GoAmerica Wins WAN/LAN Integration Race

By Ryan Naraine

March 18, 2002

The unified network will be launched in the second half of 2002. hereUare Communications and Boingo Wireless have already signed on.

Wireless ISP GoAmerica Inc. has won the race to roll out combined WAN/LAN service, announcing on Monday that its network would be available during the second half of 2002.

The Hackensack, N.J-based GoAmerica plans to aggregate existing high-speed networks and launch with Wi-Fi service in more than 1500 U.S. locations. While Deutsche Telekom's VoiceStream has hinted at plans to unify its wireless offerings with integrated service plans, GoAmerica is the first to announce a rollout date.

Through the unified WAN/LAN network GoAmerica said it would provide secure wireless services for corporate customers, selling a virtual nation-wide coverage footprint including both WAN and LAN access.

The network would act as a single point of access for multiple services and GoAmerica plans to target the enterprise market by providing one source for billing, software, hardware and customer support.

Currently, Local Area Network (LAN) service is based on Wi-Fi (a.k.a. 802.11b) standard, which allows speeds of up to 11 Mbps. The Local Area Network (LAN) service supplies high-speed connectivity to a group of computers in close proximity, allowing wireless connectivity within a 300-foot radius of the network base.

As it prepares for the launch of the unified service, GoAmerica has inked separate partnership deals with hereUare Communications and Boingo Wireless.

GoAmerica, which provides wireless Internet and intranet access, e-mail, and instant messaging services, said its corporate customers would have access to San Jose, California-based hereUare's affiliate Wi-Fi network.

The hereUare affiliate network, which enables wireless 'hot spot' locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Orange County, Calif., New York and Dallas, counts more than 22 network service provider affiliates representing over 1,000 public locations nationwide.

The company also announced a deal to include the Boingo Wireless Network in the unified WAN/LAN service.

Boingo's Wi-Fi service offers high-speed wireless access in major hotels, airports, coffee shops and other popular business traveler locations. Launched in January, the service is available at more than 500 locations in the U.S.

It was a busy day for Boingo, which also unveiled partnership deals with Hewlett-Packard and Agere Systems, all aimed at distributing the company's 'hot spot' wireless service.

Boingo plans to jointly promote its high-speed wireless Internet service with Hewlett-Packard, making HP the first notebook PC OEM to do so. As part of the deal, Boingo Wireless will co-market with the Wi-Fi service to HP Pavilion notebook customers through Easy Internet Sign-up program on the desktop.

Under terms of the deal with Agere Systems, Boingo said its software would be bundled with Agere's ORiNOCO Gold and Silver Wi-Fi cards. Boingo's sofware would be integrated into the installation CD included with the ORiNOCO Wi-Fi hardware. The distribution deal also calls for joint marketing initiatives, including co-branded Web pages and special events.

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