Hotspot Hits for April 16, 2004

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

April 16, 2004

T-Mobile moves into college; Nextel launches broadband wireless in N.C.; Greenville, S.C. pushes to improve it's wireless rating; and more.

  • T-Mobile Hotspots are in many retail establishments and airport lounges, but now the company is looking to grab the education market. Starting today ten buildings on the campus of American University in Washington, D.C. will have Wi-Fi access for visitors available via T-Mobile. This way, the campus doesn't have to open up its wireless LAN to anyone but faculty, staff and students. T-Mobile already had a relationship with the school, where it offers special cell phone rates to the campus community. T-Mobile says this is just the first stop in an "initiative to enable public Wi-Fi in semi-private locations, specifically campuses." -- April 16, 2004

  • Concourse Communications has expanded hotspot connectivity at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). The company had placed Wi-Fi in the DTW's McNamara Terminal/ Northwest WorldGateway last year, and has now extended coverage into the older L.C. Smith Terminal. Concourse says more than 6000 users have tried the services since December. That, and a satisfaction study that said the DTW could improve customer satisfaction by providing more passenger amenities, lead to the expansion. Cost is $6.95 a day, but Concourse has roaming agreements with Boingo, GRIC, iPass, SBC, Sprint PCS, STSN, and WeRoam. -- April 16, 2004

  • Nextel has been experimenting with wireless broadband using proprietary equipment from Flarion Technologies in the area of North Carolina called Research Triangle (between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) for a couple of months. The network has expanded to cover 1,300 square miles and, what's more, Nextel is now taking on paying customers. The Nextel Wireless Broadband service is 1.5Mbps and can burst as high as 3Mbps (uplink speed tops out at 750Kbps). Prices will range from $34.99 to $74.99, and there's a onetime $100 charge to get the equipment. None of this is Wi-Fi based, but customers with the Flarion hardware in their devices can supposedly get access to the network from anywhere within the coverage zone. -- April 15, 2004

  • New Zealand-based metro-wireless hardware maker RoamAD said in a release today that Reach Wireless used RoamAD equipment to unwire the Auckland CBD. The RoamAD technology blankets all the channels in an area to get as much coverage as possible. This supposedly doubles the number of hotspots in the country, but it's just a first step as Reach Wireless plans to use the technology in all of New Zealand's population centers. -- April 15, 2004

  • South Carolina WISP Gorilla Networks has set out to unwire "all the major public spaces" in the city of Greenville, S.C. It first activated the Downtown Wireless network in May of last year in the downtown district (naturally). The company is partnering with the city's Wireless Public Internet Access Corporation (WPIAC) and the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce to extend the network to city parks and side streets off of Main, and more areas. The city will pony up $5,000 to study the idea (it didn't pay for any of the first round). In public places the expanded network will remain free of charge. The Greenville area placed number 94 on the Intel Most Unwired Cities list this year. -- April 15, 2004

  • The Salt Lake City Department of Airports is giving a wireless LAN contract to Sprint . The company will install its Sprint PCS Wi-Fi service in the airport where it will be available in all passenger areas. Sprint has a similar setup at the Kansas City International Airport. -- April 15, 2004
  • Swedish hotspot management provider Aptilo Networks today announced that Batelco, a telecom operator in the island nation of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf, has launched a hotspot network in central locations of the kingdom. Hewlett-Packard is also involved. Existing Batelco Internet subscribers can get access to the Wi-Fi networks at any time; Batelco phone customers can pay via there phone bill; and there will be other methods of payment available as well. -- April 15, 2004

  • The South American nation of Bolivia began the launch of a nationwide Wi-Fi network in March. This week, the two companies, Empresa Nacional De Telecommunications Soiedad Anonima (ENTEL, who set it up), and Teletronics International (who provided the hardware) signed a pledge to continue strategic cooperation. The network consists of a series of base and client stations through the city of Santa Cruz. The network will soon spread to the cities of La Paz and the Cochabamba. -- April 15, 2004

  • WiSe Technologies, a WISP known for supplying the small airport hotspot market, is going to unwire some colleges. It is working with the Higher Education Wireless Access Consortium (HEWAC) to form rules for 10 grants that will used to provide free installation and equipment for WLANs on college campuses. One of the schools will also get free network management and broadband for three years. The grants are meant for schools where there's a lot of laptops but the institution itself doesn't have the capital to set up a campus wide WLAN. The winners should be picked in time to get an installation for the Fall 2004 semester. The schools must be in the US or Canada, be a member of HEWAC (it's free to join), and be accredited by a recognized organization to apply. -- April 14, 2004

  • Portland, Ore.-based Matrix Networks says its Guest Wireless Internet Service (G-WIS) will soon be available in the Windmill Inn & Suites. The hotelier has three locations in Oregon, and another three in Arizona according to its Web site. Matrix will provide 24-hour monitoring of the service. Portland area hotels running G-WIS include Phoenix Inn and Suites, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, and Country Inn & Suites. -- April 14, 2004

  • Proxim says that its Tsunami point-to-point broadband wireless systems are what powers the new metro network in the city of Oceanside, California (on the coast halfway between Los Angels and San Diego). The network is for use by the city, and connects first responders, city workers, and the City Hall staff. Deployed by local VAR Sun Wireless, the system builds on connections the city already had in place using leased lines. Going wireless has let them ad 15 more sites to the network, at an alleged cost savings of $150,000. -- April 13, 2004

  • Tech SuperPowers, the providers of the NewburyOpen network -- the free series of hotspots operating in cafés and stores along Newbury Street in downtown Boston -- sent an update out today pointing out a few things. NewburyOpen will be providing the Wi-Fi used during April 19th's Boston Marathon via car- and motorcycle-mounted Wi-Fi access points (it also did it last year). The city of Salem, north of Boston, has received a $10,000 grant from Eastern Bank so they can basically duplicate over the coming summer what NewburyOpen has done in Boston. It has also redesigned the network's Web site... and there was something else... Oh, and they point out, two years after launch, they're still free. -- April 13, 2004

  • PC Laptops , a company that sells, well, laptops at brick-and-mortar locations in Utah said today that it was named the Top Integrator of Intel Centrino Mobile Technology among resellers for all of North America. The company apparently moved more laptops with Centrino chips (which feature integrated Wi-Fi) than any other North American Intel Premier Provider in 2003. This was announced at the Intel Solutions Summit in Vegas. -- April 12, 2004

  • GuestLink, a wireless service specifically for the hotel/lodging industry from Tantus Networks, will be going into 15 locations run by Janko Hospitality. Janko runs 17 hotels in three states, including brands like Hampton In, Holiday Inn, La Quinta, Sleep Inn, and Holiday Inn Express. Tantus has set up GuestLink in 60 hotels in seven states so far. No word in the announcement about specific locations or pricing for end-users. -- April 12, 2004

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