RealTime IT News

PSINet Expands Wireless Service

PSINet Inc. Tuesday announced plans to expand rollouts of its business-grade wireless Internet access service, PSINet InterSky, to 50 additional domestic and international markets.

The expansion follows successful trials in several U.S. markets. The service will launch in select metro areas in the U.S. and abroad by the end of this year. U.S. cities that will be served initially include Ft. Myers and Naples, Fla.; Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn.; Mobile and Birmingham, Ala.; Louisville, Ky.; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Tysons Corner, Va. Most of these will be added by the end of the second quarter.

PSINet InterSky is billed as an affordable, high-speed alternative to traditional land-based, last-mile Internet services, also known as "local loop connections," offered by telcos. Pricing for the InterSky service begins at $395 a month and is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses in secondary metro markets.

Traditionally customers in such areas use individual online service accounts operating at speeds of 28.8 Kbps or local area network (LAN) ISDN services operating up to 128 kilobits per second.

InterSky provides a dedicated, high-speed wireless Internet solution employing Airdata WIMAN digital microwave technology in the unlicensed 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) spread spectrum band. Current speeds available are 128 Kbps. Available speeds are expected to climb to 512 Kbps in 1999 and up to 2 megabits per second (Mbps) in 2000.

The service uses a "point to multipoint" system capable of delivering wireless Internet services to thousands of businesses in each service area. The company said PSINet InterSky is not just a modem, but a wireless connection for an entire office LAN. Connections are transmitted via a cellular-type infrastructure similar to wireless voice networks.

InterSky services are then linked directly into PSINet's international Internet backbone providing customers with the same network engineering, monitoring services, and service level agreements offered to other PSINet connectivity customers.

Customers of PSINet InterSky customers can receive advanced security, privacy and other applications including voice-over-IP.

"PSINet's commercial customers demand the highest quality and reliability from their Internet services," said Richard Frizalone, vice president of wireless Internet services for PSINet Inc. "The need for alternative local loop capacity is well documented and InterSky provides a unique business-grade solution particularly for metropolitan areas that are not considered first-tier markets."