Visitors to St. Maarten and local residents now have the capability of staying in touch with the world while relaxing on the beachfront Boardwalk, or browsing through the
world-class shops on FrontStreet. That last minute memo, your input into
that vital report, or just checking up on things at home, need not be the
cumbersome experience it can be when you’re vacationing in the Caribbean.
Your Wi-Fi (802.11) enabled notebook, blackberry or other mobile device is
all you need.
Saint Maarten International Telecommunications Services Limited, SMITCOMS
as it is locally known, teamed up with Lucent Technologies and BelAir
Networks to provide a Wi-Fi network in Philipsburg, the Dutch capital of
the island. The group expects to work together to expand the services to
cover other parts of the Caribbean island at a later date. Initially, the
service is free to all users. “We are proud to be the first island to
benefit by this joint effort between Lucent and BelAir Networks,” says
Theodore Heyliger, St. Maarten’s Tourism Commissioner. “Their co-operation
with our phone company, SMITCOMS, not only gave this advanced technology
a local base, but also helped to create a seamless Wi-Fi network for our
businesses and for our tourist traffic. We are very excited about the
growth potential that this technology presents us, and we look forward to
including other parts of St. Maarten in this development.”
Lucent Technologies designs and delivers the systems, services and
software that drive next-generation communications networks. For the St.
Maarten WiFi solution, Lucent Worldwide Services leveraged its experience
working with multi-vendor networks to rapidly deploy the BelAir WiFi
equipment within SMITCOMS existing telecommunications infrastructure.
BelAir Networks is the first company to offer scalable, Wide-Area Wi-Fi.
Built specifically for outdoor deployment, BelAir Networks’ patented
solution integrates easily and transparently into existing network and
physical infrastructure of downtown business districts, hotels and
resorts, and college campuses. A privately held company, BelAir Networks
is headquartered in Ontario.
“If you must mix your work and play, St. Maarten makes it so very easy for
you,” commented Regina LaBega, St. Maarten’s Director of Tourism. “If
you’re like me, you must stay connected everywhere you go, so whether
you’re visiting St. Maarten on vacation or business, in today’s world of
instant communication, we’ve taken the step to make our downtown area an
even bigger shopping playground. So why not come on down and unwind St.