Cbeyond Sees to EV-DO
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has one customer focus for its IP-based communications: small to medium businesses, those with 5 to 249 employees, and more often than not the "entrepreneurial class" size of 5 to 30. While the company has long offered wireless services with mobile phones and smartphones, all accompanying its T-1 and VoIP-based landlines, it wasn't until now that it offered mobile data.
The company's BeyondMobile Laptop Access service piggybacks on the 3G EV-DO networks of others -- they won't say whether it's Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel's network, or a mix. By offering the Sierra Wireless
AirCard 595 PC Card to customers, they'll support the snappier speeds found with EV-DO Rev. A
The service actually launched about 45 days ago, but the company announced it this week. "It's new for us but giving us a lot of traction already," says Brent Cobb, vice president and general manager of product management and mobile at Cbeyond
Cbeyond skipped what might seem an intermediary step to EV-DO: providing Wi-Fi hotspot access to its 27,000 customers. But Cobb says that's coming. "We've been evaluating and will someday launch a partnership with a large provider to give Wi-Fi access to our customers with a single software solution," he says. "Someday, we'll make them complementary." For now, customers use the Sierra Wireless software that comes with the AirCard package.
The cost of the service is $60 a month per card, but that's in addition to the fees paid for basic Cbeyond service -- specifically, $495 a month for a T-1 and six VoIP phone lines, along with services like e-mail, Web hosting and fax-to-e-mail.