911 Chatline

Century Communications announced today a new 900 service, with profits helping to defray the cost of installing and maintaining enhanced 911 services across the country. The 911 Chatline allows callers to choose an area of the country and listen to 911 emergency calls.

Century spokeswoman Fawn Lebowitz explains; “In recent years we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the popularity of reality-based television shows. The 911 Chatline allows callers to experience real-life drama while it is going on, all from the comfort of their own home.”

While listening to emergency calls, Chatline users have a number of options. They can listen to just the 911 calls for the area they select, switch their call to a different area, or, probably the most interesting option, connect their call to the ‘911 Chatline’ to discuss the details of the emergencies with each other as they happen, and before the police have even arrived!

As 911 centers sign up to receive their share of the profits, they are connected to the Chatline network. Century says it has already wired up over 50 centers. They plan to have the whole nation wired by April, 2009.

Betamax to HD-DVD Converter

ThinkGeek tests out the Betamax to HD-DVD converter, perfect for the old media files we have carefully preserved at the DailyWireless tower. And only $29.99!

Betamax and HD-DVD are like a match literally made in heaven (you know, that place you go when you die?), and now you can get a slice for yourself.

Features a simple one-touch record between either format.

iPass Combines EVDO/WiFi Access

iPass on Monday introduced a mobility service that combines Wi-Fi hotspot and 3G access. It’s also the first time iPass, a provider of services to businesses, is offering hotspot access to consumers.

The iPassConnect service, which includes wired hotel broadband, has been an enterprise-level service aimed at businesses. Now the subscription-based service has price plans that start at $29.95 a month. A Wi-Fi/3G combo plan packages an EVDO card for connectivity most anywhere. That plan costs $69.95 monthly + $125.00 (for 3G card & other fees) with a one year minimum commitment.

iPass has two North American plans and two “global” plans. The North American plan costs $30/month, while the the global plan costs $45/month. Adding a cellular component adds another $40/month.

iPass aggregates Wi-Fi hotspots from a number of network providers such as AT&T and T-Mobile, providing access via over 95,000 hotspots in 86 countries across the globe. The service is also available in more than 500 airports and more than 20,000 hotels, including chains like Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott.

In the survey, iPass found that business users had increased their Wi-Fi hotspot use 89% in the second half of 2007 over the second half of the previous year. 3G usage also increased — by 70% — over the same period.

The survey revealed that the European hotspot market was growing dramatically — its Wi-Fi market share jumped to 40% from 31% in the surveyed period, while the U.S. market share dropped to 51% from 59%.

Usage in airport terminals alone accounts for 45% of all Wi-Fi hotspot usage, says iPass, while hotel usage makes up 29% of total usage.

Cricket Launches AWS Service

Leap Wireless, the parent company of Cricket Communications, a leading provider of prepaid cellular services, today announced their first Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum operation, in Oklahoma City. It will include approximately 1.1 million new covered POPs, bringing Cricket’s national covered POPs to approximately 55.1 million.

Bidders Net total of high bids
1. T-Mobile $4.2 billion
2. Verizon Wireless $2.8 billion
3. SpectrumCo $2.4 billion
4. MetroPCS $1.4 billion
5. Cingular $1.3 billion
6. Cricket $710 million
7. Denali Spectrum $365 million
8. Barat Wireless $127 million
9. AWS Wireless $116 million
10. Atlantic Wireless $81 million
Click here to find out who is backing these bidders.

Cricket’s network consisting of 98 cell sites will be fully operational at launch covering the sprawling Oklahoma City area including the cities of Norman, Guthrie and Shawnee and linking with the existing Tulsa market to create one large Oklahoma calling area.

“With the launch of Oklahoma City, we are entering what we believe to be another major growth phase for our business,” said Doug Hutcheson, president and chief executive officer at Leap. “The AWS spectrum that we acquired in 2006 from the FCC enables us to again double the size of our Cricket footprint and covered POPs.

Cricket rate plans range from $35 to $60 a month, and include unlimited anytime minutes, unlimited U.S. long distance, unlimited text and picture messaging and nationwide roaming minutes.

Cricket Wireless Internet Service will be available for $40 a month, customers who also have Cricket mobile phone service receive a $5 discount and pay just $35 monthly.

Cricket is launching its Cricket service in Oklahoma City with a variety of AWS wireless devices including the Samsung MyShot camera phone, Samsung Spex and UTStarcom 7126 mobile phones, as well as the UTStarcom UM100C wireless modem.

Comments Restored

Ever wonder why nobody ever seems to leave comments on DailyWireless? Me too. Tonight I discovered why — they’ve been disappearing through a black hole.

I didn’t realize that there were people making comments until tonight, after Don upgraded Dailywireless to WordPress 2.5.

Holy smokes. There were a ton of comments archived but never published. They simply got sent to an obscure file (to me) on WordPress. They were waiting my okay, but I never knew they were there.

My apologies to all those readers who wrote wonderfully insightful, humorous and helpful comments. They simply didn’t appear because I didn’t know they existed. Now the file system is much better.

In the future, I hope we can all participate and benefit from this two-way street — that has been our intention from the start.

Thanks for your understanding.

– Sam (Word Press Dunce) Churchill