Mobile Tech News – Wi-Fi Battle, Sprint EVDO Upgrade, Wireless Broadband

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BellSouth to New Orleans: Shut Down Free Wi-Fi

Telecom giant BellSouth is attempting to pressure the city of New Orleans into shutting down the Wi-Fi mesh network that the city has been running, according to the city’s chief information officer. The network, which provides 300 Kbit up/down speeds for free, was opened to the public in the wake of hurricane Katrina as a method to help remaining residents keep in contact, and for businesses to operate.

You may recall that late last year, when the city originally decided to open up the network, BellSouth withdrew their offer to donate a building to the city for use as the new police station. The company also lobbied heavily in favor of a state law that banned city-run networks faster than 128 Kbits, and implied that they would shut down a Cingular support center that employed 1,300 people if the city went through with the project. BellSouth offers a competing pre-WiMax service for $70 per month.

For his part, NOLA CIO Greg Meffert says that he will not allow the network to be shut down. “If I have to go to jail, I guess I will. We simply cannot turn off these few lifelines we have to our city and businesses.”


Sprint Plans for EVDO Revision A

Sprint has announced that they intend to begin upgrading their EVDO network to the newer Revision A standard late this year, with significant coverage available for 2007. While EVDO Revision A claims a speed increase of 50% over existing EVDO coverage, Sprint’s claims are much more tame. The company suggests downstream speeds will increase from the current 400-700 Kbit range, to 450-800 Kbits. Upstream speeds are expected to see more of an increase, going from 70-144 to 300-400 Kbits. Peak speeds will go from 2 megabits to 3. Using EVDO Revision A will require new aircards, which will be available in the third quarter. Verizon is also reportedly testing Revision A, but has no known timetable for deployment.


Rogers Canada to offer 1.5 Mbit wireless broadband

It’s an all-wireless day for the news. Rogers, one of the major mobile phone carriers in Canada, has launched a new “Portable Internet” service which promises 1.5 megabits download, 256 Kbits upload, and a 30 GB monthly cap for CAN$50 (approx. US$42.80). The service is run on the 2.5 GHz wireless band, and is available in 20 Canadian cities.

The downside is that the modem required for the service isn’t yet as portable as the name implies, since it needs to be plugged into a power outlet. However, if Rogers manages to wise up and produces a more mobile-friendly modem, they could make a very big splash.


1SRC mocks us

Never let it be said that we can’t laugh at ourselves. Palm OS enthusiast site has posted an April Fools article lampooning our own recent merger. From 1SRC:

1SRC merges with fan site to form 2SRC creating one of the largest handheld computing focused sites on the web, bringing the latest industry news, reviews and support to consumers around the world.

Expect some server changes, post count resets (to zero), and random username assignments as sorts everything out.



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