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July 2006 | June 2006 | May 2006 | April 2006 | March 2006 | February 2006 | January 2006 | December 2005 | November 2005 | October 2005 | September 2005 | August 2005 | July 2005 | June 2005 | May 2005 | April 2005 | March 2005 | February 2005 | January 2005 | December 2004 |

Recent Entries

Paris Will Push Free Wi-Fi
River Thames Added to iPass Roaming Network
Aeropuertos Gain Wi-Fi across Spain
Enforta Covers 15 Russian Cities
Six Million Wi-Fi Users in Spain
Barmen: Wi-Fi? What's That?
Bologna Adds Free Wi-Fi
BT Will Cover 12 Cities with Wi-Fi
The Cloud Goes Ultracheap with Unlimited Access
Iliad Adds Free Wi-Fi Calling, HDTV

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This site operates as an independent editorial operation. Advertising, sponsorships, and other non-editorial materials represent the opinions and messages of their respective origins, and not of the site operator or JiWire, Inc.


Entire site and all contents except otherwise noted © Copyright 2001-2006 by Glenn Fleishman. Some images ©2006 Jupiterimages Corporation. All rights reserved. Please contact us for reprint rights. Linking is, of course, free and encouraged.

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July 5, 2006

Paris Will Push Free Wi-Fi

By Glenn Fleishman

The mayor wants 400 free hotspots next year: The city will allow use of public property to assist in antenna location by private firms who will obtain contracts. The proposal will also cut fiber optic fees to promote extension of those lines to 80 percent of Parisian buildings by 2010.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 4:41 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: free, hotspots | Comments (0)

June 27, 2006

River Thames Added to iPass Roaming Network

By Glenn Fleishman

Global access aggregator and end-point security provider iPass punts: Thames Online, which operates Wi-Fi along a 10-mile stretch of that well-known river in London, will allow iPass customers to roam onto their network. The network reaches 250,000 residents, and sees 2,000 daily users who commute along the river or work at locations nearby. iPass resells access from over 50,000 hotspots worldwide to corporations through a single login and unified, electronic billing.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 5:35 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Aggregators, roaming, trains, planes, and automobiles | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 20, 2006

Aeropuertos Gain Wi-Fi across Spain

By Glenn Fleishman

The Spanish airport authority has approved installations of Wi-Fi in 23 locations: Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, and Malaga are already up and running, with 19 to go over the next 18 months. The service combines public access for passengers with airport operations networking that includes voice over IP. The Madrid network comprises 1,000 radios!

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 5:11 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: air travel | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Enforta Covers 15 Russian Cities

By Glenn Fleishman

The firm announced today that Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Omsk, and Novokuznetsk have broadband wireless coverage: This is a total of 15 regional capital cities with their service; they’ll grow to 29 regional capitals by the end of 2007. So far, the company says, they’ve signed up 2,000 users in their initial cities. Service with Internet and voice service starts at $49 per month. They use Alvarion and Infinet Wireless equipment.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 2:31 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: service launches | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 15, 2006

Six Million Wi-Fi Users in Spain

By Glenn Fleishman

El Pais reports that about 6m Spanish computer users connect via Wi-Fi, primarily in the largest cities: THe paper puts Madrid and Barcelona in the top two positions, with over 800,000 users and 700,000 users, respectively. Valencia, Seville, and Bilbao are 3, 4, and 5 with substantially fewer (about 300K, 250K, and 150K).

Barcelona has the most access points (21K), but I’m missing a subtlety of Spanish: most are “son privados,” which I think means intended to be private, and the rest are “privados,” which just means private. (Native speaker help here, please?)

The top six cities have about 2,500 commercial hotspots, half of which are in hotels, bars, and restaurants.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 6:46 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: hotspots | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 12, 2006

Barmen: Wi-Fi? What’s That?

By Glenn Fleishman says widespread Wi-Fi ignorance among tap pullers: found that the service is up and running as expected in many locations, but that staff on site have no blooming idea what in Hades you’re talking about. The Cloud, which equips 1,000 pubs with Wi-Fi, is working on an education campaign for its locations. Their marketing head was quite honest about its use, too: “Wireless internet use in pubs is fairly sporadic but we see them as an excellent target looking forward to the next few years.”

This makes perfect sense: As handheld devices increasingly have Wi-Fi, it’s much more likely to be used by those who frequent a pub. Laptops? Not so likely.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 8:36 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: hotspots, unique | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 8, 2006

Bologna Adds Free Wi-Fi

By Glenn Fleishman

A private firm with city and university support has installed free Wi-Fi: The Italian town benefits from the interest in experimentation, with the local university and foundations named after Marconi—it’s his home town, after all—contribute to the effort in exchange for testing ideas. The network, built by HI-TEL Italia working with local ISP Acantho uses RoamAD equipment.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 5:50 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: free, municipal networks | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 17, 2006

BT Will Cover 12 Cities with Wi-Fi

By Glenn Fleishman

BT will compete with The Cloud on unwiring UK cities: The telecoms giant said that they will be working with Intel to unwire 12 cities, starting with Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, and Westminster; six others haven’t yet been named. The company says they will work closely with local councils to focus initial rollouts on areas the cities deem important, such as deprived areas. Other cities may want handheld video for municipal workers. The first phase will be up and running by Feb 2007.

With BT’s emerging UMA focus—that’s unlicensed mobile access, or a seamless merge of Wi-Fi networks and cell networks for phone calls—offering more Wi-Fi over large areas offers them more opportunity to serve more calls at lower cost, and possibly with higher quality. Cell service, UMA, and metro-scale Wi-Fi all go hand in hand. BT currently offers a limited cell plus Bluetooth service, but will add Wi-Fi to some cell phones and plans in third quarter.

BT’s group director of mobility is quoted in this story about the interest by smaller towns. They were “inundated” with requests and will be “happy to work in partnership with them.” Some cities may co-invest with BT on providing service.

The Cloud, a hotspot network, announced plans in January to cover nine city centres with Wi-Fi, including the City of London, Manchester, and Birmingham. Birmingham has scored two goals here: they’ll have local Wi-Fi competition.

In Edinburgh, there’s particular interest because it would be the first city in Scotland to have city-wide coverage.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 8:15 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: municipal networks | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 4, 2006

The Cloud Goes Ultracheap with Unlimited Access

By Glenn Fleishman

The Cloud’s UltraWiFi offering provides unlimited usage on its network for £11.99 ($22.50) per month with 1-year commitment: The subscription will be available starting 1 July 2006. This is a shot across the bow to every single other Wi-Fi provider in the UK, where rates are typically astoundingly and irritatingly high compared to the U.S.  and Asia. Europe has generally remained at a two to three times multiple over prices in those regions.

UltraWiFi comes in two flavors: Monthly for £11.99 with a one-year commitment, and weekly at the same rate of £11.99 but on a pay-as-you-go basis. That is, a week of unlimited Wi-Fi (any week you choose) is the same as a month without the ongoing commitment.

Because The Cloud has over 7,000 locations, including railroad stations, hotels, and airports, this pricing should produce a squeeze on competitors operating in similar venues, notably T-Mobile UK. The Cloud will start offering city centre service in the City of London soon, and in eight other UK centres in the coming months. This kind of pricing and coverage makes Wi-Fi a practical alternative to mobile phone service, or at least a good complement for dual-mode phones. The Guardian writes more about this.

In the U.S., T-Mobile offers unlimited Wi-Fi at about 7,000 locations (mostly retail, but some airports) for $20 (£11)/month for voice subscribers or $30 (£16)/month for others (1-year commitment), or $40 (£22)/month on a month-to-month basis. In the UK, T-Mobile charges £23.50 ($44) per month for unlimited usage. That’s a huge differential; it may boil down to which venues people use.

Update: An alert reader noted that T-Mobile UK has a very aggressive 3G cellular data plan that throws in Wi-Fi access. Sign up with a 12-month plan for Web ‘n’ Walk Professional and get a PC Card, quasi-unlimited 3G service, and 12 months of unlimited Wi-Fi service for £20 ($38) per month. The card is £60 with a 12-month plan or free with an 18-month commitment. (Quasi-unlimited? Like most cell operators, T-Mobile says any word means whatever they want it to mean. A long footnote explains that usage of more than 2 GB of data transfer per month will be scrutinized, and you could be throttled down after two consecutive months of such use. VoIP is prohibited.) In the US, T-Mobile offers unlimited GPRS plus unlimited Wi-Fi to voice subscribers for $50 per month with a year’s commitment.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 1:14 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: hotspots | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 20, 2006

Iliad Adds Free Wi-Fi Calling, HDTV

By Glenn Fleishman

The French telecom competitor adds calls over Wi-Fi to settop box: The company’s Freebox already offered unlimited domestic calls (to landlines and metropolitan areas) and unlimited calls to 14 other countries. The new version adds VoIP over Wi-Fi and will work with Wi-Fi-only handsets or dual-mode handsets, although they don’t have deal with a mobile operator yet. The new service also adds high-definition television channels. All that for €29.99 per month!

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 10:08 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: service launches, voice | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 31, 2006

GNER Moves Train Internet Access Up to August

By Glenn Fleishman

The GNER train operator will have Wi-Fi-based Internet access on all Mallard trains by Aug. 2006: They originally had expected it no earlier than May 2007. GNER operates the East Coast Line from Kings Cross in London through Peterborough, York, Newcastle, and Edinburgh.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 7:21 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: trains, planes, and automobiles | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 29, 2006

Royal KPN, T-Mobile Sign Roaming Deal

By Glenn Fleishman

Subscribers of the two networks can roam across networks: T-Mobile has over 700 hotspots in the Netherlands. Royal KPN has about 650. This deal covers just the Dutch locations, despite T-Mobile’s several thousand other European locations and nearly 7,000 in the U.S.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 5:50 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: hotspots, roaming | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 28, 2006

£480-a-Day Wi-Fi

By Glenn Fleishman

Writer and blogger Ben Hammersley is in London at the most expensive hotspot in the world: London hotels have been cited in the past for egregious Wi-Fi pricing and ridiculous terms. One required special cards and software, and soured a number of travel writers for years on Wi-FI’s potential. The hotel charges a “mere” £15 a day for guests to have Internet access, but conference room users—Ben is there for the Guardian Changing Media Summit—pay £10 per 30 minutes. Now Ben exaggerates that it’s £480 for 24 hours, because you’d only pay while using it. But at, say, a ten hour day for £200, almost any alternative is cheaper. [link via BoingBoing]

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 2:16 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: hotspots, user anecdote | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 24, 2006

Trustive Increases Roaming Network

By Glenn Fleishman

Trustive adds 1,400 hotspots: Trustive resells access to its aggregated network of hotspot providers. They just added AWA in Spain (1,200 locations), Wiera in Hungary (160), M3-Connect in Germany (75 large venues), and Mobitel in Slovenia (55 varied locations).

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 6:20 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Aggregators, hotspots | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 15, 2006

The Cloud Bags Six UK Airports

By Glenn Fleishman

The Cloud will install Wi-Fi service for BAA in six airports: Stanstead is live, with Heathrow, Gatwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Southampton to follow. Heathrow is now up to four unique Wi-Fi operators, not including a Google experiment—I noted that Surf and Sip becoming the third back in December. BAA operates seven airports; Aberdeen isn’t included in this announcement. The Cloud resells access to its network to an enormous list of hotspot aggregators and other providers.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 1:59 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: air travel | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 9, 2006

Always Online in UK

By Glenn Fleishman

 41408898 Wi Fi Inf416BBC’s Mark Ward writes about the social change that ubiquitous Wi-Fi might bring: The UK is booming with wireless networks, with the latest announcements offering seamless coverage across The City of London and Canary Wharf. There’s a growing expectation that ubiquitous high-speed Internet access will transform how companies work. Telecommuting versus mobile computing, let’s say. Likewise, customers will soon be computing everywhere, too, changing what companies need to provide to them.

Accompanying the main article is a separate piece defining some terms, but including two great graphics: one shows how a hotzone works. The other identifies areas in England and Scotland and within London that have or are planning to add hotzones.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 3:48 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: hotspots, municipal networks | Comments (0)

March 7, 2006

National Express Tries Bus-Fi

By Glenn Fleishman

Nationalexpress060306Telabria, National Express pair for on-bus Internet access: While this press release isn’t online anywhere yet, the two companies have apparently released the news that Telabria equipment will be used in a trial of on-bus Internet access via Wi-Fi. The 010 London to Cambridge route will offer Wi-Fi service with the uplink provided by a 3G cellular data connection which they rate at “up to 300 Kbps.” The network will get a speed bump through a Telabria upgrade later this year when UK mobile carriers upgrade to HSDPA, which could provide as much as 1.5 Mbps of downstream bandwidth. The service is available for free at the moment, but when it’s out of trials, the two companies said the platform will allow mobile carriers to offer bus service as an add-on to existing customers.

National Express serves 18 million passengers per year across 1,000 routes in the UK. There’s a flyer on the National Express site in PDF form that has no real additional information (image at upper right).

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 12:22 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: trains, planes, and automobiles | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 27, 2006

Hopling Covers 70 Dutch Rail Stations with Wi-Fi

By Glenn Fleishman

Hopling, KPN installed service in 20 major and 50 smaller stations for the National Dutch Rail Authority: Hopling uses mesh networking to provide service across the larger stations, and simpler points of service for the smaller ones.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 11:06 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: trains, planes, and automobiles | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 23, 2006


By Glenn Fleishman

Thames Online Service adds eight miles of river-covering Wi-Fi: Ah, punt down the Thames in London (if you dare) and use free Wi-Fi during this trial phase. It will later be US$5 an hour.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 8:37 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: hotspots, unique | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 22, 2006

The Times Excoriates UK Wi-Fi Prices

By Glenn Fleishman

A Sunday Times of London columnist shreds the notion of for-fee Wi-Fi: He doesn’t like paying for Wi-Fi, for starters, and especially not the prices that are considered reasonable in England. He’s complained to Britain’s spectrum regulator, Ofcom, which seemed to have little interest, and wonders why Wi-Fi hasn’t graduated to amenity status. He notes that two major networks, BT OpenZone and T-Mobile charge £6 and £5 per hour, respectively. (It would be hard to find a US service that charged as much as £3.50 or $6 per hour in the U.S., possibly because of so much free competition.)

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 6:30 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: free, hotspots | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)