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The Almighty Buck

Aerie Networks May Buy Metricom Network 31

Cinematique writes: "It looks as if Aerie Networks is ready to pounce on Metricom's assets. Here's the printer-friendly article as seen over at CNET. Maybe all of those plans for using the old Ricochet modems for personal use should be postponed ..." This Denver Post story linked to from the Aerie website indicates that the CNET story's close is wrong about Aerie building its own network, and that they're basically looking for ways to survive without building their own network. If they can make Ricochet pay, a lot of people will be grateful.
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Aerie Networks May Buy Metricom Network

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  • by imipak ( 254310 )
    ...hats are on heads and ice-creams are in cornets.

    (with apologies to Brian Cant.)
  • What the hell is a "Netowrk"?
  • Hey,

    It looks as if Aerie Networks is ready to pounce on Metricom's assets.

    What kind of name is Aerie Networks? Surely they're not named after the Cleric/Mage NPC in Baldur's Gate 2???....

  • Build it high-cost, go bankrupt, buy it cheap make it work. Please.
  • which would enable it to turn on service in California and Colorado as soon as within 30 days, according to a source close to the case.

    This is great! Unless you live in New York, of course, which doesn't seem to be high on anyone's list... Too bad. Manhattan seemed like such a good place for a wireless net like Ricochet, being so small and dense. Although I can't imagine what Metricom had to pay to get their equipment onto the telephone poles out here.

    • Read the story! New York is listed as one of the states where Aerie want to buy the infrastructure.
      • Read the story! New York is listed as one of the states where Aerie want to buy the infrastructure.

        Read my post! I quoted a line from the story, the one that made it sound as if service in California was the priority. The fact that they said California would be ready in as little as a month makes me suspect that New York is going to take a bit longer.

  • Since the new owners don't have the massive debt load that Metricom had, pricing should be able to be greatly reduced, and stilll allow them to make a profit.

    I'm hoping, it can be down to ~$30/month for unlimited access...

    • You must be kidding. You can't even get decent wireline broadband for $30/month. I don't want them to price it at $80/mo like it was before but I do want the new owners to make a profit so we don't go through this all over again.
    • They should probably cut the basic price to $30 per so, including a maximum transfer amount per month, and then bill per megabyte above that - the idea being that low users can still afford the service, opening up the market. Also, having a low introductory price would mean a lot more people would try the service. Higher-volume users could have plans with much higher transfer volumes, and at the top end unlimited volumes.

      Part of the problem with Metricom was not having enough subscriber volume - consumers find that $80 per month is too high, and businesses need much better national coverage. At least by cutting the prices a bit and making them volume based, there's a chance the new owners can make a profit. I'm sure Aerie has its own debts, so it's unlikely they can afford to set very low prices if they want to grow the business - new network build-outs will need to be financed by the promise of future revenues.

      Ultimately, wireless operators of all kinds need to make money - although Metricom's MCDN technology is very cool, it's also quite expensive to build out since it needs a very dense deployment of poletop transmitters, so it's crucial to find a business model that will let Aerie make enough money to grow the business.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors