(PRWEB) January 26, 2007
Following 18 months of technology and feasibility testing, British company Any-Port.Com Ltd has launched the first commercial wireless broadband internet service for the international yachting industry, using gold-standard WiMax equipment.
The company, and its technical partners network management specialists netXpose plan to provide coverage of all major Mediterranean yachting ports within 12 months and already have coverage in four important areas of the French Riviera. Coverage is expected to include all the Major French Riviera ports (and associated anchorage areas) by spring this year, with further implementations in France, Spain and Italy already well underway.
Wireless broadband internet services are particularly important to the international yachting industry as yachts become more technical and clients insist on internet access. To date, there are no other reliable ways to achieve nomadic broadband access for this highly mobile (and data-intensive) market. Previous attempts to provide on-the-move broadband services, such as satellite and even modern 3G services are expensive, sporadic and/or offer much lower data rates which come nowhere near the 512, 1024 or 2048 kbps guaranteed by the truly broadband service offered by Any-Port.
Of course, some ports provide DSL access and many now have WiFi services, but these are specific to each individual port and, in many cases are unreliable, with WiFi in particular suffering from congested EM spectrum difficulties which will only get worse with the advent of multi-channel devices such as the 802.11g+ and 802.11n varieties. This was apparent at many of last year's international boat shows, where official WiFi services failed totally, but Any-Port's (then experimental) systems carried on without a hitch.
Of course, even where these services exist, they do not offer coverage in surrounding areas, such as local anchorage, which is becoming increasingly important as busy ports get over congested.
WiMax (802.16d/e) is the latest wireless technology to become publicly available and uses sophisticated electronics combined with carrier-level security to provide data services that are vastly superior to those offered by WiFi. Described by some as equivalent to wired services, but without the cables, it is expected to increase in popularity over the next few years, especially for "last mile" rural solutions. Many telecomms operators are currently investing in infrastructure to exploit the far-superior capabilities of WiMax for mobile data services, though these are not expected to become widely available for another 18-24 months. In fact, WiMax manufacturers are only now beginning to receive their first batch of WiMax chips, meaning that units are so far thin on the ground. Any-Port has found that it's initial supplies have been oversubscribed and is working hard to keep up with demand.
Where WiMax really excels is in its ability to transmit at high data rates over extended distances, easily reaching several kilometres at rates up to 36 mbps. Whilst Any-Port's claims are far more modest - guaranteed rates of up to 4mbps at distances of up to 2 Km offshore, this is a vast improvement on what was available previously and will provide welcome relief to those unable to secure in-port berths.
Nowhere will this be more apparent than at the forthcoming 32nd Americas Cup (http://www.americascup.com) in Valencia Spain this summer. Over 200 of the largest commercial and private yachts in the Mediterranean, and many more from further afield are expected to attend this, the biggest of all sporting events. Marinas in the area are already fully booked and have been for months, some for years in anticipation of the crowds, leaving many with anchorage as the only option. Prior to Any-Port's service, their only option would have been satellite services which are extremely expensive and can be very slow when so many users are all sharing limited bandwidth. Such issues do not occur with WiMax, where Any-Port can add extra bandwidth as needed to ensure their clients receive the guaranteed speeds they are offered as part of this revolutionary service.
Discussions are already underway with the Spanish authorities to ensure clients receive the optimal in internet accessibility as those in France already do, thanks to Any-Port's approval by French Telecomms watchdog ARCEP in October 2006.
Any-Port.Com Ltd is a privately held limited company based in Douglas, Isle of Man. Please direct all enquiries via the website, http://www.any-port.com