AT&T, Intel, IBM form wireless Net company in US

AT&T, Intel, IBM form wireless Net company in US

AT&T, Intel and IBM have formed Cometa Networks, a company that will offer 802.11 wireless Internet services to telecommunications providers and Internet service providers (ISPs) to resell to their customers, the companies announced yesterday.

Cometa will deploy its service throughout the top 50 major US metropolitan markets in 2003, it said. Users of the service will be able to access the Internet wirelessly via a corporate network, ISP or telecom network while keeping their existing e-mail addresses and sign-on procedures, Cometa said.

The new company will also work with hotels, universities and other interested organisations to deploy "hot spots" or areas set up for wireless Internet access. The network management and infrastructure of the new service will be handled by AT&T, while IBM works with the individual "hot spot" providers to install the wireless network and provide servers to manage the hot spot, the companies said.

Lawrence Brilliant will be chief executive officer of the new company, which will have offices in New York and San Francisco. Venture capital firms Apax Partners and 3i Group will provide startup funds, the companies said.

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