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Vivato announces first switch, price, shipping date: Vivato's unique phased-array antenna system can server 150 users indoors through walls, doors, and cubicle partitions up to about 300 meters from its hanging location for about $9,000 starting in May. The Vivato system supports 802.1x, has integral AES waiting for activation, and can handle TKIP as part of Wi-Fi Protected Access. I'll have more detail tomorrow from an interview with Vivato conducted last week.
Caffeine Rush Ends for Joltage
Joltage shuts down: Joltage had a model of providing software to locations that wanted to become part of a network they would serve. As of the end of February, they will be shutting down. Their CEO wrote: Unfortunately, it appears that it will take substantially longer than expected for the significant numbers of users we anticipated on such a network to materialize. And because of the difficult economy, we are no longer able to finance our operations as we had once hoped we would be able to.
Joltage, Sputnik, and SOHO Wireless all appeared around the same time with related business models: enable individuals and companies to roll out hot spot without having to buy into large capital infrastructure investments. To wit, install software and convert an old PC with a PCI card into a hot spot nexus that would start collecting fees.
Sputnik semi-exited the business: they continue to distribute their free community gateway software which allows bandwidth throttling, priority access to certain users, and firewalled public service. But they are now an enterprise software company that can manage large numbers of wireless access points through the Central Control software.
Although SOHO Wireless is still around, I haven't heard their name in some time. The list of locations in their network seems to be quite short, but I'm not sure if that's just a list of outlets that want to be listed or all SOHO Wireless locations. (Check out their site for this great and honest revenue expectations run-through for hot spots.)
The world has shifted, it seems, to preboxed, turnkey hot spot installation, as I hear from Surf and Sip, Boingo, Pronto, Fatport, and many others that the boxes just fly out -- and require very little handholding once they arrive. I'd be curious whether preinstalled turnkey hot spots have exceeded 1,000 locations: based on numbers I've seen, I would think so. That's more of a force to be reckoned with, even with the demise of hereUare (an early back-end billing/network aggregator) and Joltage. [Joltage note via Tim Pozar]
InfoWorld says too early for 802.11g: InfoWorld tested Linksys and D-Link draft-802.11g equipment and found terrible performance in mixed modes plus shortened distances. 802.11g-only mode offered reasonable throughput improvements though: nearly four times as fast as plain 802.11b or mixed-mode b or g. InfoWorld rarely reviews consumer equipment such as this, but they offered an early taste as to have draft equipment will work, and present their reasonable, conservative conclusion to an IT audience.
Starwood, Intel team up for hotel Wi-Fi coverage: Last week, the Starwood hotel chain, which comprises 150 Westin, W, and Sheraton hotels, and Intel announced they would start putting in Wi-Fi access in properties starting in March. No mention of whether Cometa is involved in this at all.