Deep Blue Dives into Access Provisioning

By Matthew Peretz

April 01, 2002

The revenue-sharing model gains another hopeful, in an increasingly competitive market to make WiFi players into WiFi providers.

Deep Blue Wireless surfaced today to join the ranks of last week's electrifying WiFi launches of Joltage Networks and Sputnik, Inc. Deep Blue Wireless is based in California and as such, joins an increasingly competitive land grab for a piece of the WiFi revenue pie, whose ranks also include Palo Alto start-up WiFi Metro, not to mention Wayport and Boingo.

All of these companies are attempting to monetize the exploding 802.11 user base. Some, like Wayport, are focusing primarily on hotels and airports, and have a business model focused on tiered individual and corporate subscriptions. Others, like Deep Blue Wireless, Joltage, and Sputnik, are attempting to build a revenue sharing model that enables individual users to become micro-WISPs, thereby effectuating the network build-out and sharing in the profits simultaneously.

Deep Blue Wireless is offering daily and monthly subscriptions to its network, and a revenue sharing plan to those would-be providers wishing to set up a little WiFi network of their own. Deep Blue Wireless stated that it ships all of the necessary equipment to businesses pre-configured, supplies marketing materials and user instructions, and provides a dedicated Web page and private labeling to enhance the location's Web presence.

On the back-end, Deep Blue Wireless provides a proprietary authentication and credit card billing system to simplify the installation and administration of the WLAN. Location owners, according to the company, can get set up for as little as $100 per month, which the company claims is recuperated rapidly from usage revenues. End users can use the service for $19.95/month or $8.95 per day, which is similar to what the other providers are charging.

Deep Blue Wireless, like several of the other start-ups of its ilk, is also forming strategic relationships with companies like hereUare Communications, to extend the services that they can offer to their customers to a national level via usage and roaming agreements.

The company's customer base currently includes The Embassy Suites, Pan Pacific, and the Sutton Place Hotels, as well as boutique hotels and coffee houses.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com



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