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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.
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!
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.
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.
Silicon.com says widespread Wi-Fi ignorance among tap pullers: Silicon.com 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.
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.