• Dates: September 2526, 2006
• Location: Olympia Conference Center, London
• Executive Summary
• Conference Agenda
• Service-Provider Executive Roundtable
• Participants Testimonials
• Past Participating Cities, Counties, States
• Press Release: Speaker Faculty Finalized
• Press Release: Survey Supports Teamwork to Break Local Logjams
The W2i Digital Cities Convention in London is a professional-development seminar providing local-government officials and IT professionals with training in broadband-wireless planning and implementation. The conference explores the broad range of broadband-wireless-enabled applications and services for cities, communities, and regions, while serving as a meeting place for the ecosystem of technology equipment vendors, service providers, and systems integrators. By placing a special emphasis on local-government field practitioners' experiences, the Convention will focus on broadband-wireless solutions for:
• Government Operations Reengineering
• Public Safety and Remote Surveillance
• Remote Healthcare
• Digital Inclusion (Urban and Rural)
• Neighborhood Portals
• Intelligent Transport Systems
Further panels examine innovative public-private partnerships and service-provider models as well as several success stories. Structured brainstorm workshops chaired by industry experts on scaling for high-density populations and tackling security and privacy issues enable attendees to participate interactively in solution seeking.
Visit the Technology Showcase
The W2i Digital Cities Convention Technology Showcase features select emerging technology vendors, systems integrators and service providers discussing their solutions and achievements for meeting local-government telecommunication, services, and application needs. Exhibitors include BelAir Networks, IBM, Intel, Motorola, Cisco Systems, SkyPilot Networks, and Tropos Networks.
Who Should Attend
• CIOs and Director of Technology
• City/County Managers
• IT Managers
• Public Safety representatives including:
- Emergency services
- First Responders
• Traffic and Transportation management
• Education and Social services
• Public works officers
• Economic development officers
• Applications Service Providers
• Financial Services
• Law firm
• Systems Integrators
• Technology Vendors
• Telecom infrastructure equipment
• User Devices Manufactures
Europe in the News
Paris Mayor Using Wi-Fi to Attract Youth
"We can't leave Asian cities like Seoul or Tokyo, or American cities like San Francisco or Philadelphia, to make the running [to dominate] in digital matters," said Delanoe this year when he announced plans to create 400 free wireless hotspots. The city also hopes to lay fiber optic cables to 80 percent of its buildings by 2010.
• Source: (The Baltimore Sun, Nov. 19, 2006)
Prague Free Wi-Fi Project Opposed by Telcos
City Hall's effort to blanket the capital with free wireless Internet service is in jeopardy after a joint effort by telecommunications providers to block the project.
• Source: (The Prague Post, Oct. 4, 2006)
BBC Team Works Remotely on Norfolk Open Link
The team filed reports from Norwich, U.K., as it grappled with the technology, talked to people via internet telephony and filed stories and features remotely.
• Source: (BBC News, Aug. 31, 2006)
Great Britain: 84% with Wireless Use It at Home
An AOL survey of more than 2,000 UK internet users reveals the popularity of wireless surfing: more than a third have wireless access and 84 per cent of those use it at home.
• Source: (The Register, August 29, 2006, Bill Ray)
Let Loose the Dogs of (Broadband) War
The outbreak of "broadband wars" in the UK - as big hitters such as Carphone Warehouse, Orange and BSkyB compete to offer us cheap or "free" internet access - is bound to boost this vital area of the economy. It will even help to fulfil one of the prime minister Tony Blair's long-forgotten promises (to the Labour Party Conference in 2004) to bring broadband technology "to every home in Britain that wants it by 2008".
• Source: (The Guardian, July 27, 2006, Victor Keegan)
U.K. Police Lobby to Snoop on I-Telephony
The Guardian has learned that police and security agencies have been lobbying ministers and senior officials, expressing fears about the potential for voice-over-internet-protocol technologies to hide a caller's identity. Their aim? To get VoIP providers to monitor calls and find ways to identify who is calling whom -- and even record them.
• Sourc3: (The Guardian, July 27, 2006, Peter Warren)
Spain's Fon Pushing Wi-Fi Networks and More
Fon will sell Wi-Fi routers, which allow people to surf the net wirelessly, for $5 (£2.75). The company, which has financial backing from Google and Skype, aims to create public wi-fi networks street by street across the US and Europe. The company is hoping to create a "social movement" as well as a business.
• Source: (BBC, June 27, 2006)
Wireless Firms Attract Funds
Two European wireless companies announced Monday that they have raised venture funding, signaling growing investor excitement around WiMAX, an emerging wide-area wireless broadband technology.
• Source: (Red Herring, July 24, 2006)
The Cloud Offers Unlimited Wi-Fi for £11.99
Wireless Internet network operator The Cloud, has launched a service giving Web users access to unlimited broadband Wi-Fi for £11.99 a month.
The 'Ultra WiFi' service gives subscribers access to Wi-Fi across The Cloud's 7,000 UK hotspots and 9 city centre hotzones.
• Source: (NetImperative, July 10, 2006)
400 Free Wi-Fi Hotspots Planned for Paris
Citizens of and visitors to Paris will be offered free internet access over Wi-Fi networks, the city administration said this week. Street furniture will be improved to make laptop users more comfortable and the plan is to have 400 hotspots and city-wide coverage by the end of next year.
• Source: (PC Advisor, July 7, 2006)
Bulgaria Top Court to Review WiMAX Licenses
Bulgaria's top court has temporarily halted the award by the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) of 2 point-to-multipoint licences to examine a complaint against the procedure filed by BTC, Bulgaria's dominant fixed-line telecom carrier.
• Source: (News Dnevnik, May 2006)
I-Pass Footprint Growing in Europe
US mobility solutions provider I-Pass has expanded its wireless footprint in Europe. The Cloud, Swisscom Mobile and T-Mobile have each joined the I-Pass Global Broadband Roaming Network.
• Source: (Digital Media News Europe, April 11, 2006)
Westminster Wireless City Widens to Libraries
Westminster City Council has extended its roll out of Wi-Fi services to include all 13 of its library buildings. BT carried out the installations using its Openzone system, as part of the wider Westminster Wireless City initiative. All 12 libraries and the Westminster Archive Centre now have Wi-Fi capability.
• Source: (vnunet.com, March 20, 2006, Matt Chapman)
Wi-Fi on 8-Mile Stretch of River Thames
Free Wi-Fi service covering an eight-mile stretch of the River Thames in London was inaugurated Thursday as a free introductory period for the service got underway. The Thames Online Service said Wi-Fi will be available on boats cruising the river for about $5 an hour at the conclusion of the free trial period.
• Source: (InformationWeek, February 23, 2006, W. David Gardner)
Sweden's Air Travelers to Have Wi-Fi
The Swedish Airports and Air Navigation Service, has invested in a new wireless broadband service for all of its 16 civil airports in Sweden, providing travellers with access to the Internet throughout the airports' facilities. Known as Visitors Access, the service is available to the estimated 20 million passengers who use the Swedish airport network every year, providing them with access to emails or even critical business data.
• Source: (Wi-Fi Technology, 16 January 2006)
Slovakia a Target for Telecoms
Slovakia seems to be the next target of the big telecom providers searching for growth. A source helping to prepare for the arrival of foreign mobile operators to the Slovak market confirmed for the SME daily that the UK's Vodafone and Spain's Telefónica were among the companies interested in coming to Slovakia.
• Source: (The Slovak Spectator, January 13 2006)
MPs Demand Wi-Fi in U.K. Parliament
Wireless internet access should be installed in parts of the Houses of Parliament to allow MPs access to information on the move. A report by the House of Commons Administration Committee is calling for secure wireless access after it found that some new MPs struggled to work before they were given office space. The report said: "We recommend that wireless internet access should be provided in those areas likely to be of most use to members." It added: "We appreciate the security and viability issues around wireless internet access but believe that it should be possible to overcome these difficulties.
• Source: (Silicon.com, 10 January 2006, Steve Ranger
Estonia Abuzz with Start-Ups, Skype
Estonia, a small country of 250,000 people, is abuzz with software start-ups that has caught the eye of international investors. The birthplace of the internet phone company Skype, which was recently purchased by the on-line auctioning giant Ebay, Estonia has big dreams in the post-Soviet era.
• Source: (The New York Times, 13 December 2005)
French Cell Companies Fine for Anti-Trust
French antitrust authorities slapped record fines on the country's three cell-phone operators Thursday after a four-year investigation found that Orange, SFR and Bouygues illegally shared sales data and conspired to undermine competition.
• Source: (Business Week, 1 December 2005)
Slovenian Telecom Privatization Begins
The Slovenian government is likely to begin the privatisation of fixed line incumbent Telecom Slovenia by the end of 2005, when it is expected to present a strategy outlining the process. According to the head of the country’s Economics Ministry, Matjaz Jansa, no model of privatisation has yet been decided on. Earlier this year the Ministry said it would sell a 25% stake to a combination of a strategic partner, a portfolio investor and domestic investors, but it has not confirmed whether these plans are definite. Jansa said the privatisation is expected to be completed in 2006 at the earliest.
• Source: (Tele-Geography, 1 October 2005)
EU Commission Targets Members
Cyprus, along with Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland and Slovenia are the countries targeted by the European Commission in a new round of infringement proceedings concerning the EU telecom rules. The European Commission sent letters of formal notice to seven EU Member States for so far failing to notify it of electronic communications market reviews required by the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications.
• Source: (Financial Mirror, 13 October 2005)
WiMAX Superior but Faces Challenges
A new IDC study analyzes the environment of the 802.16e standard, detailing vendor activities and interests, investment themes in private companies, M&As, competing and complementary technologies, and the business case for mobile WiMax deployment in Europe. The future of mobile WiMax might not be as bright as its vendors would like you to believe. This wireless broadband technology, working under the IEEE standard 802.16e, offers WiFi bandwidth with a cellular range, but will face multiple challenges on its way to the market.
• Source: (IDC, 1 September 2005)
Altitude Telecom Acquired; WiMAX on Tap
France's main alternative broadband ISP, Free Telecom, will acquire privately held Altitude Telecom, the owner of the sole national 3.5GHz license, for an undisclosed amount. Free has not revealed exactly how it will use the WiMAX license, but it has mentioned that WiMAX will be particularly interesting in 2008-2010. At that time, we could expect to see mobile WiMAX (based on IEEE 802.16e) equipment available on the market that could allow Free to provide fixed-mobile convergence services to its residential customers. Free may then integrate WiMAX into the FreeBox and/or supply WiMAX PC cards to its customers in order to offer broadband access in any WiMAX location operated by Free in France, thereby bypassing France Telecom's local loop.
• Source: (Ovum, Tele-Geography, Sept. 5 2005
U.K. Social Services Turns to Wi-Fi
Social workers are using wireless technology to speed up communications on the front line. Barnet Council's Children and Families Service has rolled out PDAs to 240 social workers, O2 said on Wednesday. This will allow staff to spend more time face-to-face with children and families, according to O2. The value of the contract was undisclosed.
• Source: (ZDnet, 31 Aug 2005, Tom Espiner)
ICT Market in Russia Increasing Rapidly
The ICT market in Russia touched AED 26 billion (US$7.10 billion) in 2003 and registered a growth of over 26% in 2004. By the year 2008, total spending on IT in Russia is expected to surpass AED 62.39 billion (US$17 billion),” said DWTC Director General Helal Saeed Khalfan Al Marri. IDC reports point out that during 2004 sale of mobile devices jumped in Russia with shipments expanding by 55.5 per cent to more than 350,000 units and revenue by 56 per cent to AED 601 million (US$164 million). The report goes on to add that with Russia still far from saturation, shipments of mobile devices are expected to expand by 62.7 per cent this year and by 55.9 per cent in 2006.
• Source: (Media Syndicate, 29 Aug 2005)
Survey: Confusion on Wi-Fi, 3G, GPRS
A July survey of more than 100 London laptop owners by Tatara Systems shows that most do not understand the differences among 3G, GPRS and Wi-Fi; that Wi-Fi use through hotspots is more popular than Wi-Fi use at home, and that laptop users buy coffee just so they can access hotspots. Only 2% used laptops with 3G services; 14% used Blackberry devices, 10% used other PDAs and the majority (75%) used wireless-enabled laptops at public Wi-Fi hotspots. Over half (58%) of the Wi-Fi users surveyed admitted that they went to outlets and bought food and drink, just so they could access Wi-Fi hotspots. Starbucks was the location named by the most respondents.
• Source: (Cellular News, 23 Aug 2005)
WiMAX Compliance Testing to Begin
The WiMax Forum is nearly ready to start testing products for compliance with the wireless standard, a senior official has confirmed. Some vendors already have products at the Cetecom lab in Malaga, Spain, where certification will take place, but the past few weeks have been taken up by validation of the test scripts and test equipment, along with informal testing, said Gordon Antonello, chairman of the WiMax Forum Technical Working Group. Next week, that stage should be finished, he said.
• Source: (Tech World, 23 Aug 2005, Stephen Lawson)
France Telecom to Award WiMAX Licenses in 2006
France Telecom will auction 44 WiMAX licenses in October, 2006. Each region will be issued two licenses to ensure enough competition. The organization yesterday set a deadline of October 14 for those wishing to bid in the tender to submit an application. Bids for the licenses must then be submitted by February 1, 2006. The French regulator first said in March, it had been preparing the means of allocating new frequencies in the 3.4-3.8GHz band for the deployment of WLL networks to allow for the development of WiMAX technologies.
• Source: (Forbes, 7 August 2005)
WiFiber Trial Tested in Ireland
A new technology known as WiFiber, similar to terrestrial fiber used in deploying metropolitan area networks (MANs) but deployable within a day and capable of carrying Gbps broadband services, will be tested in the Irish market. US firm GigaBeam and Irish wireless broadband player WiFi Projects for the distribution of WiFiber products in Ireland have signed an agreement following the recent issuance of a trial license by the Commissioner for Communications Regulation (ComReg), the first such authorization in Europe for the technology.
• Source: (Silicon Republic, 10 Aug 2005)
UK Local Authorities to Go Local?
Local authorities across the UK must determine whether they wish to create citizen-owned wireless networks, potentially eliminating inner- and inter-city mobile call costs through the use of wireless VoIP, as opposed to allowing the major mobile network operators to dictate their future, according to UK-based Metranet Communications (www.metranet.co.uk) which is responsible for the UK’s first city-wide Intranet. A major area of the radio spectrum (2500-2690MHz) will be released on January 1, 2008.
• Source: (SourceWire, 02 Aug 2005)
Europe Assigns Two More Wi-Fi Bands
Sensing that it was lagging behind its technological rivals, the European Telecommunications Union has assigned two additional frequencies for the wireless local area networks (WLANs). The two newly allocated bands in the 5 GHz spectrum are already available for wireless in America and the Asia/Pacific region, because of an agreement reached at the World Radiocommunications Conference in 2003. Their availability will remedy capacity shortages in the 2.4 GHz spectrum presently used for Wi-Fi in Europe. The additional frequencies will allow companies, as well as users in densely populated areas, to switch to wireless protocols allowing for higher bandwidth.
• Source: (EurActiv, 20 July 2005)
Global Telecom Ambition in Russia
Mikhail Fridman, the head of Alfa Group and one of Russia's most ambitious businessmen, enjoys a good fight with an established Western company. In 1997, Alfa tussled with BP in a battle over oil assets. In the last month, Fridman seems to have taken on the entire Scandinavian telecommunications industry. Alfa has been in dispute with Norway's Telenor over the strategy of Vimpelcom, Russia's second-largest mobile phone operator, and has further alienated TeliaSonera, the leading telecom operator in the Nordic and Baltic regions, by effectively ruining its deal to buy a controlling stake in Turkcell, Turkey's largest mobile operator.
• Source: (Los Angeles Times, 11 June 2005)
Wi-Fi Connects Small-Town Italy
For €6,000, municipalities in Italy can buy a kit that provides an internet access point via satellite. For €9,000, the kit includes video surveillance for civil protection. The National Association of Small Italian Municipalities (ANPCI) and Wifi-Company, an Italian Wi-Fi and satellite communications solutions provider, have signed an agreement to deliver broadband Internet access to small Italian towns with Wi-Fi and satellite. The move will deliver Web access to 3,742 ANPCI members, representing some 20 percent of Italy’s population.
• Source: (Digital Media News for Europe, 5 July 2005)
Telecom Italia’s Nightmare in Brazil
Telecom Italia may sell its stake in fixed line operator Brasil Telecom, Brazilian daily Folha de S. Paulo reported. "This investment has become a nightmare. We want our money back," according to Paolo dal Pino, president of Telecom Italia's Brazilian division. Telecom Italia has endured a long running ownership dispute with other Brasil Telecom (BrT) shareholders, particularly local investment bank Opportunity.
• Source: (Business News Americas, 1 July 2005)
ITU Launches Connectivity Campaign
To bring ICTs to the estimated one billion people worldwide for whom making a simple telephone call remains out of reach, ITU’s Connect the World initiative is a global multi-stakeholder effort established within the context of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to encourage new projects and partnerships to bridge the digital divide. By showcasing development efforts now underway and by identifying areas where needs are the most pressing, Connect the World will create a critical mass that will generate the momentum needed to connect all communities by 2015. At present, ITU estimates that around 800,000 villagesor 30% of all villages worldwideare still without any kind of connection.
• Source: (Public Technology, 22 June 2005)
Wi-Fi in 100 Countries, 65,000 Hotspots
The United States tops JiWire's list of Wi-Fi-friendly countries with the most hotspots, followed by the UK, Germany and France: http://www.jiwire.com/search-hotspot-locations.htm
• Source: (Business Wire, 21 June 2005)
Finland Mobile Broadband to Be American
Finland will select a new wireless network technology from the United States next week in a move being watched by other European governments that are opening radio spectrum for mobile broadband Internet. Seven consortiums have put in bids for the 450 Megahertz (MHz) radio spectrum that was left unused after operator Sonera shut down an analogue mobile network in 2002. All have proposed U.S.-made wireless network technology to cover even remote areas with fast Web access. If Finland opts for CDMA, this would create a stronghold for the technology as neighboring Sweden and Norway have in the past year issued 450 MHz licences to Nordisk Mobiltelefon which uses CDMA. "What goes on in the Nordics is watched around the world and what happens here has credibility far beyond the number of inhabitants," said David Poticny, head of European operations of Lucent Technologies, which makes CDMA equipment.
• Source: (CNN.com, 15 June 2005)
Intel and Nokia Team on WiMAX
Intel and Nokia have agreed to work together on mobile WiMAX, or IEEE 802.16e Standard. The two industry leaders have been under increasing pressure from Korean-backed companies that appear to be ahead in the game with their WiBRO technology. The alliance is likely to give both companies leverage in countering their Korean counterparts. WiMAX is still under development, but Intel and Nokia expect the standard to be finalized by next year.
• Source: (Techworld, 10 June 2005)
Orascom Buys Italian Telecom Giant Wind
In a reversal of fortunes, the Egyptian-owned Orascom has acquired Italian Telecom Giant Wind. The third largest mobile operator, after Telecom Italia (TIM) and Vodafone in Italy, 67.75 percent shares of Wind are reported to have been valued at $15,249 billion (12.138 billion euros) including debt to Orascom. Owned by Egyptian businessman Necib Sawiris, Orascom will build a Mediterranean-based global tele-communications company.
• Source: (Turkish Weekly, 28 May 2005)
Cardiff Congregation Served by Wi-Fi
Vicar Keith Kimber is aiming to bring more people to God by installing a wireless broadband hotspot in his church-a BT Openzone corner where they can send or receive emails or surf the Web. The unique brainwave may answer the prayers of many busy parishioners whose thoughts have drifted from the Sunday sermon to Monday's e-mail or work presentation. The Rev Kimber is happy for them to quietly slip off to the BT Openzone area of St John's in Cardiff city center and take care of business on their laptop. "The church has to move with the times, and I wanted to make St John's a sanctuary for everyone, including business people with laptops and mobiles."
• SOource: (ISP NEWS, 31 May 2005
Public-Private Partnership in Westminster
The Westminster City Council has struck a deal with British Telecom to install a Wi-Fi network on lampposts across Soho in London. Internet users will be able to access BT Openzone hotspots by September. Low-powered microconnect distributed antennas will also be installed to improve mobile phone and 3G coverage. “The antennas will be a lot smaller and there won't be the same concerns there are with existing ones,” said Westminster City Council head Simon Milton. “We are hoping to remove some of the older ones from the streets and buildings in the area.”
• Source: (Vnunet, 25 May 2005)
Russia Ends Long-Distance Monopoly
The Russian government said on May 30 that it had issued its first long-distance and international phone service license to a private company, ending the monopoly of state-controlled Rostelecom. The Federal Communications Monitoring Service said in a statement it had issued the license to CenterInfocom, a little-known company that groups five of the Moscow region’s alternative operators. “Similar requests from other bidders will be considered soon,” the statement, quoted by Reuters, said. Russia has promised the European Union it will end Rostelekom’s monopoly by 2007 as part of Moscow’s efforts to join the World Trade Organization.
• Source: (MOS News, 30 May 2005)
Ericsson: 2 Billion Wireless Users Soon
Ericsson CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg said the world will soon see two billion mobile phone users, close to one third of the global population. He was optimistic of the 3G wireless technology and optimistic about the wireless industry in general. Both Ericsson and Nokia have predicted two billion mobile wireless users in the recent future. In addition, Leichtman Research Group, Inc. reports that the 20 largest cable and DSL providers in the USrepresenting about 95% of the marketacquired a record 2.5 million net additional subscribers in the first quarter of 2005
• Source: (Business Week Online, 10 May 2005, Leichtman Research)
European Telecoms Look to E. Europe
Having tapped out markets on their home turf, European telecoms are aggressively exploring Eastern Europe. The signing last week of a $3.58 billion deal between the Czech government and Spain's Telefonica SA for 51.1 percent of Cesky Telecom illustrates where the companies are looking for new customers. Also last week, Hungary-based Matav Rt. took over Montenegro's telecom company under a $151.7 million deal for a 51.12 percent stake in Telekom. And British telecom Vodafone Group PLC, said last month it would acquire two cell phone operators in Romania and the Czech Republic for $3.5 billion, expanding its reach into what it sees as attractive markets.
• Source: (Business Week, 18 April 2005)
|From the W2i Digital Cities Convention in Taipei, June 2830, 2006: "I thank W2ithe Wireless Internet Institutefor its cooperation with the City Government to invite so many experts, CIOs and other representatives from Canada, the U.S., Europe and the Asia Pacific. To hold this conference is a dream come true." Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou
London Program Committee
• Program Director, U.K. Digital Challenge and Inclusion Network
• Team Leader, Intelligent Transport Systems, Portsmouth, U.K.
• Nomad Wireless Project Manager, London Connects
• City of London Corporation
• Manchester City Council
• Norfolk County Council
• Westminster City Council
• Deputy Officer, Stockholm City Congestion Tax Secretariat
• Secretary General, Department of Communications, Ireland
• Chief Research Officer, Yankee Group
• Editorial Director, E-Government Bulletin
• Founder & CEO, Telabria
• Marketing Manager, Motorola
• Director Marketing, BelAir Networks
• Public Sector Marketing Manager, Intel Europe Middle East and Africa
• Chief Technology Officer, BT Retail
• Managing Director, NOW Wireless
• Vice President, Corporate Marketing, SkyPilot Networks
• CEO, Cityspace
• Founder & CEO, The Cloud Networks
• Marketing Manager, Motorola
• Chief Technology Officer, BelAir Networks
• Business Development Manager, Cisco Systems
• Marketing Director, LastMile Communications