The fine folks over at Wi-Fi Networking News have found out that Cometa is shutting down tomorrow. Cometa, of course, was the massively overhyped me-too play in the WiFi space that didn't make sense to a lot of people since the day it was announced. When Cometa first launched we were incredibly underwhelmed - noting that they had nothing special to distinguish themselves from every failed offering, other than their three big name backers (Intel, AT&T and IBM). However, in the early days the company focused a lot more on talking about its pedigree than talking about how they actually planned to come up with a business model that worked. In many ways, the company imitated Metricom, the failed provider of Ricochet broadband wireless. They picked a market with some hype, but could never figure out what the real business model would be. When people started questioning their announced plans to install 15,000 WiFi hotspots by 2005, the company insisted they would make it. Turns out, by 2005 Cometa won't have any hotspots. We have nothing against companies trying to get more WiFi out there, but just because you get money from Intel, AT&T and IBM, it doesn't mean the rules of business don't apply to you.
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