Archive for the ‘Wi-Fi’ category

Air Canada Goes GoGo.

September 10, 2008

Aircell, the provider of 800 MHz cellular towers that connect to aircraft in North America, announced today that Air Canada, Canada’s largest airline, will offer the Aircell mobile broadband service.

The Gogo wireless service will be available to passengers on trans-border flights and makes Air Canada the first Canadian airline to offer inflight Wi-Fi.

Under this agreement, Air Canada will roll out the Gogo system on select flights, initially installing the system on its Airbus A319 aircraft that fly across the border into the United States. The airline expects to begin its initial deployment by spring 2009.

Air Canada and Aircell expect that the Gogo service will eventually provide passengers with seamless coverage from key Air Canada cities such as Montreal and Toronto to every Air Canada market in the continental U.S.


Wi-Fi Gets a Roaming Standard — 802.11r.

August 29, 2008

 The IEEE has completed 802.11r, a standard that lets Wi-Fi devices roam quickly between access points, improving the performance of VoIP on enterprise LANs.

The IEEE 802.11 standards were originally defined with single access points in mind. But when devices move from one access point to another, it takes around 100ms to re-associate, and several seconds to re-establish authenticated connections using 802.1x. That will drop a voice call.

The new standard, IEEE 802.11r, is also known as Fast Basic Service Set Transition. It allows the network to establish a security and QoS state for the device at the new access point, before it roams between the two, so the transition can take place in less than 50ms – the standard required for voice roaming.

The IEEE has been working on 802.11r for four years, and the concept has been solid since 2005, but the standard was formally approved and published by the IEEE this summer. The 802.11r standard will govern the way roaming mobile clients communicate with access points, establish security associations and reserve QoS resources. Under 802.11r, clients can use the current access point as a conduit to other access points, allowing clients to minimize disruptions caused by changing channels.

All New Close Proximity Wireless Technology by Sony and others.

July 17, 2008

Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Toshiba JVC, Kodak, Hitachi and “others” have today announced that they’re forming the Transferjet consortium to develop an “interoperable wireless transfer technology.” Sounding like a challenge to Bluetooth, Transferjet will apparently operate at a theoretical 560 Mbps rate. Plus it could allow pairing as simply as touching two devices together: your camera could display pics on TV simply by sitting it atop the screen. Sounds like a great consumer solution, but since the consortium has yet to define specs, it’ll be a while until the project bears fruit. With big players like this aboard though, other wireless data systems must be feeling the pressure.

TransferJet Press Release: Consortium Established to Develop and Promote Close Proximity Wireless Technology “TransferJet”.

Mobile hot-spots from …Chrysler!

June 26, 2008

ChryslerWiFi Chrysler would be bringing in-car WiFi to its 2009 lineup. The system will be part of the next-gen UConnect system, feature a 3G-to-WiFi router hidden within the car and require a monthly subscription fee to use the service. Chrysler says the system will run at 600-800kbps down and 200kbps up, and should work with game consoles in vehicles with rear-seat monitors. It’s still not clear whether Chrysler will run the service as its own MNVO or use another provider directly, but pricing is expected to be similar to WLAN PC cards, and there shouldn’t be any long-term contracts involved. 

Los Angeles Times: Information superhighway: Chrysler to turn 2009 vehicles into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots.

Utah’s FrontRunnerAir.

June 13, 2008


The newly launched 40-mile commuter rail line, FrontRunner, goes official with its free Wi-Fi has unwired the 12 double-decker trains on this new line, which opened for service in late April. About 1,000 passengers ride the route from Ogden to Salt Lake City each day (as of mid-May), and the service logged 700 users per day just a few days ago. Speeds aren’t noted yet.

That’s an insanely large percentage of riders using the service, so it’s possible ridership has increased even more than the mid-May figures indicate, or the commuters are really intense computer and handheld users. Also, note that the FAQ for the authority’s overall Wi-Fi service requires you to be 18 years or older. It is Utah, after all—a minor might do something dirty with the service and the transit authority would be held responsible. The authority offers Wi-Fi on some buses, too.

The network is backed by fiber that runs alongside the track, which can make a huge difference in the ability to bring in backhaul. Other train lines have to work with either or both cellular and satellite backhaul, although Nomad typically uses fixed WiMax, as they are in this deployment. They’re finishing up a 600 km London to Glasgow route for Virgin in the UK, which will be vastly larger than any other Internet-equipped route in the world.

This is one of the first major production service launches of train-based Wi-Fi in the U.S. VIA Rail in Canada is the only other in-production system offering in-transit Wi-Fi on a train line in North America. There are several trials, pilots, and phased-in plans underway. 

FrontRunner: Internet on the Go.

Utah, Provo Telecom, Inc. Not any more.

June 6, 2008


City mayors, believed, that building a telecom foundation is like building Lego blocks. Plug the fiber, add services and collect the money! Its not that easy. Take a moment a look what is happening in telecom arena.

Provo, Utah borrowed $39.5 million to finance its dream FTTH network with plans to provide the city with TV, Internet and phone service. This week, they decided to sell what had become a municipal nightmare for $40.6 million to the only bidder: Broadweave Networks.

Visions of a profitable state-of-the-art fiber network for city residents never materialized. The system peaked at 10,000 subscribers in September of 2007, and Provo had to continue to subsidize the network to the tune of $2 million a year. Between 2003 and 2007 it poured some $7 million into the project, with one analysis saying Provo had lost $14 million on the FTTH network since its inception and stood to lose another $15 million over the next five years.

The City Council voted 4-3 in favor of the sale with some council members worried Broadweave—a previously unheralded telecom—was biting off more than it could chew, and that he city would be stuck with an expensive white elephant down the road.

“I’m not sure I am with Broadweave as a company,” said Councilwoman Cynthia Clark. “They are young and they are inexperienced.”

The Salt Lake Tribune: Council splits, votes to sell troubled iProvo network.

Catch me if you can.

June 4, 2008

Oklahoma Route 66 Oklahoma City is boasting of having the world’s largest municipal WiFi mesh network, but for whatever reason, it’s being reserved exclusively for “public safety and other City operations.” In other words, it’s not there to provide wireless internet access to the general public at the moment. The network itself covers 555 square miles with 95% service coverage in the city’s core, took two years to construct and was funded with $5 million from “public safety capital sales tax and City capital improvement funds.”

Network World: Municipal Wi-Fi: Alive and Well in Government Apps.