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Surfing The Web At 125 MPH

Internet access on airplanes, cellular signals in tunnels and elevators, next-generation Wi-Fi covering entire cities--what's next? How about surfing the Web on a fast-moving train, bus, or car.

Internet access on airplanes, cellular signal in tunnels and elevators, next-generation Wi-Fi covering entire cities--what's next? How about surfing the Web on a fast-moving train, bus, or car.

NEC Corp. said today it has developed a mobile router that enables broadband access from fast-moving vehicles on the ground. NEC's router prototype, called LiteBird, looks just the way it sounds--it's small in size and can be installed in vehicles, or any mobile objects for that matter. It uses proprietary Internet Protocol handover technology, which offers stable wireless communication of more than 6 Mbps for vehicles traveling at up to 125 mph.

LiteBird works on wireless LANs and 3G, third-generation cellular networks, which means laptop and mobile-device users can get ubiquitous wireless coverage even at high speeds, says NEC. 3G is designed for transfer of high-speed multimedia data with speeds ranging from 128 Kbps to several megabits per second.

NEC has some altruistic ideas for the technology, such as safe-operation support systems in trains, and real-time transmission of voice and images between data centers and emergency-response vehicles. But it could also be used to distribute information and provide Internet access to passengers on trains and buses. NEC does intend to pitch the technology for surfing while driving.

NEC plans to exhibit the technology at the Wireless Japan 2005 show, being held from July 13 to 15 in Tokyo.

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