HetNet News: TimeWarner deploys free Wi-Fi in Austin; NYC subway DAS

Time Warner Cable is expanding a free Wi-Fi network for its customers in Austin, Tex., and plans to add hundreds of additional hotspots this year, the company said.

The city-wide TWC Wi-Fi network is already available in some areas, the company said, and it will continue its build out in areas including Zilker Park, Barton Springs, Lamar, Congress, 5th and 6th streets. Time Warner has an app, TWC Wi-Fi Finder, to help customers find its hotspots.

Access to the hotspot network is free to Time Warner’s customers with standard Internet or higher packages, and to the company’s business class Internet customers. Free-trial and prepaid options are available for non-TWC customers, starting at $3 per hour.

The first phase of a distributed antenna system deployment to serve New York City’s transit system has been completed. The new broadband network will extend cellular and Wi-Fi coverage to all 277 underground subway stations, as well as supporting public safety communications and digital advertising.

PCTel provided antennas for the system, and Transit Wireless is the neutral host company which designed, constructed, owns and operates the DAS.

Meanwhile, AT&T is beefing up its network at Churchill Downs in preparation for the running of the Kentucky Derby. The carrier said it is the first carrier to sign on to a DAS installation at the track and that it will also be providing two cell-on-wheels in the surrounding neighborhood and six compact A/C radio telephone sites (CARTs) in the infield to ensure voice and data quality for the event, where crowds have been known to exceed 165,000 attendees.

The DAS provider at Churchill Downs is Mobilitie, which owns and operates DAS installations at other high-profile domestic venues as well. Mobilitie gained a $100 million investment in February from Shamrock Capital Growth Fund III, and is using the funds for building out DAS and small cell deployments.

Christos Karmis, president of Mobilitie, said that his company collaborated with AT&T to ensure that its network is complete and operational in time for this year’s Derby; other carriers are expected to connect to the DAS later this year.

And in case you missed it, HetNets got a boost last week when the DAS Forum renamed itself the HetNet Forum last week. Check out our videos from the DAS in Action conference here.

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