ATLANTA, Ga. Jan. 19, 2006 ? EarthLink (NASDAQ: ELNK), the nation's next generation Internet Service Provider, today announced it has signed a contract with Motorola, Inc., (NYSE: MOT) for it to provide wireless equipment, design, installation and system integration for the initial five major cities where EarthLink will deploy municipal wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) broadband Internet access networks.
EarthLink has already been selected as the operator in two markets, Philadelphia and Anaheim, Calif. Motorola will provide its MOTOwi4™ portfolio of products, including its Canopy™ high-speed backhaul and Wi-Fi mesh network equipment supplied to Motorola by Tropos Networks (tropos.com). Motorola will also install and provide system integration and support services for the networks operated by EarthLink.
Motorola will install the Tropos MetroMesh Wi-Fi mesh network equipment on city light poles that will enable wireless data connectivity between consumers and the Internet. The system forms a wireless mesh, routing data to produce the best possible user experience. The Tropos networks will be supported and optimized using Tropos Control, a suite of configuration, monitoring and maintenance tools.
?Our collaboration with Motorola and Tropos enables EarthLink to build state-of-the-art wireless networks that will provide these municipalities with low cost, high speed broadband access for residential and business customers, visitors and city employees,? said Donald Berryman, president of EarthLink's Municipal Networks Division. ?This Wi-Fi solution opens the door to consumers that want inexpensive and ubiquitous access to the Internet on their own terms.?
?Motorola is involved from network design to system integration in some of the nation's largest and most aggressive municipal wireless broadband projects in terms of coverage area and complexity,? said Raghu Rau, senior vice president of Global Marketing and Strategy, Motorola Networks. ?Motorola continues to be the global leader in municipal communications engineering and technology. Our MOTOwi4 portfolio provides EarthLink with the solutions that fulfill municipal communications network requirements, and enable low cost, high speed wireless Internet access.?
?The combination of EarthLink, Motorola and Tropos is poised to quickly bring the benefits of metro-scale WiFi mesh to municipalities throughout the U.S.,? said Ron Sege, president and CEO of Tropos Networks. ?We have seen an aggressive increase in the successful implementation of mesh technology, leading to the tremendous demand for municipal Wi-Fi projects that now exists. This is the beginning of a great relationship with the unique skills, vision and market presence necessary to deliver the great economic and social benefits this new technology enables.?
The affordability of the technology and its mobility aspects enable the networks to reach new audiences not serviced by traditional fixed broadband providers. Potential customers consist of ?Digital Divide? residents who could not previously afford high-speed Internet service and current narrowband subscribers looking for faster, mobile, always-on connections at costs comparable to dial-up. Other potential customers include occasional users such as tourists and business travelers who want economical Internet access, on demand.