Hotelicopter Gets Moon Bounce Communications

The Hotelicopter Company (pdf) opened its hangar doors this week and introduced the world to the first flying hotel. With 18 luxuriously appointed cabins, guests can experience the adrenaline rush of taking off and flying in the largest helicopter ever produced, while also enjoying the convenience and amenities of a fivestar hotel.

The Hotelicopter offers the meticulous attention to detail that one would expect from a hotel in the sky – from 600-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets to oak accents, cabin service with complimentary champagne and warming toilet seats. The interior of The Hotelicopter was designed by Yotel, the brainchild of UK entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe and the company responsible for the luxury hotels inside the terminal buildings at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, and in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

The Yotel has everything you would expect from a luxury hotel in a small space. Inside the airport terminal buildings accessible from the public areas at London Heathrow’s Terminal 4 and London Gatwick’s South Terminal. The craft is modeled on the Soviet-made Mil V-12, of which there were only two prototypes ever made.

Free Internet connections are currently supplied by Earth-Moon-Earth bounce and inflatable structures due to the high latitude of its Russian location.

Comcast Sues Wireless Provider

Comcast is suing a provider of wireless Internet service to condominiums for what it claims is the company’s practice of stealing its high-speed Internet service and re-selling it to others.

Comcast filed the lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore against Frank Clark and his company, OceanNet in Ocean City, Maryland. OceanNet charges users $199 for 1 Year of service (about $16.58 a month for shared WiFi service) or $8.95 a day.

The lawsuit claims that OceanNet’s business model is to illegally tap into Comcast’s primary service lines and then resell the signal to OceanNet customers. Comcast claims Clark had taken out residential Internet accounts in his name at 35 different addresses. Comcast alleges Clark used the modems from these residential accounts to set up commercial accounts for OceanNet.

Comcast’s residential terms of service contain a provision that the service can only be used at the address of the user.

Ira P. Rothken, an Internet law expert and founder of the Rothken Law Firm in Novato, Calif., said he thought that would be one of the toughest arguments OceanNet would have to overcome.

“It sounds like Comcast has a strong case here,” Rothken said. “Especially since it deals with consumer accounts and monetizing them like he is an Internet service provider — basically reselling bandwith.”

On Thursday, Clark said he planned to fight the lawsuit and declined to comment on the specifics of the case. However, he said Comcast signals are often used to power wireless networks at places like Internet cafes and other businesses that charge users for access.

“This is a practice that happens throughout any city,” Clark said.

Cradle Point says beginning April 1, shipments of CradlePoint’s business-class routers, including the MBR800, MBR1000, and MBR1100 line of mobile broadband routers, CTR500 mobile broadband travel router, and CBA250 cellular broadband adapter, will have WiMAX compatibility built in.

Clearwire’s terms of service, in contrast to Comcast, appear much more liberal and actually encourage individuals to create WiFi hotspots using their wireless broadband backbone.

Clearwire today issued a press release launching the Clear Spot. With the Clear Spot, any “off-the-shelf” Wi-Fi enabled device such as an iPhone, notebook computer, or Nintendo DS among others, can connect to the Internet via the Clear 4G mobile WiMAX network. The CLEAR Spot router, manufactured by CradlePoint, will be available for $139 at CLEAR stores and authorized dealers or online at in early-April. The Silcon Forest has a brief review.

I walked into the Clearwire corporate office in Portland today and found that they wouldn’t have it until next Monday. I plan on getting one then and testing it around Portland.

You can use the mobile hotspot at home (with desktops, laptops or WiFi-enabled smartphones), or on the road. Unlimited 4Mbps service costs $50/month, without strings or contracts.

The Motorola USBw 100 WiMAX dongle can also be plugged directly into netbooks like the Asus Eee PC 1000HE. It features a 10.2 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, an Atom N280 CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth.

In Portland, a Clear mobile hotspot, a Netbook and a 4GB Eye-Fi card for digital cameras are making livecasting an affordable reality. Right now.

CTIA Goes Soft

CTIA 2009 starts April 1st with Google, Microsoft, Nokia and RIM looking smart. Meanwhile, optimistic projections of cellphone growth just six months ago, are now looking foolish.

The cellular industry now claims 4 billion people on the planet are connected wirelessly. But the trillion dollar industry cannot avoid the global economic crisis. IDC recently reported that handset sales were down some 12.6 percent in the 4th quarter of 2008. Strategy Analytics predicted last month that the global mobile phone market would shrink 9% in 2009.

At the Mobile World Congress last month in Barcelona, Microsoft’s AppStore was largely sidelined by Android and Symbian, and even Palm’s WebOS. But at the US equivalent, this week’s Cellular Telephone Industry Association convention in Las Vegas, Microsoft is talking up its agreement with LG, which will result in 50 new Windows Mobile products over the next three years. And their Windows Marketplace for Mobile (video).

Monday announced more than two dozen partners for its upcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile, including EA Mobile, Pandora, and Netflix. Users with Windows-based phones will be able to buy apps with their credit cards or have the purchases posted to their mobile phone bills.

Windows Mobile 6.5 will have improvements to the user experience, including a greater emphasis on touch controls; “dramatically better” mobile Web browsing; expanded music, video and other consumer-oriented capabilities. It will be on the LG-GM7300 and HTC’s Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2 which will be upgradeable to Windows Mobile 6.5. Version 7 is set to come in 2010.

CTIA 2009 will showcase mobile web stores and applications, but Samsung introduced their new Mondi today, a WiMax and Wi-Fi MID that uses Windows Mobile 6.1 platform with a 4.3-inch screen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and Opera 9.5.

C/Net is heading to Las Vegas for CTIA 2009. Take a look at what they’re expecting to see there.

Google News has more stories including, Microsoft’s AppStore, AT&T Announces Six Phones with Keyboards such as Samsung’s Impression and Magnet, Airvana’s ‘Connected Digital Home’, Motorola’s LTE eNodeB, Hot Trends at CTIA and CTIA exhibitor news

American Airlines: Fleet-Fi

American Airlines announced today that it’s joining rival Delta Air Lines (DAL) in making Wi-Fi Internet connections available to most domestic passengers, and across its entire fleet of some 600 aircraft, reports USA Today.

American was the first U.S. airline to launch the Gogo service last August. Since then, thousands of customers traveling on 15 of American’s Boeing 767-200 aircraft have enjoyed Inflight Internet service primarily on nonstop flights between New York JFK and San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami.

American, No. 2 in the world in passenger traffic after Delta acquired Northwest Airlines last year, says it will install the Aircell system on its domestic MD-80 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft fleets, beginning with 150 MD-80 aircraft this year.

Delta plans to roll out Wi-Fi across its entire fleet in 2009 using the Aircell system. Virgin America expects to have its fleet of 28 planes outfitted with Aircell’s Gogo Wi-Fi by the end of June.

Southwest Airlines is using a satellite connection from Row 44 and Alaska Airlines may follow while JetBlue is using its own flavor of wireless with complimentary email, shopping and instant messaging. JetBlue and other airlines, such as Continental, use LiveTV’s satellite-based television programming service. JetBlue, which owns LiveTV, won rights to 1 MHz of the 800-MHz spectrum last year for their internet service.

Aircell’s price for the Gogo service ranges from $7.95 to $12.95 based on length of flight and whether the device is a handheld PDA or a laptop computer. Aircell’s pricing plans are:

  • Long Flight Pass: $12.95 – Standard price for flights longer than 3 hours
  • Short Flight Pass: $9.95 – Standard price for flights 3 hours or less
  • Mobile Flight Pass: $7.95 – Mobile device pricing for customers using a handheld device on Gogo-equipped flights of any length

The service will be available only after planes reach 10,000 feet so it doesn’t interfere with communications between the cockpit and air traffic control.

Related DailyWireless stories include; Alaska Airlines Tests Wi-Fi, Southwest Air Tests PlaneFi, American Airlines Launches Wi-Fi, Aircell WiFi on Delta Airlines, Aircell: We Be 4G, Aircell Takes Off, Row 44: Cleared for Take Off, Bill Banning Airplane Calls Moves Ahead, JetBlue Buys Airfone, FAA: Go For Aircell Launch , Aircell Vs Row44: Two for Two, FlyFi Takes Off, Lufthansa & AA Trying WiFi — Again, Inflight Phones Banned by FAA?, AirCell on Virgin by 2008, Wireless Voice on Airplanes? Yes & No, AirCell Demos Inflight WiFi, Aircell for Planes, FCC Rules on Airplane Cellular, Connexion On Again?, Dis Connexion.

Android Tethering Apps Pulled

Google has pulled tethering apps from the Android Market, reports Android Community. According to at least one developer, who contributed to the WiFi Tether for Root Users app (for the Android DevPhone 1), Google are citing their distribution agreements with carriers as the prompt for removal:

“Google enters into distribution agreements with device manufacturers and Authorized Carriers to place the Market software client application for the Market on Devices. These distribution agreements may require the involuntary removal of Products in violation of the Device manufacturer’s or Authorized Carrier’s terms of service” Google Developer Distribution Agreement

That agreement, when taken with T-Mobile’s terms of service that do not permit tethering, has given Google reason to pull the software from official distribution. It’s a decision that has raised more questions over just how “open” the Android platform is:

“Android phones are supposed to be released for other carriers in the future, right? Does this mean that apps in the Market have to adhere to the ToS for only T-Mobile, even when other carriers sign on? Will all apps have to adhere to the ToS for every carrier that supports Android phones?”

Alvarion Wireless Security Projects

Alvarion will be showcasing its video surveillance solutions for public safety and security at ISC West, April 1-3 in Las Vegas this week.

Alvarion will connect several network cameras at the event exhibiting interoperability and end-to-end solutions with multiple partners and distributors including Winncom Technologies and Vigilant Technologies.

Over the years, Alvarion’s solutions have supported many applications for the public safety market:

  • Alvarion’s BreezeACCESS was utilized as part of the solution that provided broadband connectivity and security during President Barack Obama’s historic inauguration ceremony in Washington DC.
  • U.S.-based Electronic Technology selected Alvarion equipment for use in their Operation Green Light (OGL) network in the city of Lenexa, Kansas to provide robust and reliable communication.
  • Mid-America Regional Council implemented a wireless network that covers two states, 23 cities, 17 jurisdictions and 600 intersections, supporting an intelligent traffic system for reduced pollution, better traffic flow and emergency evacuation capabilities.
  • Roissy Porte de France, a rural community of 14 villages spread around Charles de Gaulle airport north of Paris, with a population of 46,000 inhabitants and 10,000 daily commuters, chose Alvarion equipment to monitor crime activity for community safety in this high density industrial area.