Nokia has been selected to be the primary provider for mobile services in the free Wi-Fi networks in the parks of the city of New York. The networks currently being installed will cover 10 major parks in New York City, including Central Park, Union Square Park and Corona Flushing Meadows. The network infrastructure is owned and managed by WiFi Salon, a New York-based company that owns the exclusive concession rights from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for this purpose.
Nokia will introduce mobile multimedia services in the parks with local media partners during the summer. The media partners will provide complimentary mobile versions of their content to Nokia devices with Wi-Fi connectivity used in the parks.
"The Parks Department is pleased to partner with WiFi Salon and Nokia to bring free Wi-Fi access to ten major parks in New York City," said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "The expanded Wi-Fi network will give park visitors even more options to enjoy. Now, park patrons can throw a pitch, score a goal, catch a wave or surf the Net at some of our City's greatest parks."
"This is a great opportunity for Nokia to showcase the capabilities of our mobile multimedia devices," said Floris van de Klashorst, director, multimedia, Nokia. "Wi-Fi in the parks is an excellent way to pilot new services with our partners in the media industry, while New Yorkers can enjoy some of their favorite pastimes while in the parks - such as reading the paper, listening to music or accessing the Internet - in an entirely new way."
Access to these multimedia services over the Wi-Fi network will be possible with Nokia products that have wireless LAN built in, such as the Nokia N80, the Nokia N91 - two of the latest multimedia devices in the Nokia Nseries range - and the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet, a portable multimedia tablet optimized for Internet communications. Park visitors can access the public Wi-Fi network using laptops or other portable devices with wireless LAN as well.
"Wi-Fi can be more than about Web surfing and checking e-mail," noted Marshall Brown, founder and CEO of WiFi Salon. "What if a hot spot was not just a gateway, but a destination? What if it offered rich multimedia experiences based on the neighborhood where you are located? As prime neighborhood meeting grounds, parks are ideal places for people to experience this new approach to public Wi-Fi."