Airlines, airports battle over Wi-Fi spectrum oversight
Airports in Boston, Denver and L.A. are ground zero in the airwaves battle
Computerworld - The airport authority-controlled Wi-Fi networks at several airports are shaping up as ground zero in an emerging battle between airlines and airports over the use, regulation and management of wireless networks at the facilities.
A wireless network at Logan International Airport in Boston, a similar system at Denver International Airport (DIA) and others planned for the Raleigh-Durham International and Los Angeles International airports are at the center of a fight over the unlicensed wireless spectrum used to support a wide range of applications, from passenger Internet access to remote check-in kiosks.
When Logan turns on an airportwide Wi-Fi network next week, airlines and their passengers will have to pay to use the network, something United Airlines Inc. views as an "unnecessary expense," according to Mike Mader, a ground systems radio engineer who handles Wi-Fi installations for United.
While passengers can choose whether or not to pay for access to Wi-Fi hot spots at Logan, airlines, which use Wi-Fi networks to support key applications such as bag tracking, have no choice, according to Barbara Platt, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Port Authority. Massport, which operates Logan, requires airlines and other airport tenants to use the Universal Wireless Ethernet System (UWES) installed at the airport, Platt said.
United, a division of UAL Corp. in Elk Grove Township, Ill., has installed its own Wi-Fi networks to support bag-scanning operations at numerous airports, including its Chicago hub. But Mader said the carrier will have to use the Massport network under the mandate imposed on all airport tenants. That's not as cost-effective as United installing and operating its own network, Mader said.
Platt said the UWES provides for better management of the wireless spectrum at the airport and "ensures Wi-Fi runs smoothly for all users." Platt declined to provide pricing details.
TWI Interactive Inc. in Brighton, Mass., developed the Logan network in partnership with Electronic Media Systems Inc. in Miami. TWI said its five-year contract guarantees Massport a minimum payment of $200,000 in the first year of the pact and as much as $300,000 in the fifth, up to a maximum of 20% of gross revenue. That revenue could exceed $1 million annually.
Chuck Cannon, a spokesman for DIA, said payments from its Wi-Fi contractor, AT&T Wireless Services Inc. in Redmond, Wash., could run about $250,000 per month. Like Massport, DIA maintains that it needs to manage the Wi-Fi spectrum in the unlicensed 2.4- and 5-GHz bands to ensure frequency and spectrum coordination, according to Jim Winston, director for telecommunications at the airport. DIA is owned and operated by the city of
- Paving the Windows XP Migration Path to Success Support for Windows XP has ended, leaving organizations with three choices: Windows 8, Windows 7 or a combination. With the right planning and...
- PC Refresh This survey was conducted in order to determine the typical PC refresh cycle, the barriers to PC refresh, and key benefits of PC...
- Winning the Paper Wars - capture the content and mobilize the process troops In this report, AIIM looks at the reasons for this poor progress, measure the adoption of digital mailrooms, chart the progress of mobile...
- Looking to the Horizon: SDN Software-defined networking is one of the hottest buzzwords of 2014, but saying exactly what SDN is can be a challenge. SDN has its...
- Cloud BI in Action: Recorded Webinar of Customer, Kony, Inc. See how Kony, Inc., a leading enterprise mobility company, is using TIBCO Jaspersoft for Amazon Web Services and Redshift to achieve embedded analytics...
- Cloud BI Overview: Jaspersoft for AWS Check out this overview of Jaspersoft for AWS, to easily and affordably build business intelligence solutions as well as embed visualizations and analytics... All Wireless Networking White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!