Saturday, April 22, 2006

GlobeQuest expands Wi-Fi services


GlobeQuest, the corporate business group of Innove Communications Inc., is expanding its Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) service nationwide, increasing its Wireless Internet Zone (WiZ) hotspots from the current 275 to 500 by yearend.

GlobeQuest now covers not just Metro Manila but 13 provinces — Cebu, Davao, Bohol, Bacolod, Tacloban, Pampanga, General Santos, Baguio, Olongapo, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, and Ormoc.

At the same time, the group established four domestic and international roaming partnerships that will allow business travellers to have seamless Internet connectivity in the country and abroad, according to GlobeQuest Head Jesus C. Romero.

GlobeQuest Wiz is also the first public Wi-Fi hotspot service in the Philippines to use the WiFi mesh architecture, with the beachfront area of Boracay as its initial market.

A mesh architecture provides increased coverage and bandwidth depending on the number of access points deployed and is relatively inexpensive, very reliable and resilient.

So far, GlobeQuest has already partnered with a number of popular establishments nationwide, providing them with managed end-to-end solutions to ensure better Wi-Fi service.

"We don’t just put up a WiZ hotspot anywhere. We make sure that all our hotspots are in strategic areas where businessmen and transient Internet users normally converge such as airports, coffee shops, convention centers, golf clubs, resorts and restaurants," Romero explained.

GlobeQuest’s newest WiZ hotspots include Mezze at Greenbelt 2, Outback Steakhouse at Glorietta 4, McDonalds at Jones Ave. (Cebu City), Casino Espanol (Cebu City), L’Fisher Hotel (Bacolod City), and McCafe, Glorietta 3.

GlobeQuest has also forged an agreement with Starbucks to expand its coverage from a current installed base of 32 in-store hotspots to all of its existing coffee shops.

"Innove’s vision is to bring the Filipinos to the broadband age. To support this, GlobeQuest provides broadband facilities like Wi-Fi to major key establishments where people converge for business, as well as promote Wi-Fi as a strategic tool for education, local government projects, product advertisements, and foreign ventures," he went on.

Meanwhile, GlobeQuest has integrated its Wi-Fi network with leading local Internet Service Provider (ISP) Pacific Internet and three of the world’s leading Wi-Fi network aggregators, namely BOINGO Wireless, Inc., iPass, and Deutsche Telekom (DT).

End-users of these companies will have access to Wi-Fi in all of GlobeQuest’s WiZ hotspots in the Philippines using the username and password issued from their home country.

Using iPass, all Innove subscribers (GlobeQuest, WorldPass, and Visibility) who travel around the world can also use either dial-up or Wi-Fi in all of iPass’ points of presence (POPs).

Already, iPass has integrated over 300 network providers covering over 60,000 access points worldwide including more than 35,000 Wi-Fi hotspot and Ethernet hotel broadband locations in about 60 countries.

On the other hand, USbased BOINGO Wireless, Inc., which has over 20,000 hotspots, provides highspeed Internet services to individual end-users and wireless access service providers who intend to resell their Wi-Fi services.

DT connects Wi-Fi providers and hotspots operators from over 20 countries. DT is Europe’s largest telecommunications company and one of the leading carriers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as North and South America.

The roaming agreements solidifies the position of WIZ as the most convenient Wi-Fi service, allowing access via prepaid vouchers, post-paid plans and it’s innovative "wiz on" service which allows any Globe HandyPhone postpaid user to download a username and password and be billed to his cellphone through a simple text message request.

GlobeQuest WiZ is a broadband Internet service using the IEEE 802.11b or Wi-Fi wireless networking standard to provide secure and reliable wireless connectivity to anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or PDA (personal digital assistant) and allow them to access their email, play online games, surf the Net or even make a call.

A Wi-Fi network can be used to connect computers to each other, to the Internet, and even to wired networks which use 802.3 dubbed as the Ethernet.

Wi-Fi networks operate in the unlicensed 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands with an 11Mbps (802.11b) or 54Mbps (802.11g) data rate or with products that contain both bands (dual band) so they can provide similar performance equivalent to the basic 10BaseT wired Ethernet networks.(EVA)

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