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Mexico City To Launch Municipal Wireless

Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard yesterday inked a deal with China's ZTE to set up wireless hotspots that will connect municipal services and agencies. Ebrard hopes to expand the network to offer city-wide municipal wireless service for the city's residents, even as Mexico City struggles to offer basic services like water and electricity.
Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard yesterday inked a deal with China's ZTE to set up wireless hotspots that will connect municipal services and agencies. Ebrard hopes to expand the network to offer city-wide municipal wireless service for the city's residents, even as Mexico City struggles to offer basic services like water and electricity.Municipal wireless (also known as muni Wi-Fi) started as trend in 2004 as cities and smaller municipalities looked for ways to offer broadband. What started out as way for a few cities like Philadelphia to bridge the digital divide has turned into a global movement.

As Wi-Fi technologies have evolved -- offering faster data speeds and enhanced range -- some insiders claim that muni Wi-Fi has the potential to compete with other wireless technologies, including 3G and WiMax.

Muni Wi-Fi critics claim that the quality of these networks isn't very good and that many cities often give up on them after trying to make them work. Some vendors, like Motorola, have tried to capitalize on this by offering trade-in programs and other initiatives.

Other critics claim that WiMax will eventually kill muni Wi-Fi as a movement, especially after service providers like Sprint Nextel prove that WiMax works and offers superior performance.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing