Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cardiff takes next step as BT invests in wirelss city roll-out

BT press release | DC06-268 | June 6, 2006

Cardiff is set to reinforce its position as the wireless capital of Wales in a new deal with the Council.
Two years ago the city centre became the first in the UK to offer extensive Wi-Fi coverage.
Now, as part of BT’s Wireless City initiative, and with the support of Cardiff Council, BT Openzone is set to be extended to cover up to four square kilometres of the city centre, placing such sites as the university buildings and other major areas of Cardiff within reach.
The Wireless City network will bring together the very latest technologies and applications for use by public services, businesses and people. Higher bandwidth and greater intelligence being built into the wireless broadband network will allow more buildings in the city to be linked up using Wi-Fi and offer new services such as wireless CCTV.
Ann Beynon, BT director Wales, said: “Cardiff has been the pioneer of Wireless City and was chosen for its commitment to embracing the possibilities brought by the technology.
“This deal with Cardiff Council will allow us to extend the wireless reach and improve the services we can offer to people and businesses. Our networks will make sure customers are connected at all times, but all people will notice is how valuable the services are, such as knowing where to park, access to tourist information and public services.
“The Wireless City initiative offers wide area wireless broadband access across the city, enabling people to use the network on a range of devices for entertainment, education and communication, such as email, video and voice calls, even when they’re on the move.”
Cllr Mark Stevens, executive member for economic development and finance at Cardiff Council, said: “This is an exciting development for both the businesses community and people of Cardiff. Innovation and technology are at the heart of the Council's vision for the future of the City and to successfully deliver upon that vision we need access to the latest business and communications infrastructure.
“BT has come forward with plans to invest further in creating a robust network in Cardiff which should be encouraged. The Council also has a role to play in the evolution of the network and will look at how wireless technology might contribute towards the modernisation agenda in the future."
BT has one of the widest portfolios of wireless access products and applications in the industry, meeting the needs of local authorities, businesses and consumers. Intel has been working with BT to develop the technology, and is sharing its expertise of developing these services in cities like Philadelphia in the US and was one of the lead organisations involved in the Wireless Westminster project.
BT’s strategy is to work with Intel, other leading partners in wireless solutions and local authorities to roll out a wide area of wireless broadband in metropolitan areas. This will be based around wireless broadband in the home, BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots, Wireless Cities, and high speed mobile access. The result will be that customers can do anything, anytime, anywhere.
Leisure and business applications, many developed by councils with BT and partners, will be available to a wide range of devices, including the forthcoming Wi-Fi version of BT Fusion and a similar product currently being developed for corporate customers.
These handsets will use the wireless broadband network to make calls over broadband at landline rates and provide a rich media experience, such as video calling and access to internet applications and services.

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