Middle East’s first public hot spot opens in Dubai

The Middle East’s first public wireless internet access point, known as a hot spot, has opened in a Dubai shopping mall.

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By  Andrew Picken Published  June 11, 2003

The Middle East’s first public wireless internet access point, known as a hot spot, has opened in a Dubai shopping mall.

Visitors to the cyber café at Plug-Ins, Deira City Centre shopping mall, can use their own wireless-enabled notebooks to check their e-mail or surf the internet for free. A range of Centrino based Toshiba Tecra S1 notebook computer’s is also available in the café for those wishing to try out wireless internet connectivity.

Analyst firm IDC estimate that by 2005 there will be over 118,000 hot spots worldwide in locations as diverse as coffee shops or train stations. The Middle East has been slow in its adoption of hot spots with only a handful in the region, either in luxury hotels or private office environments such as Dubai internet city.

Hot spots allow wireless enabled notebooks to access the internet without the need for cables, telephone lines and dial-up modems. “Plug-Ins is known for its leadership position in the electronics industry in the Middle East and the introduction of this new initiative reconfirms this strategy,” said Shaun Sullivan, purchasing manager for Plug-Ins.

The new Plug-Ins public hot spot uses a Toshiba wireless access point, with an ADSL line to a Toshiba SG20 server that links wirelessly to notebooks within the given radius. “Toshiba notebooks are all about mobility and by joining forces with Intel and Plug-Ins we are giving our customers an even more convenient way of doing business while on the move,” said Ahmed Khalil, regional manager of Toshiba’s Middle East computer systems division.

The Plug-Ins hot spot at the cyber café will be free to all users during introductory promotions running from June 12 - 19 and June 30 - July 6.

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