GRIC Goes Broadband

By Eric Griffith

March 25, 2003

The mobile office Internet service provider isn't doing away with dial-up entirely, but its latest service stresses high speeds for connection, especially with Wi-Fi.

GRIC Communications of Milpitas, CA, announced a flat-rate "business class" Wi-Fi service bundle this week.

Users of the company's GRIC MobileOffice client software can use it for instant connection to GRIC networks setup at airports, hotels, and convention centers around the world. The company says it's got a larger global footprint than most, with installations currently in 14 countries. They expect to be in 6000 locations (both Wi-Fi and Ethernet) in 31 countries by the end of the second quarter of 2003.

Bharat Dave, President and CEO, says what makes this new bundle business class is "one, it's a simple, complete bundle; two, pricing wise it's a fixed price per month per user; and three, it delivers services where most of the business people need them."

GRIC has traditionally also offered dial-up service through the MobileOffice client, but that will cost extra on top of this bundle. However, dial-up to an 800 number will be available. The service will also take advantage of hotel-room Ethernet connections.

The MobileOffice client only works for Windows 98 and up; the server component runs on Sun Solaris, Linux, Windows NT/2000. The software has built in support for virtual private network (VPN) tunnels back to corporate networks. VPNs supported included those from Cisco, Nortel, Check Point, and Microsoft.

Earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom Group's North AmericanT-Systems subsidiary chose the MobileOffice software to keep it's employees connected. The software automatically launches the VPN client for T-Systems so any remote connection is secure. MobileOffice monitors VPN connections so that if the tunnel goes down, it takes down the Internet connection as well.

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