Let's talk irony: Boingo to offer conference-wide Wi-Fi access for CTIA (cell industry trade group) conference: as noted earlier in this blog and extensively at Alan Reiter's (he's involved in the event), Boingo Wireless will offer 1,000,000 sq. ft. of Wi-Fi at the Cellular Telecommunication and Internet Association's annual conference. Some details had to be worked out and Boingo was able to coordinate them: many attendees would be unable to use the combination of hardware and drivers required to access Boingo's network using the current generation of front-end software.
Some relevant details: 1,000,000 sq. ft. Existing Boingo customers can use the network. Three days of servcie will cost $15.90 (instead of $5 as earlier reported), or $7.95 per 24-hour period. New Boingo signups at the $24.95/month (10 connect days per month) rate get free connect days from March 17 to 20 at the conference. Boingo set up a gateway authentication system for Macintosh, PDA, and non-complaint-equipment Windows users.
The press release notes how many organizations were involved in making this happen: The network is a joint-deployment enabled by Boingo Wireless; the CTIA; the Orange County Convention Center and its Internet Services provider, Smart City; and Nomadix, which is demonstrating the new features in its Universal Subscriber Gateway that enable any network operator to turn a Wi-Fi network into a Boingo Wireless commercial hotspot.
The CTIA event will be the biggest public rollout of Boingo Wireless, as well as the largest domestic Wi-Fi coverage at a conference. Forty thousand people are expected to attend the event, which could be a watershed in the cell industry's perception of and plans for Wi-Fi.
Other News for 3/14/02
Concourse launches Minneapolis/St. Paul service on March 20: my story in tomorrow's New York Times (scroll to third item).
BBC on 54 Mbps 802.11a in Europe: an oddly clueless story from the BBC that omits any mention of the competing Europen spec, HiperLAN2, which has been in development for several years without products emerging. Meanwhile the changes to the 802.11a spec (modified by 802.11h as an add-on) allow for 802.11a's European approval in the near future. American hegemony extends.