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Tucson OK's Wi-Fi Muni Networks

Two more cities have approved the deployment of municipal Wi-Fi networks, as the public network rollout of the wireless technology appears to be gathering momentum.

Wi-Fi networks in Tucson, Ariz. and Temecula, Calif., will be designed and deployed by Wireless Facilities Inc. (WFI), the firm announced on Tuesday.

The Tucson deployment has heavy public safety overtones and contains a feature called Emergency Room Link, which will provide video and patient telemetry services that will beam patient data from moving ambulances to Tucson's University Medical Trauma Center Emergency Room.

"The result essentially provides a 'virtual doctor' at the scene of an incident," the WFI announcement stated. The Tucson network may be used by other transportation and safety systems in the city.

The Tucson effort, funded in part by an ongoing congressional grant, also calls for the Wi-Fi mesh architecture to be provided by Tropos Networks and the patient telemetry system to be provided by General Devices. The resulting solution is expected to deliver high-bandwidth, live-video patient data when the project is completed in the second quarter of next year.

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