The Spanish company GOWEX provides Free WiFi to Parisians, starting with the use of the RATP's outdoor Indoor public transport network: in several transport spaces and only in three underground stations.
Sixty-six "hotspots" located in 46 public spaces in the capital, in places where transport interconnections are made, will broadcast "free wireless internet 24 hours a day at one megabit per second" for users of smartphones and tablets, summarised Karim Bouchfanj, Managing Director France of Gowex, at this morning's press conference. Here are the different connected locations:
- Public places at the exit of stations : Alésia, Bourdon, Châtelet, Denfert-Rochereau, Gare de l'Est, Montparnasse, City Hall, Luxembourg, Lyon-Bercy, Noisy-Le-Grand, Porte d'orléans, Port Royal, Réaumur Sébastopol, Saint-Michel, Centenaire, République, Porte Maillot, Bastille, Jussieu.
- In Metro / Quays stations, corridors, meeting rooms: Chaussée d'Antin, Place d'Italie, Pont de Sèvres.
- Bus stations: Asnières - Gabriel Péri, Bobigny Pablo Picasso, Château de Vincennes, Galliéni, Saint-Lazare, Joinville le Pont, Plaisance, Noisy Le Grand-Mont d'Est, Saint-Denis University.
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But also in RER stations: Antony, Auber, Bourg La Reine, Châtelet, Chessy, Etoile, Noisy Champs, Orsay, Saint Maur-Créteil, Strasbourg Saint Denis, Fontenay aux roses, Palaiseau, Cité universitaire.
To log in, users will need to log in to the Gowex portal for the first time and enter their details to receive a login ID and password.
"Access to wifi is like access to water, we are not able to live without water, and in our information society we cannot live without internet access. Cities must offer it to their citizens", said Jenaro Garcia Martin, CEO of Gowex, citing in particular "young people who cannot afford an internet package".
We can't wait for there to be more equipped underground stations, but connecting to the internet in the metro, as in any underground space, remains a technological and financial challenge: last week, RATP recalled that in the spring it issued a call for tenders to operators for the development of a 3G network, as this technology remains a "priority for the independent transport authority" compared to wifi.
GOWEX has been operating in the telecommunications sector for thirteen years and is currently leading a strategy to create smart WiFi cities offering free and high-end WiFi connectivity in streets, public spaces and transport. The company's scope of action now extends to more than 60 cities worldwide, in agreement with public administrations, shop franchises, associations and transport companies.
In 2010, GOWEX became the only Spanish Small & Medium Business to achieve a dual listing, listed on MAB (GOW) and NYSE-EURONEXT (ALGOW) at the same time. The total turnover of the company in 2011, amounted to 66.7 million euros. In July 2011, GOWEX subscribed a capital increase of $ 7 million with an over-demand of 100 % (twice the expectations). With offices in Madrid, Burgos, Buenos Aires, London, José San, Paris and Shanghai, GOWEX is developing a sustainable business model in their WiFi networks, based on the quality and technical efficiency of patented platforms: the Roaming platform, which allows users to connect for free in the city, and the Geolocalised Advertising platform, which allows to monetise with advertising and marketing agreements. In 2011, GOWEX joined the Wireless Broadband Alliance and received the award for Best Web Company in the Internet.
In February 2012, Jenaro Garcia, CEO of GOWEX, was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Ernst & Young in the Innovation category.
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