Broadband wireless Internet access nationwide planned

December 6, 2002 | Source: KurzweilAI

AT&T, Intel and IBM have formed a new company, Cometa Networks, to provide broadband wireless Internet access nationwide using 802.11b (Wi-Fi) technology.

Cometa Networks plans to provide the service to telecommunications companies, Internet service providers, cable operators and wireless carriers, which can then offer it to their customers.

Cometa also plans to install “hot spots” for accessing wireless Internet networks at retail chain stores, hotels, universities, and other popular locations. The service will begin to roll out during 2003 in the top 50 U.S. urban markets.

Users will be able to keep existing sign-on procedures, email addresses, IDs, passwords and payment methods — regardless of whether they are accessing the Internet via an ISP, corporate virtual private network, telecommunications provider or cable operator.

AT&T will provide network infrastructure and management while IBM provides wireless site installations and back-office systems.

Nortel Networks announced a similar service on December 3. Its technology will help enable mobile workers to establish “virtual offices,” connect securely to corporate intranets, and access the Net from virtually any location.

In addition, it will allow users to roam seamlessly between wireless 2G/3G and WLAN networks with uninterrupted access.

The technology will also manage billing information across networks so end users can receive one consolidated bill from their wireless operator.

Also see: “High-Speed Wireless Internet Network Is Planned,” New York Times