Wednesday Wi-Fi Round Up
By Eric Lin, Tue Aug 26 19:15:00 GMT 2003

Wi-Fi saves retail businesses money, saves California commuters from boredom, and saves Canadians from exclusive contracts.

Wi-Fi has been used in the store rooms and warehouses of business for quite sometime, but now it has made the move to the front of the house (literally) as the New York Times (registration required) reports that casinos, restaurants and stores are all using Wi-Fi enabled devices to help customers. All of the applications discussed either speed up the businesses' response time to customers or give customers more attention / personalized service. I've only had positive experiences as a customer in businesses using this new technology. Maybe some of you have stories you'd care to share?

California commuters and business travels who ride the ACE line from San Jose (the heart of Silicon Valley) to Stockton (the heart of the Central Valley) will have Wi-Fi internet access on trains beginning next month. According to Wired, a company called PointShot is providing the technology and has already had successful installations on commuter lines in Canada. Other lines in Northern California are considering offering access, however CalTrain, the line that links San Francisco to San Jose, was surprisingly not named among them.

Thanks to Feature member Saleem, we've learned that the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) is overseeing an Wi-Fi hotspot interoperability agreement between all four major Canadian wireless operators. The agreement will allow users to seamlessly log on to any hot spot no matter which service they subscribe to. IT World Canada spoke to the CEO of the CWTA, who said that while interoperability will start with the four major carriers, it will be extended to all hot spot providers once the system has been established and tested. Lucky Canadians.