Wireless access at SA airports

Intel Corp., in conjunction with the Airports Company of SA (Acsa), and a number of ICT vendors, including Mecer, Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Holding) BV, IBM Corp. and Rectron (Pty) Ltd., will be demonstrating the benefits of wireless network and Internet access at Johannesburg International Airport from June 7 to 11.

Says Intel South and sub-Saharan Africa's country manager, Steve Nossel: "Wireless networking is proving to be a growth point for the ICT industry throughout the developed world, with airports, hotels and restaurants providing wireless 'hotspots' where travellers can access the Internet using their notebook PCs. However, SA (South Africa) travellers, particularly those travelling on business, who need a mobile PC and access to the Internet or their corporate networks while overseas, have yet to adopt the new technology into the way they work." Intel says that it hopes to demonstrate the accessibility, use and benefits of wireless access to travellers passing through the airport.

The initiative, says the company, will see five stands set up at the airport's domestic departures area and two at the international departures. The participating ICT vendors, according to Intel, will demonstrate their latest PCs, equipped with Intel's Centrino Mobile Technology, which features integrated wireless LAN capabilities. The company says that visitors will be able to test-drive the computers to experience wireless access first-hand.

Says Nossel: "Intel has been driving the adoption of wireless networking since the launch of its Centrino Mobile Technology last year. In addition to its integrated wireless networking capabilities, the new generation of mobile technology provides extended battery life and enhanced performance, at the same time enabling PC manufacturers to build units with smaller and lighter form factors than previous systems."

Adds Nossel, "Acsa has already rolled out a number of wireless 'hotspots' at airports in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. With the number of 'hotspots' increasing at a steady rate, it will become easier for SA travellers to realize the advantages and productivity gains of being able to network wirelessly and seamlessly wherever they need to work."

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