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In this white paper, "AeroMACS: A common platform for air traffic management applications,"  sponsored by the WiMAX Forum, I  looked at wireless applications that support the ground segment of air traffic management. AeroMACS is the technology that can bring broadband connectivity in airports to connect fixed and mobile assets, staff, and aircraft, to airlines, airport authorities and traffic control agencies.

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Vertical applications have become one of the hot areas in the wireless industry. With cellular penetration approaching saturation and subscriber ARPU slowly declining or remaining stable despite the strong growth in mobile data adoption, turning to applications where humans are not required or only play an ancillary part is understandably appealing.

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Vertical applications are all of a sudden one of the hottest topics in wireless. No longer limited to narrowband connections to monitor truck drivers' location, they are set to create the "Internet of things" with an explosion of connected devices, from your toaster and fridge, to the largest nuclear power plant. The potential for growth is huge--for each person there are multiple devices that may eventually get connected to a wireless network.

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Wireless broadband networks in public transportation have been lagging behind in the US compared to Western Europe or Asia Pacific regions. Over the last year, however, we have noticed a sharp change in attitudes, with virtually all public transit operators actively engaged in some plan, trial or initial rollout of wireless broadband technologies, and, notably, with a new sense of urgency.

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You can now register for a webinar on mobile application in the public transportation sector on July 21, at 11:00am EDT.

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Some of the most interesting success stories of WiMAX involve vertical applications. In this presentation we discuss how WiMAX can bring wireless broadband to the public transportation sector. The technology is there–the key challenges now are finding the right business model, the right set of partners, the right applications.

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Wireless broadband on trains, buses and planes has moved beyond the pilot phase to full rollouts. There is no longer the need for proof-of-concept trials, but questions about what is the best business model, how much bandwidth is needed, and what are the best technologies to support train applications are still open.

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