Ricochet Rises From The Dead… Again

from the moving-through-those-nine-lives dept

It really is amazing how many times Ricochet has been rescued at the very last minute. When it was still Metricom, they threatened to shut down a few times and were rescued with a last minute cash infusion – until eventually they really did shut down… only to be bought out a few months later by Aerie Networks. Aerie, though, laid off everyone last month and shut off parts of the network. We thought they were gone for real this time, but apparently not. Aerie has sold the system off again to EDL Holding, where it will become a sister company to Advantage Wireless. The new CEO claims that they’re going to expand the Ricochet offering and drop its prices even lower. That’s the only way they’re going to make a compelling offering at this point, as they’re being beaten in just about every aspect of their business. Still, as an early Ricochet customer, I’m always interested in what happens to them. I just don’t see how they compete against all the other broadband wireless options out there these days. They had the market and they lost it. It’s unclear what advantage they’ll have in bringing it back.

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Comments on “Ricochet Rises From The Dead… Again”

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Anonymous Coward says:

EDL Holdins - End of Da'Line

Seriously though… Richochet is a victim of the failure to understand the original internet growth model. Back in ’87, I had friends who were connected to the “Internet”. These were people who spent well in excess of $500 to buy 9600 baud modems to get the job done.

What drove the “Internet Revolution”(tm) for the first few critical years was the commodization of dial-up modems. Once the barrier of entry was lowered below the $200 price point, consumers were willing and able to “give this Internet thing a try”. Ah, yes… the good old days of exponential growth ever three months…. Now, you couldn’t give a modem to someone.

Wireless is the same way. Open standards spawning competition and mass production to drop the price point below some critical mark = mass addoption. 128kbps… jesus, that’s so ISDN. Sheer numbers of 2.4ghz access points will beat regulated frequency space each and every time. Hot Spots rule the day and the telco backhaul/right of way/location fees for Ricochet access points is what ate them alive in the first place and I still don’t think they’ve addressed this in their current business model.

Ricochet deserves to go out of business for failing to understand the lesssons of even very recent history.

Maybe they can pull a Napster cum iTunes thing off by going 802.11, but I seriously doubt it (that market space is already way too crowded).

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