A recent Gartner Group study determined that business employees are more and more likely to spend time away from their offices traveling around the country if they have access to their e-mails and the Internet. The Hot-Spot provides instant access to resources and a value-added business for the hotel or convention center. Airports are rapidly adopting this technology, and discovering that business travelers are heavy internet users, wish to keep in touch, and are prepared to pay for the service.
Hot Spots are an highly efficient way of creating a network environment for Ad-Hoc users, and owning a Hot Spot location is a highly marketable commodity. Hot Spots currently exist in San Francisco airport, London's Heathrow airport, in Amsterdam's Schipol airport, and many European hotels have installed Hot Spots for the benefit of their guests. This technology didn't take off too well in the united States originally, as it required considerable technical support, however, Starbucks Coffee shops adopted the idea, and the market is slowly developing. Many of the major hotel chains in the USA now provide Hot Spots.
There are some challenges to creating a good "Hot Spot" environment, and therefore, using the right contractor is important. Here are some of the problems:
- Users' systems - Not many laptops are currently configured as wireless capable, and users are reluctant to reconfigure their systems.
- Users' Ability - It is unreasonable to expect many laptop users to understand their system setup, and they may not be inclined to install software or drivers that may impact their system or disrupt current applications.
- Corporate Systems - Many corporate laptops have a standard configuration, and the user is forbidden to add software or make system changes.
Fortunately, none of these problems are insurmountable, using the right equipment and technology. New technology provides transparent and seamless broadband connectivity for the end user at the venue, without the need for configuration changes to the client computer or any resident client-side software.
The major components include:
|Wireless user device|
Visitor wireless Internet access device. WiFi compliant. Plug & go. For Ad-Hoc users.
|Wireless Access Point or Base Station, connected to the corporate LAN|
WiFi compliant IEEE802.11b Access Point. Complete with cable, high-performance antenna, power-over-Ethernet adapter and specialist configuration.
|Access Point controller|
APC Server. Authenticates users and enables plug & go use of Hot-Spot.
|Mobile Access server|
Access and service control.
Pay on the spot via several methods
This provides full authentication, authorisation, and accounting functions for the Hot-Spot network. Complete network management function: configuration, performance and fault management. Database with user account information from associated WISPs. Payment server for multiple immediate access payment options including credit card, mobile phone account, and other (e.g. vouchers).