MobileStar Lays Off 88 Employees

By Staff

October 10, 2001

The company has reportedly laid off nearly all its staff, and is seeking to sell its assets.

Richardson, Texas-based MobileStar Network Corp., which has been attempting to build a broadband wireless ISP with nodes across the country, has laid off nearly its entire staff, according to reports published online on Wednesday.

MobileStar, founded in 1996, was on a mission to dot what it dubbed the "travel ribbon" -- hotels, airports, restaurants, business service centers and coffee shops -- with wireless Internet connections that allow business travelers to get online and hook into the corporate intranets with near-T1 speeds.

One of the company's biggest wins was Starbucks Coffee Co. The company outfitted about 500 of Starbucks' 3,000 shops with either 802.11b (Direct Sequence) or OpenAir (Frequency Hopping) wireless access points connected to T1 lines. The service was also available in numerous hotels, American Airlines Admirals Clubs and restaurants. It also covered all of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Austin Bergstrom Airport and Louisville International Airport. It partnered with American Airlines, IBM, Cisco, Proxim, Nokia, Hilton, Meristar, Marriott, Westin Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Select, Sheraton, SkyNetGlobal and Starbucks.

The company could not immediately be reached for comment. Starbucks said it was preparing a statement Wednesday evening.

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