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Massive free Wi-Fi hot spot lands on Paris

Mobile workers in the main business area of Paris will soon be able to get free high-speed Internet connectivity on the move
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor
A wireless network is being deployed in the business district of Paris that will give high-speed Internet access to some 150,000 workers.

The network, which is being deployed by Wi-Fi operator SFR using Alcatel kit, will incorporate 30 separate 802.11b hot spots into a single cloud of coverage.

It runs from the Bridge of Neuilly to the Grande Arch, an area known as La Defense. It covers an area of around 1km, giving free wireless access to anyone in the area with the necessary Wi-Fi kit.

SFR claim that its Wi-Fi network is Europe's largest, but there are a couple of other large-scale deployments that appear to have a decent claim on the title.

Square Mile International said in January that it is building a wireless "hot zone" on the coast of South England that will provide wireless connectivity over an area of more than one square mile.

Broadreach has unwired a 500m stretch of London's West End, from the western side of Piccadilly Circus to the Odeon at Leicester Square.

But the largest Wi-Fi zone on record is thought to be that deployed by the University of Twente, in the Netherlands, whose Wi-Fi hot spot covers 140 hectares (346 acres), using 650 access points.

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