SOURCE: Appear Networks

April 12, 2006 09:43 ET

The Third European Mobility@Transport Summit Showcased the Latest Wireless Broadband Technologies for the Transportation Industry

UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 12, 2006 -- The third annual European Mobility@Transport Summit was held on March 29th and 30th in Utrecht, The Netherlands, bringing together 129 participants from major public transportation operators across Europe. The summit, organized by @Anyplace Access, a consortium of Capgemini, Cisco, Intel, Aptilo, and Appear Networks, was supported by Dutch Rail and the ContactLess User Board (CLUB).

Public transport companies are increasingly adopting Wi-Fi and WiMax technology, and the summit provided an important forum to share best practices for improving operations, security and customer service using these new technologies. The summit featured several high profile Wi-Fi deployment case studies from leading transportation operators that highlighted both the business strategies for deploying wireless broadband technologies as well as the impact of the deployments on employees and passengers. It was the "best fusion between mobility, IT and railways," said Carlos Rodriguez, Manager of IT Operations & Telecommunications Systems at Metro de Madrid.

"The Mobility@Transport Summit was the perfect occasion to hear about the business benefits of wireless mobility solutions directly from customers," said Niels Feldthus, Executive of IT Development at DSB (Danish Rail). "It was also an ideal forum in which to meet peers within the industry who are actively benefiting from these solutions and exchange ideas."

The summit included demonstrations, presentations and networking opportunities. The global mobility team from Capgemini, in collaboration with the @Anyplace Access partners, has been working together for several years to help transportation companies dramatically reduce costs by mobilizing their employees and increase revenues by offering wireless services to their clients. As Markus Hardtke, Security & Services Department at Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr in Germany, commented, "This was an interesting, exciting presentation of information systems in public transport."

The summit featured a visit to the Utrecht Central Station, where guests saw a live demonstration of Appear Networks' production deployment for a fleet of 10,000 Wi-Fi enabled Pocket PCs and traveled on NSL@B, the new wireless connected train from NS. NS employees showed how they use the NS Desktop in their daily work -- both in the stations and on board trains -- to access traffic information such as disruptions, connections, travel planners and ticketing, and their daily roster. The NS Desktop, powered by the Appear Context Engine, enables the push and synchronization of personalized real-time information over the local Cisco wireless network to handheld devices whenever the user enters or moves between authorized wireless zones depending on the context of the user, for example user profile, specific location, and connection type.

"Using both Wi-Fi and GPRS, the innovative deployment of this technology is estimated to improve Dutch Rail's efficiency by 25 minutes per day, per employee, saving 8 million euros per year," said Leonard de Roos, Head of Communication Devices at NS Reizigers Production Services.

The event also included a visit to Capgemini's headquarters in Utrecht, where Philippe Vappereau, President and Chairman of CLUB (The ContactLess User Board) used the opportunity to demonstrate their interest in enterprise mobility solutions and highlight the innovative deployments currently in place across Europe. RATP and Trenitalia, among others, presented an overview of the Mobility@Transport market and related projects.

"This event showcased how wireless broadband technology can improve both the employee and customer experience, and increase profitability. Leaders within mobility in Europe were able to discuss how wireless solutions can solve key issues facing transportation companies today," said Xavier Aubry, Chief Operating Officer of Appear Networks. "We see this as a major step towards the development of a Wireless Broadband Transport Association in Europe, and look forward to continuing to work together with the excellent companies that were represented this year."

About Appear Networks: Appear Networks is a leading provider of wireless communication platforms that enable successful enterprise mobility solutions. The Appear IQ suite of products transforms standard wireless data networks into multimedia channels to deliver personalized, real-time information, mission-critical video and VoIP communication to mobile workers. In highly demanding, mobile environments, Appear IQ makes technology accessible and intuitive, leveraging existing IT investments to maximize employee productivity and the effectiveness of customer interactions. Appear IQ is used by leaders in the transportation, telecommunication and public sectors, including, among others, Dutch Rail (NS), Stockholm Subway (SL), Paris Local Transport Authority (RATP), Connex, France Telecom and the City of Kista, Sweden. Appear Networks partners with IT industry leaders Cisco, Capgemini, Intel and Fujitsu Siemens Computers to deliver innovative, end-to-end, integrated WLAN solutions. The privately held company is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. For more information, visit http://www.appearnetworks.com

About The @Anyplace Access Consortium: Capgemini has introduced @Anyplace Access, a new business model for the Wi-Fi/WiMax market. Public transportation companies and authorities that are building integrated Wi-Fi service platforms can reap the benefits of cost-saving second generation enterprise mobility solutions and branded revenue-generating public Wi-Fi services, significantly enhancing their profitability. @Anyplace Access is a fully secure, end-to-end, integrated Wi-Fi platform solution designed by Capgemini based upon open standards technology from Intel and Cisco, combined with a portfolio of innovative value-added solutions from two leading partners: Appear Networks and Aptilo Networks. For more information, visit http://www.capgemini.com/services/technology/mobile/access

About CLUB: CLUB, The ContactLess User Board, is a non-profit organisation that was established in 1995 and developed from the initiative of the cities of Venice, Lisbon and Paris and the Bodensee region. The organization's goal is to work together to promote and facilitate the development of contactless technologies and deployments for public transportation companies around the world. CLUB currently represents more than 100 operators within the transportation industry and is headquartered in Paris. For more information, visit http://www.contactless-club.com

About Dutch Rail: Dutch Rail is one of the world's busiest rail systems with 25,000 employees operating over one million passenger journeys every day. Dutch Rail, whose goal is to become one of Europe's most reliable and customer friendly suppliers of passenger rail transportation, operates over 385 full service rail stations throughout the Netherlands and runs approximately 5000 train journeys a day. For more information, visit http://www.ns.nl

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