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Verizon Does WLAN

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has started offering a wireless LAN installation service to small businesses in the Boston area, prior to offering the service nationwide.

Verizon's approach is a little different from that of mobile operators like T-Mobile USA and Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTL). T-Mobile is planning to have an 802.11b hotspot network of 2,000 access points installed in stores, hotels, and airports by the end of the year (see T-Mobile: WLAN Loner). Meanwhile, Nextel is working with a partner to offer WLAN access along with in-building coverage (see Radioframe's Euro Duality).

Verizon is offering to install standalone 802.11b or 802.11a systems at business premises, or integrate the WLAN access with T1, ATM, or frame-relay services. Verizon is sourcing its equipment from Proxim Corp. (Nasdaq: PROX).

There's no word yet on any date for taking the service nationwide. We suspect Verizon is dipping its toe into WLAN waters and waiting to see what bites.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung www.unstrung.com
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