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Metricom Gets Ricochet Ready

Mobile data networking firm Metricom Inc. announced it's prepared to launch wireless data services this month.

Tim Dreisbach, Metricom chairman and chief executive officer, said the firm is on the crest of a massive wave poised to break into the wireless data market with the launch of Ricochet this month.

"As we launch our markets, the rising tide of momentum will build as our service areas continue to grow in footprint sizes and market numbers, serving the unmet need for true freedom with high-performance mobile access," Dreisbach said.

Over the past few months, Metricom made great gains to develop its Ricochet wireless services into an operational reality. Metricom signed up several new partners, including Juno Online Services Inc. and Wireless WebConnect to market, sell, and support co-branded Ricochet services.

The firm is set to kick-off its Ricochet branding campaign on July 24. Metricom and its channel partners are ready for the launch of Ricochet wireless services in San Diego and Atlanta this month.

Since the first of the year, Metricom service deployment made progress in all areas impacting its Ricochet debut. Rradio production, equipment installation, site leases, right of way acquisition, and modem manufacturing all came together to get the wireless data service off the ground.

In addition to preparing Atlanta and San Diego markets for launch, progress was made in the other 19 markets under active deployment, which are schedule for a September launch.

Dreisbach said Metricom is excited about the imminent launch of Ricochet wireless data services in Atlanta and San Diego.

"Others continue to talk about future technologies, and the reality of what those technologies might or might not deliver," Dreisbach said. "As customers are beginning to see through the false promises in the market, they can now see that mobile access to all-things-Web is real with Ricochet."

Founded in 1985, Metricom has spent more than 15 years on the development of its proprietary MicroCellular Data Network. The technology enables clients to offer wireless Internet speeds comparable to a 28.8 kilobits per second wired modem. Ricochet services capable of delivering 128 8 kilobits per second speeds are currently under construction in 21 major U.S. markets.

Since the first of the year Metricom added new municipal agreements for Ricochet to potentially cover more than 61 million users. It also opened its primary Network Operations Center in Plano, Texas.