RealTime IT News

Juno Taps Metricom to Make Mobile Wireless Internet Offering

Juno Online Services Inc. Monday teamed with Metricom Inc. to offer its Ricochet brand of mobile broadband Internet access to Juno's 9.4 million subscribers.

Charles Ardai, Juno (JWEB) president and chief executive officer, said the firms goal is to make it possible for anyone to access Juno anywhere, at a speed tailored to their own requirements.

"We are excited to be working with Metricom (MCOM) to expand the ways our subscribers can use Juno," Ardai said.

"Ricochet opens the door to options never before available with high-speed connections that let people break free from the confines of a single location."

Initial deployment of Metricom's service is underway in 21 market areas covering 80 million people, with commercial availability scheduled to begin in late summer.

Metricom expects to grow Ricochet to cover 100 million people by the summer of 2001. Users will be charged a flat-rate subscription fee for the 128 Kbps service, with no roaming charges or set-up fees.

John Wernke, Metricom senior vice president for marketing and sales, said Juno would be an important part of the Ricochet roll-out.

"Juno has one of the largest Internet audiences and a terrific reputation for reliability and speed," Wernke said. "The combination of Ricochet's completely mobile access and Juno's popular Internet service is one we think will excite a lot of people."

Under the terms of its agreement Juno will be one of the first Internet access providers to offer full Web access through the Ricochet network.

The technology uses a network of microcell radios attached to street lights or utility poles to deliver a mobile Internet access solution. Users simply attach a small wireless modem to a laptop that detects and routes Ricochet network's radio signals from a computer to the Internet and back.