Sunday, August 28, 2005

WiFi Subways in NYC

Last week, the MTS decided to wire 277 of NY city's 468 subway stations.

It took you long enough, boys.

We live in a wireless world; people should be able to talk to each other.

Turns out, the hours most people use the subway (before and after work) are precisely the times most parents and workers need to make phone calls.

Still, no one knows exactly what phone company will win the contract.

By itself, the contract will hardly make a dent in a top player's income statement, but as Jim Cramer mentioned last week on his show, NYC sets the standard.

If New York goes wifi, so will the rest of America.

And that my friends, could me an lot of extra money for whoever lands the MTA contract.

The decision to introduce cellphone service in the city's underground subway stations touched off a flurry of interest in the telecommunications industry yesterday, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began soliciting bids for a 10-year contract that will involve immense technical complexity and probably be worth $50 million to $100 million...

Bids are due October 12.

Don't forget that the MTA announced the news the same day the authority announced a $212 million contract with Lockheed Martin to create an electronic surveillance system.

Catablast! Media Group thinks Verizon will win the lucrative contract because of their "East Coat prowess."

We're subsequently reiterating our Hold rating on VZ shares.

And even though several stations will probably be closed for entire weekends while the system is installed, kudos to the MTA for taking the initiative to address the city's safety concerns.

Now let's see what it means for investors.

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