http://www.reuters.com/ newsArticle.jhtml?type=technologyNews&storyID60511 AT&T, IBM, VCs Set Up Wireless Internet Company Thu December 5, 2002 05:51 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) – AT&T Corp. T.N , International Business Machines Corp. IBM.N and three venture capital firms including Intel Corp.’s INTC.O investment division on Thursday said they would create a wireless Internet access company targeted at workers on the go.
Venture capital firms Apax Partners, 3i Group PLC III.L and Intel Capital are financing the company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
IBM said it would provide back office services and AT&T said the wireless Internet traffic would travel on its high-speed network.
The company, to be called Cometa Networks, will aim to increase the number of spots that have wireless Internet networks, such as retail stores and hotels, targeting 50 major urban areas, from Mobile, Alabama, to New York, New York.
An IBM executive said potential users of the Cometa wireless network include so-called “windshield warriors,” such as pharmaceutical sales representatives who work out of their cars.
The reps would be able to access the Internet through wireless networks in retail establishments like a bookstore, coffee shop or gas station, IBM vice president of telecommunications industry Dean Douglas said.
The sales representatives or their companies would pay for access to the network, he said.
The company is headed by Lawrence Brilliant and chaired by Theodore Schell, a general partner at Apax.