& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
VMWare VP Brings Women Up With Her

8|16|17   |   6:49   |   (1) comment


It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMWare.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Spectrum Wars – The Recap

8|15|17   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Service provider 3 has filed a lawsuit against Ofcom over 5G spectrum auction in the UK.
LRTV Custom TV
Say What? Facebook Unleashes AI Anarchy – The Recap

8|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


A recap of the week's talking points on Light Reading's sister site, telecoms.com. Facebook AI programmers had a bit of a brain-fade as they allowed one of its AI applications to invent its ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu's Women Band Together to Help Girls Do STEM

8|2|17   |   9:35   |   (1) comment


Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.
LRTV Custom TV
If You're Not First, You're Last – The Recap

7|31|17   |   08:18   |   (1) comment


In case you missed it, Amazon's 1% stock increase helped Jeff Bezos dethrone Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Also, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/15/2017
Are Cord-Cutting's Days Numbered?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 8/14/2017
Orchestration Startup UBiqube Pivots Away From NFV
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/15/2017
Verizon Video Woes Pile On
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/14/2017
WiCipedia: Dolly Babes, Manifesto Backlash & 'Brotastic' Failures
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/18/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Animals with Phones
We Know a Tough Day When We See One Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.