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Allstream, GRIC in Roaming Agreement

Toronto, Ontario-based wireline service provider Allstream -- formerly known as AT&T Canada until this past summer -- announced today a deal to offer its business customers Global Roaming for Internet Access, the name of a service it will provide in partnership with GRIC Communications .

"This is a package for our business customers inside and [those traveling] outside of Canada," says Allstream's vice president of marketing Eric Fletcher. The GRIC MobileOffice software will be provided to customers as part of the Allstream Global Roaming Internet Dial-up services. It can then be used to access both GRIC's and Allstream's dial-up points of presence (POPs), as well as GRIC's 2,000 hotspots. Access in one form or another should be available in 150 countries.

Allstream currently does not have a hotspot network of its own, but Fletcher says adding them is under consideration: "If we decide to make our own hotspots, we'll add them to this service."

Allstream currently provides a number of other data services, from being a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) to frame relay networks to Web hosting.

The company only targets business users in Canada and will do the same with the Global Roaming for Internet Access service.

"This deal does two things for us," says Fletcher. "It gives our customers an international reach, and gives us an entry into the embryonic Wi-Fi space. It gives us access where it makes sense."