May Newsbits

By Naomi Graychase

May 30, 2008

HughesNet satellite broadband subscribers can now pay for access at Wayport's hotspots; Ekahau's RTLS and Site Survey products support 802.11n; Sneek peak at the new iPhone?; MtronPTI introduces WiMAX cavity filter series; Watch home TV channels from anywhere on your S60 mobile device; BelAir retains mesh market lead; and more.

Hughes Network Systems, a global provider of broadband satellite network solutions and services, has reached an agreement with Wayport to provide Wi-Fi services to its HughesNet subscribers. For $14.99 per month, HughesNet subscribers can now get Wi-Fi access at Wayport’s 10,000+ locations in the U.S.

The agreement was motivated in part by the results of a study conducted by Hughes that showed its subscribers “are constantly on the go.” 

HughesNet is available throughout the continental U.S., and currently serves over 400,000 consumers and small businesses in over 26,000 zip codes underserved by cable and DSL. To date, Hughes has shipped more than 1.5 million systems to customers in over 100 countries.

For more on Wayport, read "March Newsbits," "February Newsbits," and "January Newsbits."

For more on Hughes, read "DIRECWAY Satellite to Power WLANs," "Hotspots the DirectWay," and "2008: The Year of In-Flight Wi-Fi?".

May 29, 2008

Ekahau, a U.S.-based provider of Wi-Fi-based Real Time Location Systems (RTLS), announced today that its Ekahau RTLS location tracking solution and Ekahau Site Survey (ESS) Wi-Fi network planning and optimization tools will work seamlessly with the upcoming 802.11n standard.

“802.11n is the next big wave in the enterprise networking market, so it is very important that our solutions will continue working over this new standard,” said Pauli Misikangas, Ekahau’s CTO in a press release today. “With 802.11n, the quality of signal measurements actually increases, which positively impacts accuracy of the Ekahau RTLS solution. Unlike some other less sophisticated systems, our patented probabilistic algorithms can take the full advantage of the 802.11n’s MIMO technology with multiple antennas.”

According to Ekahau, ESS is the only site survey tool on the market that enables RTLS deployment after the standard Wi-Fi site survey, by creating an RTLS positioning model from the survey data.  Ekahau RTLS 4.X (which supports 802.11n) is available now. ESS 4.5., which will include the 802.11n support, will ship during the 3Q08. Existing customers with an active support and maintenance contract will receive the ESS 802.11n upgrades free of charge.

For more on Ekahau, read "Ekahau Adds Location Applications," "Ekahau's "Infrastructureless" Tags," and "February Newsbits."

For more on RTLS, read "UWB Brings Greater Precision to RTLS," The Doctor is In: Wi-Fi's Increasingly Valuable Role in the Business of Healthcare," and "Location, Location, Location"

**

Earlier this month, AT&T listed a new iPhone model, "iPhone Black," on its account management site. Could this be the upcoming 3G iPhone we're all expecting Apple to release within the next couple of months? After all, the finish of the rear of that eagerly-awaited smartphone is a glossy black, as rumored leaks and pictures have revealed over the last few weeks.

Whatever the significance of the listing, it can be seen as yet another indication that the days of the creepy crawly EDGE-enabled iPhone will soon come to an end. For more click here.

May 27, 2008

MtronPTI, a wholly owned subsidiary of the LGL Group and a leading producer of frequency control and filter products, has introduced a configurable cavity filter system designed specifically for WiMAX applications.

"The WiMAX Cavity Filter Series is a powerful response to the ever evolving technology demands of our most successful customers," said Joe Doyle, VP Engineering at MtronPTI in a press release today. "We are heavily engaged with major players in this technology sector as an overall strategic supplier. This level of technological advancement can only strengthen our relationships with these customers."

The new MtronPTI cavity filter system, designed for WiMAX applications and other wireless metro area network systems, covers the 2.3-to-2.7-GHz frequency range. These filters allow only the desired signals within the WiMAX frequency band to be passed from antenna to receiver, thereby allowing the receiver to distinguish between wanted and unwanted signals. According to MtronPTI, this is the only configurable device on the market that allows for short manufacturing cycle time.

MtronPTI says that standard housings can be reconfigured to reduce lead times for custom applications.

**

Monsoon Multimedia, a digital video solutions provider, today announced HAVA Mobile Player for S60, a TV place-shifting video-streaming solution for S60 3rd edition on Symbian OS. The HAVA Mobile Player enables HAVA owners  to view and control all of their home television channels and services from anywhere in the world on a mobile device regardless of the source (cable or satellite, receiver or DVR, standard or high definition). Monsoon Multimedia will be showcasing the new software at the S60 Summit 2008, held in Barcelona, Spain, May 28-29, 2008.

**

BelAir Networks announced today that is has been named the worldwide wireless mesh node market leader based on revenue for the third consecutive quarter, according to Dell’Oro Group’s  Q1 2008 Wireless LAN quarterly report.  The company also maintained its leadership position for units shipped in the first quarter of 2008. 

For more on BelAir, read "Carpe Diem: BelAir Seizes New Opportunities in Muni Wi-Fi," "Boston Banks on Non-profit Model," and "Muni Mesh Proving its "Mettle" in Minneapolis."

**

A site called iTookThisOnMyPhone.com provides a free service that automatically uploads photos and video taken on a smartphone to a user’s personal, online gallery hosted by the company. It has just released Version 2.0 for RIM smartphones with integrated cameras, such as the various BlackBerry Curve and BlackBerry Pearl models.

With the software, you take a picture or shoot a video and it's automatically uploaded to the Web without having to do anything else. Images can be managed directly on your BlackBerry and online, where you can share your photos and videos with others. You can choose to keep uploaded media private as well.

For more info, click here.

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.

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    iPass, a twelve-year-old mobility services company based in Redwood Shores, CA, received feather in its cap this week.   The iPass Mobile Office service was named "Best Mobile Solution" at the Software & Information Industry Association's (SIIA) 23rd annual CODiE Awards gala last night.   The Mobile Solution category awards the best software application, software service, or infrastructure solution that enables access to software functionality and boosts the productivity and adaptability of a mobile device. iPass was selected from a field of five finalists for the peer-reviewed award. .
 
Currently in use at more than 3,500 companies around the world, iPass Mobile Office provides mobile workers with one-click access to their desktop, Internet, corporate network, and VPN through the world's largest virtual network--including over 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspot locations, hotel Ethernet, and mobile broadband in more than 160 countries. The service integrates device management, connectivity management and security functions into the connection process to give IT departments centralized control over remote and mobile devices.
 
For more on iPass, read "iPass Offers Worldwide Hotspot Access to SMBs and Consumers," "iPass Takes Care of ISP Financials," and "iPass Heads North."

**

PDAStreet's James Alan Miller reports that Check Point VPN-1 now supports the Apple iPhone. So the virtual private networking gateway will protect data as it moves between the iPhone and the corporate data network through an encrypted connection.

It works by supporting the embedded iPhone L2TP client. That means iPhoners can receive e-mail and use company resources without installing additional software on their Apple smartphone.

According to Check Point, VPN-1 administrators can take advantage of a shared secret password and certificates for all iPhones on the network with specific login credentials for each end user. The company asserts this feature eliminates the need for IT to create separate gateway authentication keys for each device, therefore easing the deployment of iPhones on the network.

Overall, VPN-1 enables IT to choose from accelerated security, unified threat management security or virtualized security– all with a unified architecture that is managed and maintained from a single console.

You can learn more about learn more about VPN-1 here.

**

Mobile Monday Mid-Atlantic issued a press release today summarizing the remarks of Philadelphia City Councilman At-Large Bill Green who spoke to the group on Monday about EarthLink’s decision to terminate its network in Philadelphia.

The release says that Councilman Green is urging completion of the network, which purportedly covers 80% of the 135-square-mile city. He believes that the network, properly utilized, could save the city $3 million/per year in the short-term and up to $10-15 million per year in the longer term. He is calling for the city to take on the project of completing and maintaining the network.

Green was quoted in the release as saying, “Earthlink has invested $20 million in building a city-wide Wi-Fi infrastructure that Philadelphia should be proud of–at zero cost to the taxpayer. The market has now moved on and EarthLink’s original business model no longer stacks up. But the unique business opportunities that would be made possible by ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage in Philadelphia more than justify the additional investment needed to complete the network build and keep Wireless Philadelphia alive.”

He believes that city workers would benefit greatly from having mobile access to all the information and resources provided by Philadelphia’s fiber-optic LAN.

“The impact on cost savings and efficiency would be dramatic,” he was quoted as saying.

He also expounded on the virtues of free city-wide Wi-Fi to business and lower-income communities. There was no statement regarding how the network would be funded in future, or what business model Green might suggest.

For more on EarthLink and Philadelphia, read "EarthLink Scores with Philadelphia," "Winning Municipal Business," and "EarthLink Ends Philly Wi-Fi."

For more on muni Wi-Fi deployments, read "Don't Count Metro Wi-Fi (or Earthlink) Out Just Yet," Muni Wi-Fi's Second Chance," and "An Eye For Muni Wi-Fi."

For more on digitial inclusion initiatives and the issue of free muni/metro Wi-Fi, read: "Can Muni Wi-Fi be Free?," "Opinion: How Free Wi-Fi Hurts the Poor," and "Bridging the Gap in Houston."

**

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 20, 2008

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted Aruba Networks’ request for a reexamination of U.S. Patent No. 7,173,922 held by Symbol Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola.

The Patent Office agreed that prior art submitted by Aruba raises “a substantial new question of patentability.” The Patent Office also issued an Office Action rejecting 36 of the patent’s 45 claims as invalid.

Symbol Technologies was originally granted the patent in question on February 6, 2007. The request for reexamination was filed by Aruba in federal district court in Delaware.

**

Microsoft has completed its purchase of Sidekick smartphone-maker Danger, an acquisition announced by the companies in February. Rather than Windows Mobile, which Redmond's been pushing in one form or another for the past eight years, the Sidekick, available from T-Mobile in the U.S., runs on Danger's own hiptop platform. For more, read "Microsoft Completes Buy of Sidekick Smartphone Maker, Danger."

May 19, 2008

Philadelphia Councilman At-Large, Bill Green, will speak tonight about the "EarthLink controversy." The talk, entitled, "Why and How Philadelphia Must React to EarthLink’s Pull-out," will be held tonight from 6-8pm at the Union League Club of Philadelphia (140 South Broad Street).

Councilman Green will address the global wireless networking group "Mobile Monday" to discuss the issue.  According to a press release issued Friday, he will "give an update on the prospects for the once flagship municipal Wi-Fi project, and will take questions and comments from the Mobile Monday Mid-Atlantic membership."

After Green's talk, a previously scheduled panel discussion on the topic of "Mobile in the Enterprise: Best practices; What's hot and what's not; Predicting what's next" will take place from 8-9pm. Panelists include:

- Sandeep Bhanote, CEO, Global Bay

- JP Finnell, CEO, Mobility Partners

- Don Grust, VP Marketing and Business Development, Apacheta

- Mark Paul, Regional Manager, Motorola

- Charles Weg, Mobility Applications, AT&T

- Frederic Wilf, Technology Law, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

The event will be moderated by Bob Pons, Senior Vice President, TMNG Global, and is sponsored by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and the Wharton Club of Philadelphia. Attendance is free. More information and event registration at http://www.momo-ma.com/.

May 14, 2008

LG and Samsung signed an agreement today to develop and promote a North American mobile/handheld Digital TV (DTV) standard. The companies will jointly develop and propose technology for a mobile/handheld DTV standard to the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC). ATSC is expected to adopt the mobile/handheld DTV standard for the North American market in early 2009 following trials of the technology by the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), a group of leading U.S. broadcasters who are promoting the development and early deployment of mobile DTV.

JongWoo Park, President of Samsung Digital Media Business, said in a press release today, "Our collaboration on North American mobile DTV standardization will help accelerate the ATSC standardization of mobile TV technology, which will benefit both consumers and broadcasters."

May 12, 2008

Wayport will be providing high-speed Internet access at three Trump hotel and casino properties in Atlantic City, N.J.--Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Trump Marina Hotel Casino, and Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.

Wi-Fi will be available in guest rooms, meeting rooms, and the common areas of all three properties.

"When Group Leaders choose the best options for accommodations and amenities for meeting-goers, they have come to expect the latest communication technology be available for their attendees during their stay. Keeping them connected to their home offices and families is vital to their productivity while traveling," said Joan Mooney, Executive Director of Hotel Sales, Trump Entertainment Resorts in a release issued by Wayport on Tuesday. "Working with Wayport to install and provide wireless Internet access at all three Trump Atlantic City properties was seamless and allows us to have that competitive edge when pitching meetings against cities like Orlando, San Diego and New York."

**

Tritton’s new AX Visor Bluetooth car kit ($119.99) offers an OLED display for caller ID, an auto-connect feature, up to 400 hours of stand by time, and dual microphones all in a package that is smaller than a dollar. The AX Visor Universal Bluetooth car kit serves as a portable speakerphone when linked via Bluetooth to a mobile phone and is available now. 

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.

**

For those interested in learning more about successful WLAN deployments in K-12 environments, Cisco will be hosting a live Webcast on Monday, May 5th from 10:00-10:45 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

Representatives from two North American K-12 school districts (one American, one Canadian) will discuss their vision, strategy, and experiences leveraging Cisco’s networking and wireless solutions. IT professionals from School District No. 23 in Kelowna, British Columbia and the award-winning Brevard School District, in Viera, Florida will discuss the planning and deployment of their networks.

The discussion will also highlight K-12 education and technology trends, characteristics of 21st century schools, and will feature a live Q&A session.

To register for the Webcast, click here. For those unable to attend the live Webcast, it will be available for replay at the same URL starting on Tuesday, May 6, at 10:00 a.m. PDT.

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-FiPlanet.

Originally published on .

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