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Athens suburb Argyroupolis goes live with Wi-Fi network November 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web, Telecoms.
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City Launching a Multipurpose Network for Municipal and Residential Access; Expected Payback in Under Three Years

The Athens suburb of Argyroupolis is now live with the first muni Wi-Fi network in Greece using Tropos Networks metro-scale wireless mesh system, offering affordable broadband Internet access services to its residents today with multiple voice, muni and public safety applications being planned for the future.

Simple Waves Innovations, a leading network integrator in Greece, designed and installed the city-wide Wi-Fi network along with Digital Sima, a leading networking and security company, using the Tropos Networks’ MetroMesh system.

“Residents complained to us about the high cost, poor quality, and, in some cases, lack of DSL services in their neighborhoods,” said Stefanos Paschalides, General Manager of DEADA, the city owned company that manages the network. “As a result, the city decided to fund and operate its own, fee-based Wi-Fi network with expansions in service and users planned.”

One of 49 local municipalities that are part of the greater Athens Area, the City of Argyroupolis has over 16,000 household and 40,000 residents. The network, which was started in January 2007 as a small pilot, now covers 50% of the 8.2 square kilometer suburb and is expected to cover 90% by the end of the year. DEADA charges from 50 to 200 euros a year depending on the connection speed or 1/6th the price of local DSL services. Entirely funded by the municipality, the fees have been set to cover the cost of the network which is expected to pay for itself in two and one-half years.

Over 200 residents are now using the network, with 1000 by year end. In two to three years, DEADA expects that there will be 2500 subscribers.

“Without the DEADA network, we were faced with a choice of a very expensive and poor quality DSL service or none at all,” said Minas Malakos, an Argyroupolis resident. “The whole family now uses the network to do research, homework and stay on top of community affairs. This was not possible before.”

In addition, the city intends to expand upon the networks’ offerings and user base with voice services for residents and municipal workers, intelligent traffic management (ITS), video surveillance for public safety, and, because of the recent fires in the nearby mountainous terrain, a “fire watch” surveillance system. As a by product of the network, DEADA is planning to feed advertisements for the city into the network.

“We have been working with DEADA to fulfill their vision of a multi-user network for the city that will, in the end, pay for itself,” said Stathis Morfonios, General Manager of Simple Wave Innovations. “We partnered with Tropos Networks to do this because they have deployed networks like these around the world and understand the project from both a business model and technology perspective. Theirs is the best, most reliable and manageable system for today’s residential services and to expand upon for future applications.”

“We are pleased to be working with DEADA and Simple Waves on behalf of the City of Argyroupolis,” said Bo Nilsson, the Managing Director of Europe Middle East and Africa for Tropos Networks. “Our field-proven MetroMesh architecture makes it easy to deploy and evolve their network to support concurrent data, voice, and video services and applications, enabling the city to become a viable service provider for the community.”

Related Links > www.simplewaves.com, www.tropos.com, www.digitalsima.gr

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