turing0 writes "Bell Canada yesterday announced a trial of a new public wifi hotspot service - currently free - with locations in either airports, railway stations or bus terminals in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Kingston. Bell has adopted an interesting twist on the hotspot in that they have built a steel armored case, in which to house the AP, a DSL modem and power supply, which is the exact dimensions of a payphone -- and mounted the whole thing in place of a single phone where there are banks of them such as you see in airports and bus terminals or subways. According to this article in the Globe and Mail Bell has still not determined the pricing model."turing0 continues: "I attended the press conference at Toronto's Union Station, Track F, where I took a close look at the AP box which was mounted quite securely to a bank of payphones, and I was pretty impressed at how solid it appeared as various journalistic hacks took turns trying to pry the AP off the wall under the watch of Bell execs and a Bell phone tech. Bell is using Cisco AP1200's in the box as well as Alcatel ADSL modems with a 3Mb/Sec ADSL/ATM backhaul to the internet according to the Bell tech present. Various Bell types were wandering about with a pretty diverse collection of hardware such as Apple iBooks, Compaq PDA and IBM Thinkpads with 802.11 cards from Proxim, Cisco and Symbol as well as Dlink and SMC. Great use of a fully amortized asset (phone banks) and a very interesting spin on how to generate new revenue from a dying cost center - the payphone biz. Plus the added benefit of not having to negotiate new agreements with property management and landlords. Smooth move for Bell. Why didn't I think of that? Payphones, though declining in numbers, are still pretty much ubiquitous and are served with power as well as a good solid mounting location for the AP. In the final deployment Bell said that they would also be mounting AP's in the plenum and riser infrastructure of selected buildings should the full roll-out of the Accesszone product proceed. Is Bell Canada the first ILEC to recycle payphones?"
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