Light Reading
Things to do in Denver when you're alive: reinvent yourself to provide broadband where cable providers fear to tread

Ricochet Rides Again

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
8/16/2002
50%
50%

It lives! U.S.-based high-speed wireless data pioneer Ricochet Networks Inc. is back. The company has just launched in Denver (see Ricochet Relaunches in Denver) and plans to go back on the air in San Diego soon.

However, Ricochet is no longer styling itself as a wireless network for mobile professionals. "The users weren't mobile… you could own 1,000 percent of the mobile business market and still go bankrupt," snorts Ricochet's new president and CEO Mort Aaronson, talking about Metricom, the defunct previous owner of Ricochet, and its flawed plans to provide Internet on the move.

"We've retooled the business model," explains Aaronson. "We want to provide broadband where the other guys can't."

Starting in Denver, Ricochet will offer wireless Internet access at speeds of up to 176 kbit/s to the customers in the pockets (and they can be pretty big pockets) that aren't served by the major cable and DSL providers.

To go after this market, Aaronson has addressed some of the problems that led to Ricochet's downfall in the first place. The major problem being that the service was way too expensive. Metricom used to charge $375 for the modem and $70 a month for unlimited Internet access [ed. note: doesn't seem so bad now that some of the major carriers are charging $100 a month for a similar but slower service, does it?].

The Ricochet modem is now $100, and unlimited monthly access costs $45.

Aaronson says that Ricochet will also make it easier for people to actually get the service if they want to. This time out the gate, he says, the company will sell broadband services in partnerships with "large ISPs" and consumer electronics and wireless shops.

So what happens after Denver and San Diego? Ricochet is in negotiations with landlords and leaseholders in the 21 markets across the U.S. where Metricom installed its equipment; however, the new Ricochet is proceeding more cautiously than did its tarnished predecessor, which pulled in $500 million in funding but spent nearly $1 billion rolling out its service before shutting down the network in August 2001.

"We need every business to be cashflow positive," Aaronson says.

However, using wireless instead of DSL or cable isn't a new idea. Startups such as MeshNetworks Inc. and SkyPilot Network Inc. have been working on such technology for a couple of years now. Aaronson doesn't feel that shorter-range mesh networking technology using 802.11b and the like is a competitor, since Ricochet's equipment can blanket a city. Still, Ricochet is going after exactly the same market that Nokia RoofTop and some startups are targeting.

Ricochet's MCDN (Micro Cellular Data Network) is based on a digital packet-switched system that uses spread-spectrum radio frequency transmission, a mesh network architecture, and a 2.4GHz radio on the client device, the same type of radio used in 802.11b cards. Aaronson says the company will have some "interesting announcements" about combined Ricochet/WLAN products down the road -- as well as the 100,000 MCDN modems currently sitting in the warehouse.

Ricochet is a subsidiary of holding company Aerie Networks Inc.; it is backed by VantagePoint Venture Partners.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
http://www.unstrung.com

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed