Thursday, January 31, 2008

Parvus Mobile 802.11 Hotspot Enables Wi-Fi Trial for MBTA Passengers, First U.S. Wireless Internet Service for Commuter Rail

SALT LAKE CITY, UT and BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 29, 2008) - Parvus Corporation today announced that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has included Parvus RiderNet3 mobile access points in a Wi-Fi pilot program, believed to be the nation's first cellular-based wireless Internet service for commuter rail.

Beginning Jan. 30, the MBTA "Wi-Fi Commuter Rail Connect Test Program" will offer free wireless Internet service on at least one coach of every train traveling the 45-mile commuter rail line between Worcester and Boston. Forty-five coaches will initially be equipped with the service, enabling the line's 18,000 daily passengers to use laptop computers, cellular phones, PDAs, or other Wi-Fi-enabled devices to access the Internet during their commutes to and from South Station on participating coaches.

"One of the first programs of this type on a United States commuter rail system, this service will provide our customers with the opportunity to get the most out of their time spent commuting," said MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas. "During this test phase, feedback from our riders will be solicited to help us maximize the technology's benefits, and then expand the program to other parts of the 13-line Commuter Rail system."

Wi-Fi amenities on buses and trains are becoming more common and are frequently cited as inducements for using public transit, particularly to improve productivity of commuters as they go back and forth to work. On Jan. 27, Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray announced that the MBTA was ready to launch this innovative pilot program.