Soon in New York City, a thousand livery cars – the kind used when you need car service in areas not populated by taxi cabs -- are expected to be equipped with roaming wireless Internet.
And you can thank Ukrainian-born, Israel-raised telecom entrepreneur Alex Mashinsky for making the investment.Mashinsky eventually plans to expand the free, advertising-supported WiFi (News - Alert) access, according to reports. The initial launch involves Mashinsky's company, LimoRes Car & Limo Service, and two other companies.The cars also will have outlets for charging laptops and phones.Though service might be spotty at first because cars move, Maskinsky told reporters that adding cars and new technology should change that.
Recently, industry observer Steve Garmhausen profiled Mashinsky, and how he founded another company, GroundLink.
About six years ago, Mashinsky was trying to impress an important business contact and had ordered a limo to transport them from the airport, Garmhausen writes.
It was rainy and the limo never showed; after 35 minutes of staring into the rain, the pair climbed into a taxi. So Mashinsky started a global service where people can find, price, book and pay for ground travel worldwide online. The GroundLink site lets users rate the providers, Garmhausen says, “so other travelers can avoid smelly taxis, unreliable shuttles and overpriced limos.”
That’s not his only transportation-wireless venture.
Days ago news broke that The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority has signed a contract for wireless service in its subway stations, which could extend to moving trains.The contract gives Transit Wireless, a consortium of four companies, two years to test wireless in six stations and another four to provide service in all the underground stations in the system, the New York Daily News reported. Cell phone companies will have to make their own agreements with Transit Wireless to carry their signals.
Mashinsky, part of the consortium, said coverage will be available between some stations. He said that is most likely in Manhattan because it requires stations that are close to each other with wide tunnels like those on lines with both express and local tracks.
Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Marisa Torrieri