Friday, February 09, 2007

San Carlos First Wireless Silicon Valley City

The City of San Carlos has been selected to be the first Concept City . During this Proof of Concept phase the project vendor team (Silicon Valley Metro Connect), will also be working with other"Concept Cities" on an initial deployment of the mesh Wi-Fi technology. The City has approved and signed the letter agreement for this project phase. (A similar proposal to make Palo Alto a Concept City in Santa Clara County is pending review and approval in that community.)

A one square mile area that is roughly bounded by Holly Street, Industrial Road, Howard Avenue and Oakhurst Avenue and includes several key City and Community Sites (City Hall, Burton Park, Youth Center, Laureola Park, Fire Station # 13) will host this Wireless Network in San Carlos.

Initially the network will be used to develop a "template" for deploying this system throughout Silicon Valley. In later phases of the Concept City work, the City and Wireless Silicon Valley agencies will conduct tests in this area. Testing may include some residents and businesses.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

FCC wireless Auction Results

The outcome of the Advanced Wireless Services Auction (No.66) in the top markets is becoming more clear. The FCC announced provisionally winning bids after round 52.

Three licenses were on the block in the L.A. region. It appears that T-Mobile, Cingular and SpectrumCo LLC (a consortium that includes Time Warner Cable and Cox Cable) are the winners.

Sprint Nextel Announce Plans for WiMax

Questions about Sprint/Nextel's plans for the licensed 2.5 GHz spectrum they hold in major US markets, including L.A. finely answered earlier this month.
From the Seattle Times on August 9, 2006.
After years of deliberation, Sprint Nextel has chosen to partner with Intel, Motorola and Samsung to roll out a nationwide wireless-broadband network using WiMax technology, a standard that delivers high-speed Internet access on a much broader scale than Wi-Fi.

Link to full story

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

SJ News on Using a Muni Wireless Network Securely

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News

Best ways to be secure using municipal WiFi
1. Protect your computer or mobile device
Install Internet security software that includes anti-virus, local firewall and intrusion protection, configured for a hostile environment.
2. Know your municipal network ID
When connecting through any log-in page, users should verify that the site is operated by the organization they expect.
3. Use a unique username and password
Users should create a unique username and password to set up any municipal WiFi access. Don't use a password that is even close to other usernames and passwords for other accounts.
4. Don't send confidential information unless Web site has padlock icon
Avoid using confidential information (Social Security numbers, bank account passwords) when using municipal WiFi, unless using a secure SSL Web site, noted by padlock, or an encrypted connection.
5. If possible, use a virtual private network (VPN)
A VPN provides good protection. Google offers a VPN and Wireless Silicon Valley plans to ask its vendor to provide a free VPN. May be hard for non-expert users to install. Free VPNs offer no tech support.
Source: Symantec, Mercury News research

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bay Area Commuter Train Succeeds With High-Speed Internet Connectivity

Caltrain, in conjunction with Intel Solution Services and Nomad Digital Ltd., is the first rail line in the country to successfully complete a “proof of concept” for wireless broadband access technology that provides continuous high-speed Internet access along a rail line at travel speeds of up to 79 miles per hour. For some time, Caltrain has been seeking technology solutions for providing high-speed wireless access that would give Caltrain passengers uninterrupted Internet links onboard moving trains.

The proof of concept, which was conducted along 16 miles of track between the Millbrae and Palo Alto stations, was deemed a success when multiple people surfed the Internet simultaneously, watched streaming video, answered e-mail and completed a large file download all while maintaining continuous connectivity at broadband speed.

Intel Solution Services, which is Intel Corporation's worldwide consulting organization, focuses on driving business transformation and competitive advantage through the practical application of new technologies. In addition to Intel Solution Services, major technology providers for the proof of concept were United Kingdom-based train communications specialists Nomad Digital, Sensoria Corp. of San Diego and Redline Communications of Toronto.
Nomad provided a mobile communication system which links the train to trackside wireless base stations, with radios located every few miles along the rail line. The company recently helped launch the worldÂ’s first broadband wireless service on trains in the UK on the London to Brighton line. Sensoria provided the wireless mesh routers which enables connectivity throughout the train and serves as the WiFi access point within each car. Redline Communications provided the radios that makes the connection between the train and the trackside. The company is a supplier of WiMAX equipment.

With the proof of concept successfully completed, Caltrain will continue work on engineering that is required before the wireless access can be implemented along the entire rail mainline.

The wireless backhaul is based on a WiMAX standard that uses unlicensed spectrum.

Caltrain Contact: Randy Rudolph 650-508-7954, Jonah Weinberg, 650.508.6238
Intel Corporation contact: Mark W. Pettinger, 408.765.4970
Nomad Digital Ltd. contact: Nigel Wallbridge, 403.616.2687
Sensoria Corporation contact: Dave Gelvin, 858.673.4460
X12Redline Communications contact: Carolyn Anderson, 905.479.8344 x333

PeoplePC Signs Up First High-Speed Customers in Anaheim

PeoplePC, a subsidiary of EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK)Wi-Fi, provides a low-cost,reliable high- speed connection that people can access at home or remotely with in Anaheim's Wi-Fi coverage area. Built on EarthLink's municipal Wi-Fi broadband network,PeoplePC Wi-Fi Home starts at $17.95 per month and PeoplePCMobile starts at $21.95 per month.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Motorola to Test 2.5 GHz WiMAX in Japan

Motorola Inc. has reached agreement with Softbank Group for the deployment of a WiMax (IEEE 802.16e-2005) trial network in Tokyo. Motorola is supplying an end-to-end trial system including access points, an access network, and prototype WiMax mobile handheld devices. The five-month trial, expected to begin in September, will enable the Softbank Group to assess the effectiveness of WiMax as a wireless broadband technology. Motorola will be deploying five WiMax access points and 25 prototype WiMax mobile handheld devices, operating in the 2.5GHz spectrum. The trial will also showcase MIMO (multi-input, multi-output) capabilities of Motorola's WiMax solutions in supporting multi- antenna telecommunications systems as well as enabling greater data throughput and range.

Softbank Group provides mobile communications, fixed-line telecommunications and fixed-line broadband services. The company acquired Vodafone, the third largest mobile service operator in Japan, in April 2006 for $15.3 billion. Softbank currently has more than 26 million fixed-line and mobile communications customers in Japan.

Here in the US, Sprint holds licenses for most of the 2.5 GHz spectrum.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

On July 19, 2006 the City of Portland City Council approved an agreement with MetroFi for the construction and operation of a metro WiFi network. A proof-of-concept phase that covers the downtown area is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

For project background including the RFP and Agreement see the project web site.

Advanced Wireless Services Licensed Spectrum Auction

On June 9, 2006 the FCC will auction of licenses for Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) use. The frequencies are in the 1.7 and 2.1 GHz ranges.

No equipment manufactures are currently marketing WiMAX gear that operates in these frequency bands, but it is expected that they will after the auctions.

Details on the FCC AWS web site for Auction #66

Friday, July 14, 2006

WiFi Node

According to Earthlink, there are between 30 and 36 WiFi nodes per square mile. One out of three nodes includes the Motorola canopy gateway module.

The Tropos 5210 WiFi node and Motorola canopy gateway module is attached to a street light pole. Both are powered through a connection to the photo cell on top of the light.

On the Roof of the Anaheim Municipal Building

This antenna array (center) is installed on the roof of the Anaheim municipal building (facing north). They aggregate traffic from the Motorola canopy gateways attached to street light poles. Each one is hard wired to the equipment in the indoor cabinet/fiber connection point. There is an identical antenna array on the south side of the building.

Anaheim WiFi Network

Fred Barvarz, Sr. Telecom Engineer from the City of Anaheim, gave us a tour of the proof-of-concept WiFi network and discussed his experience with managing the deployment. The service is available through a six square mile area of the City.

This picture shows the aggregation point where all wireless network traffic connects to the City's fiber network. The cabinet is co-located in a secure telecom room in the municipal building.