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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.
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.
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]
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).
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.
BBC’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.
Telabria, 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).