Wireless Is Hot

from the access-anywhere? dept

A pretty good article in the NY Times looking at some of the companies that are trying to provide wireless access anywhere where anyone with a laptop can just hook into the network. For the most part the companies are focused on providing them in coffee shops, at airports, and in hotels. Mostly they’re using 802.11b systems, though there are some threats of standards battles. Of course, the article doesn’t mention my favorite, which is Metricom’s Ricochet, but that’s because they’re in trouble. While 802.11b is cool, and fast, I can’t see how the coverage would ever equal what I get with my Ricochet which is “fast enough” for most things I’m doing right now. I’m surprised that Metricom is having so much trouble raising additional funds while these other companies get all the hype.

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Comments on “Wireless Is Hot”

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Rich Middendorf says:


Metricom has botched the roll-out of their incredible service. Of course, technically, they’ve done a great job of building out their network. They haven’t done a very good job of marketing their service. Poor PR and dreadful advertising, that obscures the product with a mindless story of two dweebs getting free from the office via Ricochet. If there ever was a case for a simple product demo, this is one. They should just let the technology talk in the advertising. Their subscriber rates would go up, revenue would go up, along with their stock price. Then raising additional funding would be a snap.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Wi-Fi

Yeah. That’s a good point. I almost feel embarrassed by the Metricom advertising I’ve seen. It’s awful. And, yet, the device and service is extremely cool. I also think they made a mistake in pricing it too high to their resellers (who then have to price it even higher). Despite it’s additional benefits many people compare it to the pricing they’d have to pay for a DSL line and a worldwide dialup – which turns out to be lower. I think if they dropped the price a little bit they could get much wider adoption rates.

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