application designed by Zetacom, the alarms are sent to Wi-Fi telephone handsets used by GGZ-NML’s security department. Once notified of an alarm, the security staff can accurately determine the exact location of that employee and track his or her movement in real-time, so they can quickly react to the situation. Ekahau’s also offer a unique two-way communications feature.Ekahau tags operate like any other standard Wi-Fi network-connected device. As a result, Ekahau RTLS does not interfere with existing Wi-Fi connectivity, including voice telephony, data, messaging, or wireless care applications.

Ekahau is a U.S.-based corporation, with offices in Saratoga, CA, Reston, VA, Helsinki, Finland, and Hong Kong, China.

May 15, 2008

One of the UK’s leading independent bus operators is now offering in-vehicle Wi-Fi to passengers between Nottingham and Derby in the UK Midlands.

Moovera Networks, a UK-based developer of fixed and mobile wireless communications systems, has installed its Moovbox M Series mobile broadband gateway to deliver Internet connectivity on eight of Trent Barton's commuter coaches. The Scania Irizar vehicles are part of the Red Arrow service between Nottingham and Derby, which departs every fifteen minutes during rush hour and is popular with business travelers and students. Wi-Fi access is free to passengers. 

Trent Barton will also utilize the Moovbox for GPS-based automatic vehicle location (AVL) to keep track of the fleet via Moovera’s MoovManage remote monitoring system.

"We’ve made a significant investment to modernize our fleet of over 270 buses and are continually seeking news ways to provide better service to our customers," said Mark Greasley, Commercial Manager at Trent Barton in a press release today. "By putting Wi-Fi hotspots on our vehicles we’re offering passengers a way to make the most of the forty-minute journey. We chose the Moovera Moovbox as it offers us not only the managed Wi-Fi service, but also GPS tracking and the ability in the future to connect other systems such as ticketing and security over the Internet to our Operations Center."

The Moovbox M Series delivers Wi-Fi access on the moving vehicles at speeds up to 3.6 Mbps by creating a bridge between the coach and a 3G HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) cellular broadband network from Vodafone. The Moovbox offers Ethernet connectivity for in-bus systems such as CCTV and telematics data, and includes built-in GPS for real-time fleet tracking.

For more on Moovera deployments, read "Hotspot Hits: British Buses from Oxford to London," "UK Ferries Get Wi-Fi," and "Is In-Vehicle Wi-Fi a Boon For Commuters?"

May 1, 2008

Motorola announced yesterday that it is working with Advanced Info Service (AIS),  the largest mobile operator in Thailand, to conduct trials of mobile WiMAX solutions. The trials are intended to help AIS plan future service offerings.

AIS began trials over Motorola’s WiMAX Access Point-400 (WAP-400) platform in Bangkok and Lamlukka earlier this year in order to study the performance of real-life applications over the mobile WiMAX network, and customer usage models in metropolitan, suburban, and rural areas.

According to a Motorola press release issued Wednesday, “AIS sees WiMAX as complementary to its existing fixed line and wireless offerings. During the trials, WiMAX technology was tested with various applications such as substitution of phone line, content delivery platform and high-speed Internet connection. AIS considers WiMAX an effective replacement for ADSL in providing broadband and various telecom services in cities and suburban areas.”

Motorola currently has 19 contracts for WiMAX (802.16e) deployments and is involved in 80 WiMAX engagements with customers in more than 40 countries around the world.

April 15, 2008

Aruba Networks announced today that Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, Korea has deployed its adaptive wireless LAN and identity-based security solutions throughout the hospital and Cancer Center. The Wi-Fi network provides secure voice over wireless LAN (VoWi-Fi), nurse call, and data access to the staff of 4,700 throughout the 198,000-square-foot facility.

Roughly 14 years old, the Samsung Medical Center has more than 1,200 beds, 100 specialized clinics, and eight specialty care centers, including the Cancer Center, which is among the largest in Asia. According to Aruba, the legacy wireless network at the hospital was unable to support the medical center’s security, IP PBX, or wireless nurse call requirements.

“Aruba’s wireless network allows us to transfer data and voice calls between patients, nurses, and doctors without any capacity constraints,” said Choi Jong-Soo, Samsung Medical Center’s Department Chief of Information Strategy in a press release today.

Nurses at the facility will use the WLAN to manage medical charts and patient prescriptions from portable carts equipped with laptop computers.  The pictorial archival communication systems (PACS) and electronic medical records may also be accessed wirelessly, allowing the staff to enter and access data from anywhere within the facility. The VoWi-Fi communication system, the first in Korea, automatically alerts staff in the event of a patient problem including irregular telemetry readings.

For more on Korean Wi-Fi deployments, read “600-Year-Old City Offers Wi-Fi to Visitors.” For more on Wi-Fi in hospitals, read “Wireless Hospital: Orlando Regional Healthcare” and “The Doctor is In: Wi-Fi's Increasingly Valuable Role in the Business of Healthcare.”

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UK-based Moovera Networks announced yesterday that the Wightlink Isle of Wight Ferries, which serve communities in the South of England, will be deploying Moovera’s Wi-Fi solution on board its ferries.

Initially, the service will provide in-ship broadband Internet connectivity to the crew only and will not be available to the 5.5 million passengers the ferries carry each year, but Andrew Willson, Wightlink’s Chief Executive says that his organization is “laying the foundation for public Wi-Fi hotspot services.” For more, click here.

April 10, 2008

Aruba Networks announced yesterday that McGill University will be deploying its adaptive wireless LANs across its two Montreal, Quebec campuses. The prestigious university is one of the largest universities in the Canadian province of Quebec, serving more than 33,000 students and 1,570 faculty and staff members.

McGill has already deployed more than 2,700 out of a total of 3,700 Aruba wireless APs, making it among the largest university wireless networks in Canada. Including McGill University, Aruba networks now serve more than 250,000 students in Canadian universities.

“Universities are challenging environments for wireless networks because of the size of their campuses, the large number of simultaneous users, the dynamic nature of network usage, and the security challenge posed by tens of thousands of unsecured laptops,” said Fran Sanda, Aruba’s manager for Canadian sales in a press release Wednesday.  “In addition to the robustness and adaptability of our wireless LAN, the ease-of-use of its centralized network management architecture, and the strength of its security features, we believe ARM played a central role in delivering the solid performance McGill University and its users have experienced.”

April 8, 2008

iPass announced yesterday that it has added the municipal wireless network encircled by Tokyo's Yamanote Line— Tokyo's busiest and most important commuter line—to its global network. With more than 2,000 access points spanning over 23-square miles, Tokyo network is one of the largest in the world.

The world's tenth largest city by population, Tokyo ranked as the world's third busiest city in terms of Wi-Fi use, according to the iPass Mobile Broadband Index. (London and New York are busier.)

iPass' global footprint now includes metropolitan Wi-Fi networks in a many major international cities, including Sydney, London, New York City, Seoul, and Taipei.

The Yamanote Line connects most of Tokyo's major stations and urban centers including the Ginza area, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro and is used by more than 3.6 million commuters every day.

For more on Wi-Fi and commuters, read “Taking it to the Rails: WiMAX on Trains” and “Greyhound Launches In-Bus Wi-Fi.”

April 2, 2008

Wavesat, maker of “chips for a wireless world,” and Hariff DTE, a systems manufacturer, have announced the first broadband wireless access equipment designed for Indonesia.

The HiMAX-231, a WiMAX-based 2.3 GHz Basestation and Subscriber unit solution manufactured by Hariff DTE, was officially launched in late February in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia.

"We are making telecom history in Indonesia and we are extremely excited about this new product launch as it represents the start of a new era locally of locally developed and manufactured Broadband Wireless Access equipment," stated Mr. Budi Permana, President Director (CEO) of PT HARIFF Daya Tunggal Engineering in a press release today.

March 4, 2008

Nomad Digital, the company responsible for the first wireless broadband service on-board a train system (the Brighton Express from London to Brighton, 2005), the longest in-tunnel service (the Heathrow Xpress from London to Heathrow

Airport, 2007), and the longest WiMAX roll-out (on the UK's West Coast mainline, Virgin Trains, 600km and growing), has begun to deploy a WiMAX network that will allow bus passengers in Stockholm, Sweden to get free broadband Wi-Fi access while on board.

Passengers on the one-hour Stockholm to Norrtalje route 676 commuter bus will be part of a pilot project to test the feasibility of broadband access and applications—such as real-time news video--for the Swedish capitol’s public transport authority Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL).

The broadband connection will be available to users via their Wi-Fi-enabled devices during the entire route. Passengers will also be able to watch LCD screens on the buses, showing news and weather video clips from Swedish national broadcaster SVT. Real-time journey information will be displayed on LCD screens, as well, including the number of minutes to the next bus stop, time to destination, and connection information.

SL depot staff will use the network to monitor the pressure on all of the busses’ tires, both while a bus is in service and while it is at the bus depot, using handheld devices. This will enable faster maintenance turnaround times. Driver performance can also be monitored in real-time to optimize braking and acceleration, in the hope of reducing vehicle wear, fuel consumption, and the environmental impact of the busses.

The system may also be used to improve security, with closed-circuit cameras on buses monitoring incidents and feeding live video back to central control centers. During the pilot, only recorded demonstration images will be transmitted, however.

The Nomad system integrates network coverage from two 3G operators, WiMAX base stations, and the Nordisk Mobiltelefon digital NMT CDMA2000 network. When coverage gaps in any individual network are encountered, the Nomad system instantly switches to an alternative network to ensure seamless broadband service.

“Its WiMAX over Wi-Fi,” says Peter Jackson, Director of Press Ahead, which is handling the publicity for Nomad. “Passengers receive a Wi-Fi signal to their laptops via a Wi-Fi access point on the bus and then the data is transferred from the bus using WiMAX."

The pilot, which began in late February, will last a minimum of six weeks and will be followed by extensive passenger consultation by SL. If the pilot meets with success, the network will be rolled out to Stockholm’s entire public transportation system.

**

Seoul, South Korea’s 600-year-old capitol, was largely destroyed during the Korean War (1950-53). When it was re-built in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, a 3.5 mile elevated highway was erected over what used to be an important stream. Several years ago, as part of an attempt at urban renewal, the then-mayor, Lee Myung-Bak, tore down the highway and began the process of restoring the historic Cheonggye waterway. The $330-million project, which was completed roughly three years ago, included fountains, sculptures, and 22 bridges in various in interesting styles—one was built to resemble a tall ship, another the wings of a bird. And now, it includes Wi-Fi.

The restored 3.7-mile waterway is the site of an eco-friendly urban park in the heart of downtown. Roughly half a million tourists and locals visit the Cheonggye waterway each week. Starting today, they will have access to a variety of applications supported by the new wireless mesh and access network designed and installed by Samsung SDS, Korea’s largest IT systems integrator. The network uses Firetide equipment. Among the applications supported are visitor information delivered via Wi-Fi to rented PDAs that provide location-specific advertising and information, public video surveillance, and underwater video cameras for monitoring wildlife in the stream.

With a total of 22 Firetide HotPort mesh nodes and 11 Firetide HotPoint access points, the network enables visitors to take advantage of such features as touch-screen kiosks, which offer maps and other information on the area’s history, attractions, and services. Visitors can also check e-mail at the kiosks. The network also connects video surveillance cameras to a central location for monitoring and storage and supports sensors that keep track of the waterway’s water levels, temperature, and flow. Also connected to the WLAN are “streetlights of the future,” with “mood lighting” and an integrated voice over IP communication and alerting system.

February 25, 2008

Moovera Networks announced today that it will provide broadband Internet connectivity and GPS-based vehicle tracking on bus routes in Wales. First Cymru, the largest provider of public bus transportation services in southwest Wales, has equipped the Shuttle100 fleet running on the hour-long journey between Swansea and Cardiff with the Moovera Moovbox M100 mobile broadband gateway. It will provide Wi-Fi access to passengers at up to 1.8Mbps and real-time GPS-based tracking for vehicle location and schedule adherence monitoring, and will be offered in conjunction with 3G HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) mobile broadband from Vodafone UK.

The Shuttle100 service runs along for forty-two miles of the M4 motorway up to sixteen times per day and is popular with commuters. In the first few weeks since its launch late last month, the Wi-Fi service has been used hundreds of times by passengers with an average online session length of over half an hour.

The built-in GPS receiver of the Moovbox M100 enables First Cymru to monitor the exact position of the fleet's vehicles in real time and assess the usage of the Wi-Fi service via MoovManage, Moovera's secure online management service.

January 10, 2008

The Sonora Institute of Technology (ITSON), a public university, has nearly completed deployment of a multi-user, multi-application Wi-Fi network in Obregon, Mexico. Once completed, the network will cover 23 square miles and it will be the first city-wide WLAN in Mexico.

The network, which uses Tropos MetroMesh, is part of the state and federally-owned university's initiative to “create a knowledge-based and more productive economy in the region.”

"Our goal is to enable the economy to be competitive nationally and internationally with the use of information technology," said Jesus Gaxiola, IT Director of ITSON, in a press release. "Because we are fostering digital inclusion among the 270, 992 inhabitants, a citizen-centered model was employed in designing the project with the individual as the core user of IT-based services from the government, education, health, and private sectors."

Obregon is located in the State of Sonora, which borders California and Arizona.

In conjunction with the project, the university is investing in two technology parks in Obregon (a university-owned agribusiness park and a software park, which is the result of a partnership with state and local governments). The Wi-Fi network will cover the technology parks and most of the city and is designed to make Obregon a more attractive outsourcing location for international technology companies.

ITSON will own and operate the network, with the city and the local water company as anchor tenants. Access for residents will be free.

Because most residents of the region do not have access to Wi-Fi-enabled devices, kiosks equipped with laptops are being set up in university, government, and community centers.

Local elementary schools will also be connected to the network, as will the police department. In addition, eight to ten police cars will be equipped with laptops, so that law enforcement officers will have immediate access data, such as driver’s licenses and criminal databases. Video surveillance in certain areas of the city is also planned.

Public works will see some improvements. The city's water department will upgrade its communication systems, and an automated water meter reading pilot is underway. Planners hope that by implementing the wireless meter reading, efficiency will increase and costs will go down.

December 3, 2007

Londonderry (aka Derry), Ireland has become the first town in Northern Ireland to receive a metro Wi-Fi network. The historic “Walled City” is using its Wi-Fi coverage to provide digital tour guides and free Internet access via hotspots at restaurants, cafes, and the library, to residents and visitors. The network uses the Tropos Networks MetroMesh system.

Future plans for the network include the addition of applications for public works services, mobile field workers, and automated public utilities, as well as some business and commercial applications.

Tourists in Derry can pick up a handheld Wi-Fi-enabled device at the Tourist Information Centre and then experience an audio/visual guided tour around the historic city.

The wireless initiative was financed by the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Investment (DETI) through the “Building Sustainable Prosperity Programme.”

Tropos MetroMesh routers have been mounted on buildings throughout the Walled City with backhaul connections to BT broadband lines.

Derry is the second largest urban center in Northern Ireland and the fourth largest in the country. It is the only city in Ireland that has preserved its city walls, which date back to the 1600s. 

November 30, 2007

Earlier this month, the Athens suburb of Argyroupolis became the first Greek city to boast a Wi-Fi network. The network uses Tropos Networks’ metro-scale wireless mesh system, and provides fee-based broadband Internet access to residents. Voice, municipal, and public safety applications are also in the works.

Simple Waves Innovations, a leading network integrator in Greece, designed and installed the city-wide Wi-Fi network along with Digital Sima, a leading Greek networking and security company.

“Residents complained to us about the high cost, poor quality, and, in some cases, lack of DSL services in their neighborhoods,” says Stefanos Paschalides, General Manager of DEADA, the city-owned company that manages the network. “As a result, the city decided to fund and operate its own, fee-based Wi-Fi network.”

One of 49 local municipalities that are part of the greater Athens Area, the City of Argyroupolis has over 16,000 households and 40,000 residents. The network currently covers 50% of the 8.2-square-kilometer suburb. The goal is to reach 90% coverage by the end of the year. DEADA charges from 50 to 200 euros a year (about US$75-300), depending on the connection speed, an amount that is just a fraction of the price of local DSL services. Entirely funded by the municipality, the fees have been set to cover the cost of the network. Argyroupolis expects to break even in two and a half years.

November 29, 2007

Island livin’ just got a little better. Tropos Networks announced today that the Caribbean Island of Antigua & Barbuda is now live with an island-wide Wi-Fi network. The network uses Tropos’ MetroMesh solution and services just under half of the total island population. Among the uses to which it will be put: computer-based curriculum in the public schools through Mobile Computer classrooms and Fixed Internet Centers that have access to the network.

Three Mobile Center classrooms are currently up and running, and 18 fixed Internet Centers are expected to be completed before the end of the year. The goal is to provide Wi-Fi access for nearly 8,000 island-based students who attend 14 primary schools and nine secondary schools. Each of the Mobile Centers is equipped with one of Tropos’ Mobile MetroMesh routers for a wireless Internet connection, 17 mobile touch PC’s, a GPS for up-to-date location of the Mobile Center, and a video phone for local communications and video conferencing.

The Antigua Computer Technology Co. Ltd (A.C.T.), which deployed and manages the network, is the largest Wi-Fi Internet Service Provider in the Eastern Caribbean. The wireless network is available to residents and local businesses on a monthly subscription basis starting at US $50/month. 

The network is the latest project of the “CONNECT ANTIGUA & BARBUDA INITIATIVE” introduced by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and spearheaded by the minister of Information, Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Dr. Edmond A. Mansoor. According to a press release, the program is designed to “upgrade the intellectual capital of the Nation and build an open and pluralistic society--one in which all citizens and residents have access to information and knowledge.”

November 19th, 2007

The City of Lights is getting lit up in a whole new way. Colubris Networks has been selected by Alcatel-Lucent and SFR, a major French telecom operator, to provide Wi-Fi equipment for the “Paris Wi-Fi” project.

According to Colubris, once Paris Wi-Fi is completed, it will be the largest municipal wireless LAN in Europe.

Paris Wi-Fi will provide both indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi coverage for municipal areas, including parks, squares, town halls, libraries, and museums.

Starting last summer, locals and visitors to the city began enjoying free, wireless, high-speed Internet access thanks to Colubris access points distributed at 100 locations throughout the city. As of the official launch in late September, 225 public sites were covered by 315 APs. Once fully deployed, the network will light up 260 municipal areas using 400 APs.

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-FiPlanet.

Originally published on .

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