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Sprint picks Henderson for Wi-Fi mesh trial
[March 24, 2006]

Sprint picks Henderson for Wi-Fi mesh trial

(Las Vegas Review-Journal (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Mar. 21--Sprint Nextel Corp. said Monday that it selected Henderson for its first Wi-Fi mesh trial and will provide the service for a two-month free trial basis.

Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity, is a radio-frequency technology that allows laptop or handheld computer users in the vicinity of a "hotspot" to access the Web or corporate networks.

A wireless mesh network is an outdoor network of hot spots that are interconnected to provide high-speed wireless data communications.

The Sprint trial is being conducted in downtown Henderson and The District, a mixed-use area of shops and offices, an area covering about two square miles.

Sprint is conducting the trial particularly to help Henderson's police, fire and emergency services, said Kenny Wyatt, Sprint vice president of product development and marketing. The fire department might obtain a layout of building that is burning through the Wi-Fi service, he said.

Police squad cars equipped with cameras could send video images of the scene of a crime or accident back to police headquarters, said Curlie Matthews, chief information officer for Henderson.

However, anyone with a personal digital assistant or laptop computer may access the Web through the Sprint Wi-Fi service.

"It's as easy as finding the signal (with a wireless modem)," Wyatt said.

The service could help attract new businesses to Henderson, he said, because a business could use the service and allow customers to reach their business through the Wi-Fi service.

"Part of our trial is to figure out what the business model is for deploying networks," he said. "This is a first for both Sprint and the city of Henderson."

Sprint also plans to conduct the trial in other cities that Wyatt declined to identify.

Wyatt said Sprint selected Henderson for the first trial program because Sprint has been a longtime partner with the city of Henderson as their communications provider.

The trial is scheduled to continue through May.

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