Search /
Docfinder:
Advanced search  |  Help  |  Site map
RESEARCH CENTERS
SITE RESOURCES
Click for Layer 8! No, really, click NOW!
Networking for Small Business
TODAY'S NEWS
Kill switches coming to iPhone, Android, Windows devices in 2015
Still deploying 11n Wi-Fi?  You might want to think again
9 Things You Need to Know Before You Store Data in the Cloud
Can Heartbleed be used in DDoS attacks?
Linksys WRT1900AC Wi-Fi router: Faster than anything we've tested
Heartbleed bug is irritating McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky Lab
10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
Server makers rushing out Heartbleed patches
Fortinet, McAfee, Trend Micro, Bitdefender battle in socially-engineered malware prevention test
Net neutrality ruling complicates US transition to IP networks
6 Social Media Mistakes That Will Kill Your Career
Canonical's new Ubuntu focuses on the long haul
4 Qualities to Look for in a Data Scientist
Big bucks going to universities to solve pressing cybersecurity issues
Mozilla appoints former marketing head to interim CEO
Box patches Heartbleed flaw in its cloud storage systems
Obama administration backs disclosing software vulnerabilities in most cases
6 Amazing Advances in Cloud Technology
Collaboration 2.0: Old meets new
Data breaches nail more US Internet users, regulation support rises
With a Wi-Fi cloud service, Ruckus aims to help hotspot owners make money
How to get Windows Phone 8.1 today
Secure browsers offer alternatives to Chrome, IE and Firefox
10 Big Data startups to watch
/

Starbucks wireless network a sweet deal for MobileStar

Related linksToday's breaking news
Send to a friendFeedback


Starbucks Coffee this summer will launch one of the largest wireless network initiatives ever, rolling out high-speed Internet access in all 4,000 of its North American shops.

The initiative is a boon to MobileStar Network, the ISP responsible for the wireless LAN connectivity in each Starbucks stores and the backbone network connecting the shops to the Internet. MobileStar expects Starbucks will account for 50% of its network footprint by 2003.

"This is one of the largest wireless networks that is going to be deployed globally for sure," says Ali Tabassi, CTO and development officer at MobileStar. "This is our biggest project."

Tabassi says MobileStar is seeing interest in its wireless network from other hospitality chains. Among MobileStar's customers are American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Columbia Sussex Hotels.

"As we continue expanding our footprint to support Starbucks, it becomes more convenient for them to sign up," Tabassi says.

Other IT companies benefiting from the Starbucks project are Microsoft, which is providing a customized Web browsing experience, and Compaq, which will provide wireless LAN cards and iPaq Pocket PCs for loan or purchase at the shops.

"Starbucks was seeing more business people and college people come into their shops with laptops to drink lattes while they worked," says Dayna Fried, Compaq's spokeswoman on the Starbucks project. "[The company] thought: Why not turn Starbucks into a place to hold business meetings? They had to go wireless because they didn't want people to trip over wires."

Starbucks began talking about its wireless plans in January and will launch the service in Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco by mid-summer.

Each Starbucks will have an 802.11b wireless LAN that is hooked up to a T-1 line out to MobileStar's backbone. At each store, MobileStar is installing a wireless transceiver that can transmit and receive messages as well as a premises router and a miniswitch that hooks into a dedicated T-1.

"We have deployed in over 350 Starbucks locations. The majority of them are installed in Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Dallas, New York and Houston," Tabassi says.

When a person with a wireless device, such as a laptop or handheld, comes into a Starbucks shop and opens up the Web browser, a welcome screen will be pushed onto the computer that provides information about Starbucks' promotions. End users who want Internet access will need to sign up as subscribers to the MobileStar service.

Starbucks' graphic

MobileStar will offer Starbucks customers two types of subscriptions that are good wherever they access the MobileStar network: monthly plans that start at $15.95 for 200 minutes per month or a pay-as-you-go plan that costs 20 cents per minute.

To access the MobileStar service, Starbucks customers will need a wireless LAN-capable device. Starbucks and Compaq officials are working on a scheme to offer wireless LAN cards and iPaqs to customers on a loan basis if they don't have a wireless-enabled computer, Fried says. Starbucks also may sell wireless LAN cards and iPaqs - which retail for $500 to $1,000 - at some stores.

Related Links

 
NWFusion offers more than 40 FREE technology-specific email newsletters in key network technology areas such as NSM, VPNs, Convergence, Security and more.
Click here to sign up!
New Event - WANs: Optimizing Your Network Now.
Hear from the experts about the innovations that are already starting to shake up the WAN world. Free Network World Technology Tour and Expo in Dallas, San Francisco, Washington DC, and New York.
Attend FREE
Your FREE Network World subscription will also include breaking news and information on wireless, storage, infrastructure, carriers and SPs, enterprise applications, videoconferencing, plus product reviews, technology insiders, management surveys and technology updates - GET IT NOW.