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New Mexico Village Gets Wi-Fi Coverage

The village of Los Lunas, New Mexico, is the latest municipality to deploy wide-area Wi-Fi coverage, and the community has ambitions to leverage the wireless technology to eventually provide VoIP service.

Announced Tuesday, the service was deployed by Vivato Inc., which installed its phased-array antennas that extend the reach of standard 802.11b and 802.11g signals to cover a 10-square-mile area. Vivato and Los Lunas officials estimate that the deployment will result in savings of 80 percent over alternative solutions.

"Vivato's extended-range system requires a fraction of the transmission sites of alternative technologies, resulting in easier deployment and management of the network, and substantial cost reductions over our current communications network," said Los Lunas technical specialist Marty Callahan in a statement. "[It] allows public and municipal employees to communicate with readily available and inexpensive devices, such as laptop computers, VoIP phones, and PDAs."

Los Lunas officials said the system's usage will cut across village departments, ranging from police and fire to emergency services. Vivato has installed its service in several U.S. municipalities.