Feeds

128k wireless data, now: Metricom blazes US into lead

Wireless wonder or evolutionary dead-end?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

USA Today last week ran a headline "Rest of World Catches Up" - we think they were talking about the Olympics, actually - but it's not a description visiting Europeans would readily apply to the US wireless business.

Think again, however. While Europeans wait for packet based GSM, GPRS, the US is opening up a data lead - if you live in the right place.

Metricom this week extended its 128kbps-speed, always-on wireless RF data service to six new metropolitan areas. These are the Bay Area, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Phoenix. The faster, second generation service is already available in New York, Atlanta, Seattle, San Diego and Washington DC, and Metricom plans to offer the service in 46 areas. Metricom wholesales to ISPs, and although charges are high (between $70 and $80), it's an all-you-can-eat pricing structure with no additional data charges. You'll need to buy a modem for now, although web appliance designers including Be Inc have formed relationships with Metricom with the intention of providing built-in support.

Participating ISPs include Juno GoAmerica and the Kafkaesque customer-baiting telco WorldCom.

Judged by our unscientific surveys of San Francisco coffee shops the 28.8kbps service has comfortably passed the novelty stage, although how representative Fog City is of the rest of the US, well, you probably know better than us.

We hope they've fixed the problem that cordless phone users had with early versions of the service. Can anyone out there confirm this? ®

Related stories

Cellnet GPRS broadband offering sounds strangely narrow
Be appliances go wireless walkabout

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.