7/22/2005 - Pronto Networks, a leading provider of carrier-class operations support systems (OSS) for managing large-scale Wi-Fi hot spot and hot zone networks, and Pervasive Services, a leading provider of content creation and distribution systems over wireless networks in some of the nation's stadiums, airports and other community venues, announced a strategic partnership to drive metro-scale municipal Wi-Fi deployments as well as their first joint deployment at Love Park in Philadelphia. The wireless network was made available earlier this month to concertgoers of the Live 8 all-star charity concert that took place in the park on July 2, 2005.
The companies’ first joint deployment called “The Cloud” was successfully launched in the Love Park area in Philadelphia through Wireless Philadelphia several weeks before the Live 8 concert. Pervasive provides the front end user sign up, community content applications and merchant publishing solutions, while Pronto’s operations software solution runs the back office applications such as authentication, network monitoring and usage-based reporting. The Cloud is available to everyone near Love Park and along the Ben Franklin Parkway to the Philadelphia Museum of Art through a variety of wireless access options including laptops, PDAs and cell phones. Tropos Networks provides the radio mesh infrastructure nodes that are deployed in the park and along the parkway.
The Cloud was utilized by journalists from XM Radio, Boston Herald, NJ Star Ledger and Technorati Bloggers covering the concert as well as residents and visitors over the long Fourth of July weekend. During the event, more than 500 logins occurred and over 2.6 GB of traffic moved across the network. The Live 8 concert series staged across the globe was held to raise awareness of global poverty and to pressure G8 nations to do more to alleviate suffering.
“The Cloud at Wireless Philadelphia is an integral part of the way in which Wireless Philadelphia is bringing together its residents, businesses, government agencies and visitors,” said Dianah Neff, chief information officer for the City of Philadelphia. “Pronto Networks and Pervasive Services’ tightly integrated solution provides support for community-based content delivery by bringing mobility to the city of Philadelphia at no cost to consumers.”
“We are thrilled to join forces with Pronto Networks, a company we consider an innovator and leader in community Wi-Fi,” said David Boardman, founder and principal of Pervasive Services. “The overarching goal of our partnership is to provide a high quality user experience by extending the value of Wi-Fi networks and bringing community-based content to city-wide hotzones and hotspots.”
Pervasive Services’ The Cloud is the premier way for cities such as Philadelphia to brand and market their Wi-Fi offering. Community content systems like The Cloud help Philadelphia reach its goals by expanding economic development and tourism, and dispersing key community information, therefore forming a closer relationship with residents. The Cloud is more than a “portal” for the Wi-Fi network, as it allows users to subscribe to areas of interest about the City, including arts, entertainment, dining, and local news. In addition, local businesses and organizations are able to interact directly with subscribers to The Cloud through an opt-in subscriber model. Other key deployments of The Cloud include: the University of Georgia - the sponsor of the first Wi-Fi enabled downtown (2002), the San Francisco Giants - the country's original Wi-Fi professional sports arena, and Stapleton, CO - the nation's largest urban development.
“Pervasive Services’ The Cloud offering is taking metro-scale broadband wireless networks to the next level by adding relevant content and by allowing consumers to obtain this content wherever they are,” said Jasbir Singh, president and CEO of Pronto Networks. “We’re pleased to be partnering with a leader in community Wi-Fi to bring the benefits of broadband wireless to entire communities.”
The Pronto OSSTM is an open, standards-based Wi-Fi service delivery platform that enables operators and systems integrators to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy wireless broadband networks to deliver value-added services to city employees, businesses and consumers. Pronto's OSS can support any kind of municipal broadband network model - public, private or mixed use. This ability to support both mixed use public and private applications on one network with quality of service (QoS) ensures superior user experience, reduces investment costs and lowers ongoing management and maintenance costs. Pronto’s solution is the choice of high profile cities such as Chaska, MN; Lompoc, CA; and Cerritos, CA, and is in the installation phase in many more cities throughout the United States. The company’s OSS is also installed in Corpus Christi, TX, Intel’s Digital City showcase and is a key component of the Intel Digital Cities ecosystem.
About Pronto Networks
Pronto Networks, based in Pleasanton, Calif., provides carrier-class Operations Support Systems (OSS) that enable network operators to deploy and manage large public hot spot and hot zone networks. The company’s software handles provisioning, configuration, authentication, access control, security, pre-paid and post-paid billing, and roaming settlement for large public WLAN networks, in addition to remotely managing and updating multi-vendor hardware and Wi-Fi switches. Pronto Networks is funded by BV Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and the Intel Communications Fund. Pronto Networks was recently named to the AlwaysOn List of Top 100 Private Companies for the second consecutive year and in 2003 received Wired Magazine’s Top 25 Wi-Fi Companies to Watch and Computerworld’s Innovative Technology Awards. For more information about Pronto Networks, please visit www.prontonetworks.com.
About Wireless Philadelphia
Wireless Philadelphia (www.phila.gov/wireless) has been established to create a digital infrastructure for open-air internet access and to help citizens, businesses, schools, and community organizations make effective use of this technology to achieve their goals while providing a greater experience for visitors to the City. The City is singularly obsessed with bringing the benefits of true, affordable broadband data communications anywhere, anytime, to anyone that needs it. An examination of available alternatives show they don't measure up to the task. Meeting this challenge requires a unique marriage of the ubiquitous coverage of cellular with the ease and speed of Wi-Fi.
Wireless Philadelphia is a Mayor John F. Street initiative to explore the opportunity for Philadelphia to become the first major city to deploy wireless citywide in America. The Mayor has incorporated Wireless Philadelphia as a Nonprofit Corporation to carry out these goals.
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