BETHESDA, Md.-Wireless technology and broadband infrastructure provider MobilePro Corp. reported that the city of Akron, Ohio’s city council is in the final stages of approving a contract with MobilePro’s NeoReach Wireless Division to design, deploy and operate a metro-wide Wi-Fi network with a built-in plan for future WiMAX upgrades.
MobilePro said the multispectrum Wi-Fi/WiMAX, multiradio mesh network will enable a range of free and fee-based services and provide secure high-speed access to data, voice and video applications. Subscription services are expected to be offered on an annual, monthly, daily and hourly basis, and MobilePro said it will allow access to multiple Internet service providers.
“To be progressive and keep up with the demands of technology, we need to ‘unwire’ the city,” said Don Plusquellic, Mayor of Akron. “This pilot program with NeoReach Wireless positions us fairly early on for doing this citywide.”
MobilePro explained that the pilot network will encompass a portion of the Ellet and East Akron neighborhoods, including the Akron Communications Division, Traffic Engineering and Public Works locations near the Akron Municipal Airport. There are discussions to include a downtown area within the pilot. The network is expected to eventually grow to cover all 62-square miles of the city in future phases.
Although the WiMAX Forum has not yet certified WiMAX products, it is expected to do so before the end of the year. Currently, WiMAX products being shipped are labeled as pre-WiMAX equipment.
“The city of Akron’s wireless initiative will help bring us into the forefront when it comes to technological advantage and creativeness,” said Rick Leu, Akron’s chief technology officer. “It should also help in slowing the exit tide of young technicians moving away and keep them right here in Akron. It is definitely an exciting time for the city of Akron.”
Akron has about 217,000 residents.