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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.
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.
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.)
Cute headline, I know, but it’s significant for The Cloud and the Square Mile: The Cloud will install extensive Wi-Fi service across the City over the next six months providing folks in bowler hats with the latest in mobile wireless data access. hrumpf.
No Wi-Fi in the Houses of Parliament in London make MPs surly: Equipment provided by the Parliament’s IT department have wireless communications disabled. MPs with their own laptops cannot use Wi-Fi within the Parliamentary Estate to access its network. While MPs are irritated, they also do clearly understand the security issues that have led to this.
It’s clear that the Houses of Parliament haven’t yet implemented 802.1X and end-point security, which would answer many of the concerns of security. With the appropriate client software for the two functions—some vendors can package both in one piece of software—logins are secured and restricted. The adapters (Bluetooth, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and dial-up) can be disabled except for specific networks. The 802.1X portion allows a secure connection to a specific network with enforceable policies.
UK-based The Cloud hotspot network will use Tropos mesh nodes for municipal mobile deployments: The deployments announced in early January cover London and eight other city centers in England. The Cloud has been aggressive in reselling its existing hotspot network through many other U.S. and international hotspot aggregators and integrators.
Chris Rittler, Tropos’ vice president of business development and product management, said, “They already have these roaming partnerships, and they have major service providers who are leveraging their networks.”
Mobility is the focus of these city center networks at least in the initial phases. Rittler said, “What they’re looking at is the part of the business case that’s the mobility part, so there’s an opportunity to get municipal workers—or anyone who’s really mobile—onto this network. And also make it more attractive as a hotspot service, too.”
Thomas Gee reports that the middle 5 GHz band can be used outdoors in France: This was much awaited because there is a lot of existing equipment and new interest in directional use of the 5 GHz band for point-to-multipoint links. BelAir, SkyPilot, and Strix, to name three companies, use 5 GHz for their mesh backhaul systems in the U.S. The new rules allow up to 1 watt EIRP (effective output) for the 5.470 to 5.725 GHz range.