April 25, 2003
They're Unwiring Westminster
Meanwhile, back in our time line according to The Register ...
London's City of Westminster Council is to bring 802.11b wireless networking to the streets of Soho. The scheme, dubbed the Westminster 4G project, will initially provide Wi-Fi connectivity for council operatives and remote systems.
But in a direct challenge to ISPs and the UK's wired and mobile telcos, the Conservative-led Council plans to extend the network to provide data and voice services to the public.
Westminster 4G, due to be rolled out next month, will see a number of "smart boxes" installed throughout the Soho district of central London. Greek Street, Old Compton Street and Dean Street will be among the first to be given blanket Wi-Fi coverage, project leader and West End ward councillor Ian Wilder told The Register.
(Full story here.)
The one thing that springs to mind is that if you combine this with a PDA like the new Palm Tungsten C -- with built in 802.11b -- and SIP (a basic but workable VoIP stack) it makes the mobile phone obsolete. You can tunnel phone calls over TCP/IP over 802.11b wireless, instead of tunnelling TCP/IP sockets over PPP over some kind of brain-dead 1980's PSTN system.Posted by Charlie Stross at April 25, 2003 12:43 PM