Today, Sprint announced the availability of PCS Wi-Fi Access in hundreds of key hot spots across the country, including airports, convention centers, hotels and other public venues. The new high-speed data service provides a simple, consistent, hassle-free way for mobile professionals to stay connected to critical information and be productive while away from the office. Using 802.11b technology to enable data speeds of 11 Mbps -- or up to 100 times faster than standard dial-up -- PCS Wi-Fi Access allows users to replicate their desktop environment on a laptop through convenient remote access to the Internet, email and their company networks while in the field.
PCS Wi-Fi Access is now available at all Wayport airport and hotel hot spots and select Airpath Wireless locations as a result of roaming agreements. Sprint also announced the availability of PCS Wi-Fi Access at Mohegan Sun today, the first Sprint owned and operated public venue to offer the high- speed wireless service. Subscribers will also be able to use PCS Wi-Fi Access at over 250 Cometa Hotspots in the Seattle market later this year as a part of an agreement with Cometa Networks. The number of hot spots available from Sprint will continue to grow in the coming months. Sprint plans to offer PCS Wi-Fi Access in over 2,100 locations by early 2004.
One of the key differentiators of the new Sprint service is the PCS Connection Manager Software with Wi-Fi, which makes PCS Wi-Fi Access simple, convenient and easy to use. The software essentially enables customers to travel across the country, detect compatible Wi-Fi ZONES and quickly connect to the Internet or their company networks on their laptops. Customers can download the software for free online at www.sprint.com/pcsbusiness . Customers will need a laptop computer with a compatible 802.11b wireless Internet card inserted or a laptop embedded with 802.11b technology. CD-ROMs will soon be available in Sprint Stores and through select Sprint business channels.
Customers can subscribe to PCS Wi-Fi Access by setting up an account at www.wifi.sprintpcs.com with a major credit card. In the next phase of the service, Sprint will integrate usage charges into the customers' monthly wireless statement. Non-existing PCS customers will continue to receive charges on their credit card. Once the software is installed and the user has established an account, the software automatically detects available Wi-Fi ZONES compatible with the Sprint service. If detected, customers simply click "Go" to connect.
PCS Connection Manager Software with Wi-Fi also provides signal strength indicators, a continually updated directory of available Wi-Fi ZONES across the country, as well as an online user guide and diagnostic tools designed to enable users to make the most of their Wi-Fi experience. Software upgrades can be downloaded automatically to help ensure subscribers have the most up- to-date software and functionality.
Customers using the PCS Connection Card by AirPrime (PC3200) for laptop connectivity via the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network will be able to conveniently manage both their PCS Vision and Wi-Fi connectivity through a single user interface. A separate 802.11b Internet card or laptop with embedded 802.11b technology is still required to use PCS Wi-Fi Access.