WiFI Hot spots for Canada

Broadband Boy
Great news for travellers and Wi-Fi toys... How much would you pay?

Bell Canada unveils trial of wireless Net access

Launch of 'hot spots' in three Canadian
cities follows burgeoning trend in U.S.


Wednesday, December 11, 2002

TORONTO -- Bell Canada yesterday launched a trial of "hot spots" providing wireless high-speed Internet access, following a burgeoning trend in the United States.

"Bell is taking the digital revolution to the next level," Terry Mosey, president of Bell Ontario, said during an event at Toronto's Union Station.

Aimed at business customers, the service is free until late March and available at several sites in Montreal, Kingston, Ont., and Toronto. The project will also include service at Air Canada airport lounges in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and elsewhere. The pilot project is intended to measure how customers use the service and how much to charge for it, although some observers wonder if service providers will be able to make much money from so-called wireless fidelity or wi-fi hot spots.

"How you get people to pay for it is the big question," said Lawrence Surtees, an analyst at consultancy IDC Canada Ltd., adding that customers in the United States seem to think the service should be free.

Wireless hot spots use the wi-fi standard, technically known as 802.11b. The technology offers high-speed Internet access for any laptop computer and other wireless device equipped with an 802.11 card. The speed is generally comparable to a wired broadband connection and works within a radius of about 90 metres from the wi-fi node.

Wi-fi hype has grown in recent weeks and months. More big-name companies have begun to sell services. For instance, Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA has a network of hot spots in 2,000 Starbucks across the United States. There are also numerous startup companies selling the service through partners, such as hotels and cafés. Further, there are some organizations offering free wi-fi service, such as NYCwireless and its coverage of the busy Bryant Park beside the main branch of the New York Public Library.

Last week, AT&T Corp., Intel Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. said they're supporting Cometa Networks Inc., a venture that hopes to install and operate a hot-spot network in the United States. The goal, Cometa said, is to position hot spots within five minutes reach of any customer in the 50 largest U.S. cities.

In Canada, one-year-old Spotnik Mobile Inc. said in late November that it received $6-million from the venture arm of Telus Corp., the country's No. 2 phone company behind BCE Inc.'s Bell. (BCE Inc. controls Bell Globemedia, owner of The Globe and Mail.) Spotnik is building an open platform network, through which it will provide wi-fi services to service providers who want to partner with the company.

Toronto-based Spotnik plans to announce a hot-spot network in Southern Ontario in early 2003. DoDo Wireless Inc., another Toronto upstart, plans to launch a network in January.

Bell's hot-spot trial is an extension of its recently announced wireless local-area-network strategy. For businesses with a wireless local area network, its employees can stay connected while travelling if there's a hot spot around.

It's mostly setting up wi-fi nodes where it has payphones, effectively reinventing the payphone business.
Bell seems to be doing everything these days Broadband-Boy, eh?
They will try, but the question is how much will they subsidize?

Immediate Release.
Saturday, December 28, 2002 – Edmonton Alberta Canada.

Airpath Wireless Reach Extended into Canada; New TOGO WIRELESS CANADA INC. Locations To Be Airpath Wireless Ready.

TOGO WIRELESS CANADA INC. Corporation, and Airpath Wireless announced today that TOGO WIRELESS CANADA INC ultra-high-speed wireless hot spots have been integrated into the Airpath Wireless™ network. The roaming deal enables Airpath members to easily access TOGO WIRELESS CANADA INC growing network of Wi-Fi hot spot locations across Canada.

TOGO WIRELESS CANADA INC. is the leading provider of public high-speed wireless Internet access in Western Canada. Airpath Wireless operates the easiest to use Wi-Fi network for business travelers with the largest collection of Hot Spots in hotels and airports, plus hundreds of cafes and other public locations across North America and Europe.

"Providing seamless access to wireless hotspots is fundamentally important to TOGO WIRELESS CANADA INC.," said TOGO WIRELESS CANADA INC. CEO, Jerry Elless. "The key to Wi-Fi Network is to allow users to roam across a blanket of networks. TOGO WIRELESS CANADA INC and Airpath Wireless focus on providing a smooth user experience that will allow users to roam across each others network among today’s mobile professionals that’s a plus."

Each TOGO WIRELESS CANADA INC. location is powered by the custom-built Wi-Fi Access Point – a robust and simple way for venue operators to deploy a Airpath-Ready hotspot. Based on industry standard 802.11b technology, also known as Wi-Fi, location owners only need to plug the device into a DSL line supplied by TOGO WIRELESS CANADA INC. TOGO WIRELESS CANADA INC handles all sales, marketing and technical support leaving the location owner to concentrate on their core business.

More Information

TOGO WIRELESS – www.togowireless.com

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