SBC turns up Wi-Fi for schools, hospitals

SBC this week unveiled managed Wi-Fi services for schools and hospitals to enable those institutions to converge voice and data traffic onto a single wireless network.

The new services support wireless phones and wireless data connectivity on a single network within SBC's 13-state territory. Previously, SBC's wireless data and voice offerings were provisioned from two separate networks.

SBC says the converged network will enhance the security and efficiency of wireless communications for educational and medical institutions.

The packages use the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standards, offering users mobility while they are connected to their voice and data network, the Internet, and the public telecommunications network through wireless connection points. RBOCs are increasingly rolling out Wi-Fi services - Verizon, for example, plans to transform 1,000 New York City payphones into Wi-Fi access points, or "hotspots," by the end of the year.

SBC, citing data from EduVentures, a U.S. educational consulting firm, said more than 110,000 public schools combined spend nearly $6.2 billion a year on technology. Of that, about $500 million is spent on wireless technologies, but that is expected to quadruple by next year, SBC says.

U.S. hospitals will spend nearly $295 million on wireless LAN (WLAN) technologies by 2005, SBC says, citing data from Frost and Sullivan.

SBC's new WLAN services are the latest components of the RBOC's PremierSERV managed service offerings. They are based on Cisco's Aironet WLAN equipment, combined with SBC transport service and management, and SpectraLink NetLink wireless telephones.

This story, "SBC turns up Wi-Fi for schools, hospitals" was originally published by The Edge.

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