AOL, GRIC Ink Global Roaming Pact

America Online Inc.
and IP solutions provider GRIC
Communications Inc.
on Monday signed an Internet roaming agreement in
a bid to expand AOL’s international presence.


Terms of the pact call for GRIC to provide 700 points-of-presence (POPs) in
48 countries to AOL members. The POPs are available via the GRIC Alliance,
a network of more than 400 Internet service providers and telephone
companies. The service will become available next year.


A GRIC spokesman declined to comment on the contract’s length or financial
details.


The company’s Internet roaming service is aimed at travelers who dial into
the Internet while away from home. Rather than dial a long distance number
from home to access the Internet, a customer under the GRIC program can
dial into the closest POP in the GRIC network, avoiding long distance charges.


“One of the greatest values of AOL membership is the unmatched
accessibility of our network around the world,” said Jack Davies, president
of AOL International. “With the AOL membership continuing to grow rapidly
outside the U.S., the agreement with GRIC will allow us to continue to
offer our members additional access points.”


“The AOL/GRIC alliance is very complementary,” said Hong Chen, GRIC
Communications’ chairman and chief executive officer. “Both
AOL members and GRIC Alliance members worldwide will greatly benefit from
the enhanced service offerings enabled by our new relationship.”


Milpitas, Calif.-based GRIC Communications, Inc. provides multiple IP-based
services for carriers and Internet service providers internationally. GRIC
offers an integrated, global infrastructure for secure settlement, network
management, roaming, fax and telephony services to more than 400 telcos,
PTTs and ISPs in the GRIC Alliance. The privately-held company
has more than 3,000 POPs in over 120 countries.

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