Wi-Fi on wheels delivers coverage anywhere

Wi-Fi on wheels delivers coverage anywhere

Technology News |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

A customized Ford Transit 350 cargo van is outfitted with six Wi-Fi access points – enough to serve an estimated 2,500 people attending an event. Comcast worked with Ericsson to bring the vision to life and plans to use the vans to support community activities, sporting events and emergency response initiatives.

The van specifications also include a number of industry-firsts, including multiple network access connections, non-line-of-sight (NLOS) microwave backhaul, onboard backup power and modular deployment elements that enable Comcast to launch operations in minutes. 

Angel Ruiz, Head of Region North America, Ericsson, says: “Driving innovation means not only bringing the best technology, but also enabling it to be used in new ways. This new rapid deployment solution will mean fast dispatch and hassle-free setup for Comcast, so they can bring coverage to new hard to reach locations.”

Eric Schaefer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Communications, Data and Mobility for Comcast Cable, says: “Comcast manages the world’s largest Wi-Fi network and we continue to look for innovative ways to provide consumers with access to XFINITY WiFi in even more places.”

Wi-Fi coverage has been primarily limited to locations where there are network facilities and it is economically viable to develop the Wi-Fi capability at that location. Wi-Fi on Wheels is able to provide Wi-Fi service without the constraint of site construction, as the van itself supports an optional wireless link for backhaul connectivity. The mobile nature of the system allows it to bring rapid dispatch and deployment in disaster recovery situations, as well as support community events and special remote promotions, providing a coverage radius of up to 500 feet.


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