Hotspot Hits for June 18, 2004

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

June 18, 2004

Montpelier, Vermont finishes phase one of city wide rollout; warning for ID theft; many schools getting their wireless on; and more.

  • The City of Montpelier, Vermont, is trying to put itself on the wireless municipality map. Phase one of MontpelierNet is done -- it involved installing the backbone and connecting city services to save on leased lines. Later phases will put all residents and businesses in range of the signal, which is expected to cover 10 square miles. The network is being installed by Summit Technologies of Burlington. Backend billing and user authentication will be provided by Tadaa Wireless. -- June 18, 2004

  • London-based security systems integrator Integralis is warning that users at hotspots in Europe and the US could be victims of identity theft if they have SMS service on their Bluetooth-enabled T-Mobile or Vodafone handsets. A flaw in the SMS validation process is the culprit. Hackers jack up your bill by using it to get unlimited Internet access at hotspots, or they open multiple hotspot accounts. This only impacts users who use their mobile phone to register for hotspot access via SMS. Once they send in a code word, the user gets back a password that allows access. If the handset used also supports Bluetooth, a hacker can initiate SMS contact with the phone itself to get the same code and use it. Integralis has a list of vulnerable phones on its Web site. -- June 17, 2004

  • As of July, the cable customers of Alpha Broadcasting in Apache Junction and Pinal County, Arizona, can go online -- even those who are outside the boundaries of getting the cable, including parts of Mesa. The company is in a partnership with Corridor Communication , which will provide fixed-wireless broadband (based on 802.11) off of Alpha's main tower locations. Corridor will also assist Alpha in broadband cable modem service over existing lines. -- June 17, 2004

  • Go Mobile (AKA MobIsle Communications), which controls half of the mobile communications in the country of Malta, has deployed Azaire Network's platform to provide customers with integrated Wi-Fi and cellular service. Go Mobile subscribers now have multiple ways to authenticate on Wi-Fi networks run by Go Mobile, including using SIM technology and pre-paid vouchers. The company is also working on roaming trials right now. -- June 17, 2004

  • Ottawa Wireless of Grand Haven, Mich., is making high speed Internet access via Wi-Fi available to the entirety of its home city. It already has wireless installed across 120 city blocks and will cover six square miles in the next month and a half. Coverage will even extend into the waters of Lake Michigan for boater use. Residences can access it at $14.99 a month for 100Kpbs speed; businesses go to 512Kbps for $44.99 a month. The backhaul for the whole city is a single fiber connection and uses Wi-Fi equipment from Proxim. The provider is also beta testing a citywide mobile Wi-Fi phone service that would cost $19.99 a month. Ottawa Wireless is gearing up for more, having begun deployments in the nearby cities of Spring Lake, Ferrysburg and Bay Harbor, as well. -- June 16, 2004

  • Tampa Bay's Sailport Waterfront Suites Resort is the latest to enter StayOnline's Wi-Fi hotel network. 210 suites in the resort are new equipped to deliver Wi-Fi broadband to guests, as are areas like the pool, conference facility and restaurants. The hotel will offer StayOnline's EZAir USB Wi-Fi adapter to those with laptops not equipped with a wireless card. -- June 16, 2004

  • The GST Conferences' 2004 Canadian Telecom Summit, starting today in Toronto, has free Wi-Fi for all 500 attendees, courtesy of Sesame Networks. The company targets its service at enterprises for secure access using an Identity Management Process, but is offering this for free show off to potential customers. Once users get a Sesame ID they can access the Internet connection anywhere on the conference building, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. -- June 16, 2004

  • Mesh is coming to hotels: Strix Systems, which makes mesh products geared toward offices, is teaming with IP3 Networks to make a combined solution, mixing the Strix Access/One Network and the IP3 Network's NetAccess Gateway. They say it's an end-to-end solution for the hospitality industry. They plan to give one away free at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), June 22-24, in Dallas. The combined products are valued at $25,000. -- June 16, 2004

  • ICOA's Airport Network Solutions subsidiary has lit up another one: Spokane International Airport in Washington is now serving up Wi-Fi access to the 3 million passengers a year that pass through the terminal. Service will be free through July 16, and then they'll start charging users $6.95 per day for access. Airport information (flight schedules, security bulletins, etc.) will remain free. -- June 16, 2004
  • You can now get Wi-Fi at Amtrak train stations along the Northeast Corridor from Boston to Baltimore. It's part of a deal Amtrak announced earlier this year with AT&T Wireless . The six stations offering service are the Boston Route 128 Station, Providence, New York Penn Station, Philadelphia 30th Street Station, Wilmington, and the Baltimore Penn Station. AT&T Wireless customers can use their current credentials to get on the Wi-Fi and will see charges (using various pricing plans) added on their cell phone bill. Anyone else can get access for $9.99 per 24-hour period. AT&T Wireless offers free Connector Software to make connections "easier and faster." -- June 16, 2004

  • Is the city of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, the largest Wi-Fi hotspot in the world to date? Intel and Usurf say it is. The mesh network they've installed covers 103 square miles and provides access for the population of 58,000. The city is throwing a little shindig to celebrate on June 26 at Haynes Park and Rosko Field, which will be attended by the mayor, US congressional representatives, plus Intel and Usurf. There will be free food, entertainment, and demos of the wireless in action. -- June 16, 2004

  • As of today, Marriott International says that it has high-speed Internet access (HSIA) in 2000 hotels worldwide. 1,500 of them use Wi-Fi to provide said access. Service is free at Courtyard, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and SpringHill Suites hotels, and will be soon at Fairfield Inn. 220 Marriott and Renaissance hotels offer a "Wired for Business" deal that provides not only Ethernet-based Internet access, but also unlimited local and long-distance calls from the room for $9.95 per day. The company expects to have HSIA in all 2,700 of its locations by the end of this year. -- June 16, 2004

  • A few companies announced today that they're not too cool for school...

    AirWave Wireless says its patent-pending network management platform is now running the Wi-Fi at ten major universities: Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Indiana University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Miami, Stanford University Law School, the University of Oregon, University of California Hastings College of the Law, California State University at Monterey Bay, and the University of Dayton.

    Aruba Wireless Networks is shooting lower -- the K-12 world -- saying that its switching system is providing the wireless in "what is believed to be the largest installation of centralized Wi-Fi within any school district in the country," the Spring Independent School District (ISD) in Houston. This includes 25 elementary, middle and high schools with a total of 27,000 students and faculty. The network also runs video and voice systems (including the 2,000 VoIP phones used in the schools). Once this is all complete, every student will get a Wi-Fi device (laptops in high school and a handheld for middle and elementary students), headed toward 20,000 devices in five years.

    Foundry Networks is going to military school. The company's IronPoint wireless network will be running at the Virginia Military Institute, shooting for coverage in every building on campus by 2005. -- June 15, 2004

  • Birdstep Technology, the Norwegian company behind the IP Zone backend suite, used by wireless ISPs to run hotspots, is selling its IP Zone division to Aptilo Networks of Sweden. Aptilo will keep its name but Birdstep will remain a player as the major shareholder. The two say their systems were "built on the same architectural platform" but that they do not have overlapping customers. The merged company will have the benefit of having customers already in place, including T-Mobile, Gemtek, and Telenor. The new Aptilo is expected to be valued at 28 million Euros. -- June 15, 2004

  • Montreal-based Videotron launched a Wi-Fi hotspot service late last year and today held a press conference to talk about expansion. It's already available in 14 hotels in Quebec, including Le Capitole de Quebec, Hotel Clarendon, Hotel Val-des-neiges, Hotel Le Meridien Versailles-Montreal, Chateau Versailles, Ramada Plaza Manoir du Casino, and others. (They also provide cable television service in around 44,000 hotel rooms). Videotron recently expanded into wireless in public spots like cafis and restaurants including the Restaurant Michelangelo (Sainte-Foy) and Cafi du Globe (Sherbrooke). They're going to be behind the wireless in Starbucks Coffee Shops throughout the province. -- June 14, 2004

  • One community tried to go to a paid Wi-Fi hotspot model and found it didn't work out -- so they're going back to free access. The location is the World Exchange Plaza in Ottawa, powered by BelNet Communications and AirRoamer. The announcement said that after they moved to a pay-per-use system, usage was "extremely low." To get online, however, users have to enter a cellular phone number to confirm their identity, to prevent people abusing the connection, especially for criminal purposes. -- June 14, 2004

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