Hotspot Hits for April 23, 2004

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

April 23, 2004

Golden Tree unwires the most hotels; Spokane, Wash. unveils major wireless plans; Athens, Ga.'s WAGzone becomes location aware; and more.

  • Golden Tree Communications of Irvine, Calif., says its deployed wireless in more hotels than anyone, and is working on installation number 820. They have locations in the US, UK, Mexico, and South Africa. The release neglects to mention what hotels they're in, but the Web site has a list that includes Holiday Inns, Marriott Fairfields, Courtyards, and many more. -- April 23, 2004

  • The independent bookstore Powell's on W Burnside in Portland, Oregon has a beverage shop, World Cup Coffee -- that site has been unwired by the local freenet group, Personal Telco. As with all Personal Telco locations, Internet access via Wi-Fi is free. World Cup Coffee's location on NW Glisan also has a hotspot, and also lists a hotspot in the Powell's on Hawthorne, home of the The Fresh Pot coffee shop. -- April 23, 2004

  • The Spokane Journal in Washington says the city is developing a city-wide broadband wireless network infrastructure that will be for public access and first responders. The city is looking for $1 million in federal funds to pay for the installation. A Wi-Fi switch from vendor Vivato run by OneEighty networks is already being installed in the downtown area. -- April 23, 2004

  • Fifty Marriott Fairfield Inns in the US run by Sage Hospitality Resources of Denver will be getting Wi-Fi high-speed Internet access (HSIA). The deployments will be done by SuiteSpeed of Louisville, Colo., which specializes in hotelier networks. Sage runs about 80 properties total including others like Hilton and Sheraton -- this move will make the Marriott Fairfield Inns under its thumb 100% wireless. -- April 22, 2004

  • Want to have a little Wi-Fi inside and out? Sputnik of San Francisco is lowering the price of its Hotzone Kit. You can now get a ruggedized Sputnik AP 200 unit for outdoors, a Sputnik 160 AP for indoors, and the Sputnik Control Center management software for a data center for $495 (an "introductory price"). Just the hardware purchased separately costs $435. -- April 21, 2004

  • Extended-stay lodger Homestead Studio Suites Hotels will be getting Wi-Fi in 132 US locations, courtesy of MegaPath Networks of Pleasanton, Calif. Service will be available in all rooms by June of this year, with over 100 already in place. No word on price for end users.-- April 21, 2004

  • Athens, Georgia has done a lot with its cloud of Wi-Fi (dubbed the WAGZone --Wireless Athens Group Zone) installed by the University of Georgia's New Media Institute (NMI) and the Athens-Clark County Government. Now it has become the first hotzone to use location-based services. With software from PanGo Networks, the WAGZone is delivering geographically-based content (video, audio, text) to visitors using HP iPAQ Pocket PCs. HP is part of the consortium helping run the NMI's Mobile Media Consortium. The consortium will be holding a "Go Mobile or Go Home" event all day on April 24 with panel discussions about the potential for wireless media. -- April 21, 2004

  • The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in New Jersey (a 2,200-seat concert venue, not a gambling den) will soon have wireless hotspot connectivity installed by Fusion ConneX of N.H. for all performers and patrons. The announcement implies that the service is free to end users, and that they even can get VPN pass-through access. -- April 21, 2004

  • Tropos Networks scores another metro area looking for first responder Wi-Fi: the Big Easy. New Orleans, Louisiana will use Tropos equipment to carry video for the city's surveillance camera project. Local company's head up the installation: Verge Wireless Networks will be the system integrator working with Southern Electronics on deploying the cameras (from Active Video Solutions) and the network using Tropos 5110 Wi-Fi ruggedized outdoor cells. The whole system should allow cops to watch video feeds while in the field. Verge and Tropos also did an install in the state capital of Baton Rouge late last year. -- April 20, 2004

  • Analysts at Pyramid Research have a report coming out called The New Wireless Road Warrior: From Wi-Fi to 3G: Emerging Services, Players and Best Practices. They're touting it now with a headline on their Web site saying "T-Mobile is Getting the Last Laugh with Wi-Fi." Pyramid says that be embracing hotspots before they were cool, T-Mobile did the right thing -- especially now that they have a financial bundle for both Wi-Fi and cellular. The firm believes that carriers that don't go Wi-Fi "do so at their own risk." By 2005, the US will have the largest total public Wi-Fi deployment, shooting past the current leader, Korea. -- April 20, 2004

  • The Fresno, California airport (Fresno Yosemite International) is adding Wi-Fi service that will be used by passing passengers and tenants of the airport. The service will be installed by ICOA's (Quote, Chart) Airport Network Solutions. Launch should take place in the next few months. Fresno Yosemite handled 1.1 million passengers last year and expects more in 2004. -- April 20, 2004

  • Wireless phone carriers Sprint (Quote, Chart) and AT&T Wireless (Quote, Chart) have announced a reciprocal roaming agreement for their burgeoning hotspot locations. This announcement specifically covers only five International airports, two run by Sprint PCS Wi-FI (Kansas City and the recently announced deployment at Salt Lake City) and three from AT&T Wireless (Denver, Philadelphia, and Raleigh-Durham). This deal doesn't appear to include all their locations (AT&T has some other airports) nor does it cross over with Sprint's other roaming deals with companies like Prices either service is just under $50 per month and they offer per day rates as well. -- April 19, 2004

  • Who needs a WISP? The Crowne Plaza hotel in Irvine, Calif., is running its own wireless access for guests, using a number of Netgear (Quote, Chart) ProSafe access points matched up with high-gain antennas for indoor and outdoor coverage -- equipment that only cost the hotel about $4000. The 335-room high-rise hotel is near the airport and the Wi-Fi access for guess will be property wide, and free of charge. -- April 19, 2004

  • Gearing up for a trip to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China? Since you've got four and a half years to plan for it, make a note: Capinfo Company, which will be providing the telecommunications infrastructure for the Olympics, is licensing the mesh networking technology of MeshNetworks. Capinfo's Digital Beijing initiative will include the MeshNetworks Enabled Architecture built into as many as 5000 interactive kiosks throughout the city so they can get real-time info on the games. It's not clear from the announcement whether the kiosks will provide any kind of wireless access for devices you might bring while there to watch the games. -- April 19, 2004

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