BelAir Networks announced two new products for public safety and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) applications today – the BelAir100M Mobile Mesh Node (pdf) that supports 4.9 GHz public safety, Wi-Fi, and WiMAX frequencies as well as a 5.9 GHz module for ITS. The new high performing mesh infrastructure can support the mobile connectivity requirements in vehicles traveling as fast as 150 miles per hour.
The new 5.9 GHz radio module is now available across the BelAir Networks product line, including the new BelAir100M, to help improve the safety, efficiency, dependability and cost effectiveness of transportation systems.
BelAir says it is unique in its support for ‘make before break’ mobility enabling the fastest and most reliable handover, and including ‘look ahead’ functionality. These features ensure continuous high-performance broadband connectivity at speeds of up to 150 mph or 240 kph. It’s offered in both dual and tri-radio variants, and supporting the same high performance radio modules as the rest of the BelAir portfolio.
The BelAir100M is said to meet or exceed all transportation regulatory requirements. For ease of management and operation, the BelAir100M is managed as a discoverable network element in the BelView Management system (BelView NMS) and runs the BelAir Operating System (BelAirOS).
The BelAir100M can be configured with both an access radio and a backhaul radio or with dual backhaul radios for resilient dual band backhaul deployments. On the backhaul, the BelAir100M can support multiple connections to the road or trackside mesh network, while on the access side, the node can connect to multiple standards based in-vehicle devices (including video cameras, as well as Wi-Fi enabled laptops and phones).
In related news, trains from Worcester to Boston, Massacucetts will be getting WiFi as the MBTA starts a free high-speed Wi-Fi Internet service.
The pilot program, one of the first of its kind in the country, will be tested on the Worcester-Framingham-Boston commuter trains with the hope of soon installing it on all 13 commuter rail lines in the state. Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray said the program is a first step toward improving Internet access throughout the commuter rail system.
Forty-five miles in length, the Worcester/Framingham Commuter Rail Line travels through 10 communities and serves 17 stations. Its trains carry more than 18,000 passengers on a typical weekday.
Turnkey train WiFi services that utilize utilize terrestrial EV-DO, Wi-Fi, or WiMAX links include; Parsons, Parvus RiderNet, PePWave Mobility and others, while systems that utilize satellite connectivity include Icomera, Nomad Digital and 21Net.
In other wireless transit news, Bay Area Rapid Transit said 230 volunteers will trial specially equipped Samsung mobile phones that can perform a variety of functions, including paying for BART tickets and downloading information off “smart” posters in BART stations. It uses near field communication, which combines the RFID smartcards with a reader. It is expected to be used for consumer purchases for a variety of goods and services. NFC operates within the ISM band of 13.56 MHz.
Satellite connections are also used to transmit video blogs recording the final days of an epic bike journey thousands of miles from the North Pole to the South.
British adventurers Rob Gauntlett and James Hooper hope to raise awareness about climate change as they get close to the tip of South America. Daily video reports of their journey across the Andes into Argentina show how they have been forced to battle rapidly changing weather. The BGAN terminal is being provided by distribution partner BT, with airtime sponsored by Inmarsat.
In other news, Denver International Airport has eliminated its $7.95 charge for Wi-Fi and has seen web traffic balloon in the four weeks since the charge was dropped. FreeFi Networks, a Los Angeles-based company offering advertiser- supported Internet access at airports, today said DIA is now the largest airport in North America to offer free Wi-Fi Internet access. FreeFi Networks has partnered with Disney-ABC to provide popular video on demand rentals as they become available from The Walt Disney Studios.
DailyWireless has more on transit connectivity including; Aircell Vs Row44: Two for Two, Hotspot for Bedouins, Chrysler Getting WiMAXed, Washington Ferries: Connected at Last!, PePWave Mobility: Connectivity for Vehicles, TrainFi: One Million Served and Free TrainFi in UK.