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Cometa to Launch in Seattle

Will launch hotspot services on Sept. 25 with over 100 new locations; unveils plans for 250 new hotspots by the end of 2003

September 9, 2003

4 Min Read

SEATTLE -- This month Seattle will become the American city with the highest density* and a broad diversity of urban wireless Internet “hotspots.” Cometa Networks, along with Intel Corporation, IBM, AT&T and a broad range of industry and community organizations, unveiled network plans for 250 new Seattle hotspots today at the WSA (formerly Washington Software Alliance) Tech Future 2003 Conference. In addition, Cometa announced that locally based AT&T Wireless, the largest independently traded wireless carrier in the U.S., is the premier service provider for the Seattle market launch.

With 250 new hotspots to be active in the Seattle metro area by the end of 2003, wholesaler Cometa is launching on Sept. 25 with more than 100 new sites with partners McDonald’s Corporation (50 sites), Barnes & Noble Booksellers (12 sites), Tully’s Coffee (40 sites), World Wrapps restaurants (9 sites), Equity Office (including over eight office properties in downtown Seattle and Bellevue, such as the prestigious Bank of America Tower, Seattle’s tallest building), Seattle Central Community College, Overlake Golf and Country Club, and Broadmoor Golf Club.

In addition to deploying single-site access points known as Cometa Hotspots, Cometa also unveiled broader Wi-Fi “zones” to be available at University Village and Bellevue Square, which will include coverage of significant retail, restaurant and public areas within each property. Cometa will announce additional venues in the Seattle market in the coming weeks.

Cometa’s Seattle network will become available on Sept. 25 as part of a nationwide event called “One Unwired Day.” On One Unwired Day, mobile PC users can enjoy a free trial of public wireless Internet access at all Seattle Cometa Hotspots, as well as thousands of hotspots nationwide. Created by Intel, One Unwired Day is designed to show businesspeople and consumers the immediate benefits of the unwired lifestyle, encourage them to try Wi-Fi services free of charge and provide opportunities to try notebook PCs based on Intel® CentrinoTM mobile technology. Intel, IBM and Palm will provide hands-on demonstrations of wireless technology with Wi-Fi enabled devices at events on Sept. 25 at the Bank of America Tower and University Village.

In addition, Sprint, AT&T and iPass will also provide Wi-Fi service to Seattle area customers, offering a selection of Wi-Fi broadband service and pricing plans to be announced in the coming weeks.

“Cometa Networks is honored to be working with such prestigious companies, both on the service delivery and the venue hosting sides of the Wi-Fi business,” said Gary Weis, CEO of Cometa. “We believe this launch demonstrates the building momentum of our wholesale business model, offering broad consumer choice, compelling value and cost sharing for real estate partners, and a cost effective wholesale service for multiple service providers.”

“Intel applauds Cometa Networks’ efforts to bring the Wi-Fi experience to mobile PC users in Seattle,” said Ann Lewnes, vice president, Sales and Marketing Group, and director, Intel Inside® Program and Co-Marketing, Intel. “Cometa’s hotspots will be verified to work with Intel’s Centrino Mobile Technology-based notebooks, enabling users to connect wirelessly to the latest notebook technology in a wide array of consumer venues.”

“Today’s mobile professionals are always looking for ways to stay connected to their critical corporate information while away from the office,” said Abhi Ingle, vice president of business data solutions for AT&T Wireless Mobile Multimedia Services. “Cometa’s wholesale business model and diverse collection of hotspot locations will allow Seattle-based customers broader access to Wi-Fi services in our hometown market. Whether through Wi-Fi or our high-speed wide area data network, AT&T Wireless is committed to offering the broadest selection of wireless data solutions to meet the growing demands of our mobile society.”

“Tully’s Coffee selected Cometa as our exclusive Wi-Fi networking partner because of the convenience and value Cometa’s model provides our customers,” said Tully’s Coffee CEO Tony Gioia. “Now, in the comfort of Tully’s Coffee locations, our customers have the freedom to choose from multiple Wi-Fi service providers and pricing plans. “Along with our terrific coffee beverages, Tully’s ambience creates a natural meeting place, and thanks to Wi-Fi, those meetings can have added benefits from web access through Cometa.”

"This is a high-tech blend of innovation and convenience that will tell our customers McDonald's is going to be a part of their world," said Kim Bayer, McDonald's Northwest Region Marketing Director. "We are excited to be a part of this new technology that will enhance the dining experience of our guests."

Cometa Networks Inc.

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