Business / Corporate

NTT develops Wi-Fi hot spot van to set up communications after disaster

Kyodo

NTT Corp. says it has developed a vehicle that is equipped to quickly establish communications in the event of a major disaster.

In a project undertaken with Tohoku University, Fujitsu Ltd. and NTT Communications Corp., the company has developed a van that can provide a Wi-Fi network that stretches out 500 meters.

After conducting demonstrations in Kochi Prefecture, the company hopes to introduce the vehicle at its group companies and various municipalities within one or two years.

The gasoline-powered vehicle, dubbed the “movable and deployable ICT resource unit,” can operate for five days without an external power supply. A special downloadable smartphone application allows users within the established Wi-Fi area to make phone calls to each other.

When the vehicle is connected to a satellite or optical fiber network, it will also be possible to call people outside the Wi-Fi area and access the Internet, according to the company.

NTT Network Innovation Laboratories Director Atsushi Takahara told a news conference that local Wi-Fi connections can be established in just around an hour with the vehicle.

He expressed hope that it will also be used for outdoor events and in locations lacking basic infrastructure.

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