Ricochet: Fast but Very Scarce

By John Taschek  |  Posted 2001-01-01

Metricoms Ricochet is the first national, high-speed wireless network. The facts that high-speed is a relative term and that coverage isnt completely national shouldnt bother anyone.

I work in one of nine Ricochet areas nationwide, and I appreciate having a wireless connection faster than the 14.4K bps that is the max for most cell phones. Inherent wireless network latencies prevent Ricochet from reaching true tethered ISDN speeds, but its pretty close.

Metricom has become a wireless provider to its partners rather than to consumers. This is good because Metricoms rechargeable, Windows- dialer modems are bulky, and the Ricochet service will soon run on PC Cards from the likes of Sierra Wireless. In addition, prices should drop. The service now costs between $65 and $99 a month—not a bad deal, assuming you can get it.

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