Wireless Beijing an Olympian Effort

Think unwiring a city the size of Philadelphia, San Francisco or Houston is a big deal? Trying unwiring a city that spans 6500 square miles and serves more than 12 million people — like Beijing. That’s what’s underway today as the city revs up for the Summer Olympics, with a team headed by service provider CECT-Chinacomm and infrastructure provider Azalea Networks having deployed the network’s first 800 to 1,000 wireless nodes. Azalea Networks CEO John Elms says Phase I of the project represents about 10 percent of the eventual project footprint, which will be used for public access, traffic management and military/public safety applications, as well as serving as the wireless backbone for the Summer Olympics. Elms projects the first part of the network will go live in April, adding that CECT-Chinacomm has an aggressive goal to have the full deployment done over the next 12 months. CECT-Chinacomm is paying for the network build-out, although the Beijing government is subsidizing the project by acting as an anchor tenant.