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Appear Networks and RATP Steal the Show at the Wireless Broadband Innovation Awards Dinner

London, April 27th 2005: The Wireless Broadband Innovation Award winners, recognising leadership, excellence and innovation in the global wireless broadband sector, were announced last week. Appear Networks, a leading provider of intelligent wireless communication platforms headquartered in Sweden, was the only company to receive two industry commendations during the evening, for its Wi-Fi deployment projects with the Paris Local Transport Authority (RATP) based on the Appear Context Engine: the “Paris Subway Wireless Employee Project” and the “Paris Intelligent Bus Project”.

In the subway project, La Defense RATP employees are now equipped with Wi-Fi-enabled Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). Using the Cisco-based Wi-Fi network deployed by Naxos – subsidiary of RATP – and the Appear IQ platform, upon entering a hotspot the RATP employee is automatically recognized and receives direct access to personalized information related to his job function and information that may be required by passengers. This function turns the La Defense Wi-Fi hotspot into an intelligent working environment: the Workspot. Itinerary planning, traffic disruptions, timetables, real-time traffic information and other location-based information are automatically pushed onto the employee’s mobile device depending on his location, employee profile and time of the day.

“This installation of advanced Wi-Fi services in a subway station is unprecedented”, explained Philippe Vappereau, managing the Traveler Information System Department. “Our initial goal was to help our employees provide better answers to the customers’ requests in order to improve quality of service along their journey. Now, La Defense RATP employees can easily access proximity services to provide real-time traffic information and local information frequently asked by travelers. This is a strong trend in public transportation - innovative transport companies like RATP intend to not only transport passengers from point A to point B, but also to develop innovative services that will improve the passengers overall experience.”

In the intelligent bus project, an intelligent wireless platform is embedded into a city bus, enabling bus employees and commuters to access precise information through their mobile hardware (laptops, PDAs…) depending on the time of day and the location of the bus, using the Appear Context Engine. The intelligent bus is equipped with a mobile access router provided by Cisco, which enables continuous access to all centralized information through two kinds of wireless links: using Wi-Fi as the bus approaches a hotspot and GPRS throughout the rest of the trip. Much more than simple wireless Internet access, information relating to the local area, the district or the town, information relating to the transport network traffic and transport tickets as well as tube and bus timetables can be downloaded onto any mobile hardware. For instance, if the bus approaches the Paris International “Gare du Nord” station, commuters equipped with WiFi hardware can immediately check departure times for the next tube or RER leaving the station and can have a list of shops and restaurants in the area. The bus driver can also send geo-localized alerts to the control centre if a car is parked in the bus lane.

Joëlle Richert, Project Manager at RATP, explained: “The Appear Networks technology appealed to us because of its sophistication and its easy-to-manage set up. We have always tracked new technologies within the information and communication systems sphere. This deployment corresponds to the RATP vision to deliver a transport solution which addresses the needs of employees and commuters: with more mobile services inside the bus, the RATP employee can deliver more detailed information to travelers. For the RATP, mobility is not limited to commuter transport, but extends to data and information services. In this framework, the Appear Networks technology is one of the key elements<

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Appear Networks
+46 8 545 91 370

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