Walker Wireless readies broadband wireless service

Walker Wireless is getting ready to roll out a public broadband wireless service at New Zealand and Australian hotels, cafes, service stations and airport lounges.

Walker Wireless is getting ready to roll out a public broadband wireless service at New Zealand and Australian hotels, cafés, service stations and airport lounges.

Called HotSpots, the service which uses 802.11b wireless technology is being piloted at Auckland International Airport lounges, the Carlton and Heritage hotels, the BP Connect service station chain and two café/restaurant chains.

Walker Wireless development manager Alex Melville says the service, which has been in trial mode for the past two months, is about to be launched commercially in New Zealand and Australia.

During the pilot a limited number of Walker Wireless customers and partners have been able to access the service which uses Cisco Aironet Access Points and wireless network cards in notebooks. HotSpots also uses Cisco Building Broadband Service Manager software.

Walker Wireless managing director Bob Smith says the service will probably be charged on a subscription basis. Users who travel a lot will pay a fee for a certain amount of hours per month, plus usage.

Walker Wireless has also partnered with international roaming provider iPass to enable HotSpots customers abroad.

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