Verizon Unwires Businesses

By Eric Griffith

November 22, 2002

Following up on selling Wi-Fi equipment to its broadband customers, the company is launching a wireless local area network solutions program for small businesses, starting in the Boston area.

Verizon Communications has announced plans to help small businesses expand their data networks using Wi-Fi. The Verizon WLAN Solutions program is launching first in the Boston, MA, area. Eventually, the program will go nationwide.

Unlike other carriers such as T-Mobile that are building hotspot networks to work as a compliment to their cellular networks, this service will have Verizon technicians coming into small or medium-sized business offices to design, install and maintain wireless networks. These are not public hotspots -- though hotspots are seen by many as inevitable in Verizon's near future.

Consultations from Verizon on deployment costs are free. Customers will have a choice of either 2.4GHz 802.11b or the faster 5GHz 802.11a-based products. All hardware Verizon uses in installations will be from Proxim's ORiNOCO line. Verizon is offering a $40 rebate on use of every ORiNOCO AP-500 access point a customer buys for installation through the end of the year.

Installed networks can be standalone, or Verizon will integrate them with existing broadband offering such as frame relay or T1 services. Plus, Verizon will monitor networks remotely, 24/7, over its existing data network.

Verizon recently announced they would be selling Wi-Fi equipment from Linksys to customers of its DSL service starting December 1. Verizon does not do installations of the product for home users, however.

Customers can find details on the small business WLAN solutions at Pricing is specific to the installation and depends on number of computers connecting to the WLAN. A report yesterday from Infonetics pegged the market for WLAN hardware at $436 million in the third quarter of 2002.

Eric Griffith is the managing editor of 802.11 Planet.

802.11 Planet Conference Ready to unwire your small business? Join us at the 802.11 Planet Conference & Expo, Dec. 3-5 in Santa Clara, CA. One of our sessions will reveal what you need to know about Performance Issues for WLANs.

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