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Will Wireless Win the Internet Race?

Boot Camp feature for Friday, March 1, 2002

Will wireless win the Internet race? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. At long last wireless Internet connections that aren't frustratingly slow are starting to arrive. Verizon is now offering higher speed data service, in some parts of the country, using next generation phones or PC cards that connect to notebook computers or even a handheld Compaq iPaq. The Sierra AirCard 550 gives the iPaq or notebook cell phone capabilities as well. The biggest problem is to use the service, you pay an extra thirty dollars a month for access... .and you'll use up the minutes in your cell phone plan pretty quickly. A company called Flarion Technologies... a Lucent spin-off... is working with wireless carriers to deliver a whole new kind of service...

"What the technology actually delivers to the end user is the speed of a broadband connection, the mobility of a cellular network... meaning always on wherever you are... at the price of a cable modem."

The idea, says Flarion VP Peter Carson, is to deliver broadband that you can use inside or outside of your home or office... for about forty dollars a month... .

"As the network gets rolled out, the ultimate goal with our customers is to establish ubiquitous coverage, service anywhere you are. And one way we help the carrier achieve that is through the systems ability to hand over seamlessly to a wireless local area network."

The technology is being tested now by one wireless carrier... .and could be ready for prime time... by the end of the year. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.