INTERNET WORLD, New York, NY — To enhance the speed of its popular AirBridge® Internet Access service, Bell Atlantic Mobile today announced it is installing bandwidth optimization technology from Fourelle Systems Inc. throughout its extensive wireless packet network. The result will be faster speed -- up to four times -- for Bell Atlantic Mobile customers wirelessly accessing e- mail, information from the Internet and corporate intranets. The VenturiTM software will be available to customers to improve their wireless Internet experience on November 1.
This network enhancement reinforces Bell Atlantic Mobile's industry leadership in implementing proven technologies and innovative pricing for wireless data access -- a market the Yankee Group predicts will grow from $1.8 billion this year to $13.2 billion by 2003.
According to Bill Davidson, vice president of wireless data sales and marketing for Bell Atlantic Mobile, the company has seen a 20 percent jump in its wireless Internet business since introducing new fixed-rate pricing in April. The offer -- $24.95 a month for wireless e-mail access and $39.95 a month for full, unlimited Internet access -- has met the need of consumers and mobile professionals alike to stay connected regardless of their location or application.
"We pioneered the fixed-rate pricing concept for wireless data, and since we broadened our offering earlier this year, we've seen wireless Web and e-mail customers become our fastest-growing and largest data customer base," said Davidson. "Now, our focus is on providing these customers with more value by speeding up their access to the important information they need when they're mobile -- whether it's to conduct research on the web for a sales presentation, check inventory availability on their intranet, or send and receive e- mail."
The Fourelle Solution Fourelle's Venturi is a seamless solution for optimizing wireless IP (enterprise and e-commerce) applications enabling wireless carriers to offer improved mobile data performance. Bell Atlantic Mobile is adding Fourelle's Venturi Server to its wireless data network, and beginning next month, Fourelle will offer the Venturi Personal Client software to the company's wireless data customers.
Customers will be able to trial the software for free for 30 days by downloading it from Fourelle's website (www.fourelle.com), or by calling 800-308-DATA. Bell Atlantic Mobile will also distribute Venturi via a CD-ROM with every wireless modem sold to new wireless Internet customers. It is not necessary to upgrade existing hardware or change a customer's AirBridge Internet Access service plan.
If the customer chooses to continue using Venturi after the trial period, a full copy of the software may be purchased directly from Fourelle for $39.95. There is no additional usage charge associated with the software. In fact, it can actually decrease customers' usage bills while they travel outside the company's East Coast coverage area because Venturi compresses the amount of data transmitted.
Most wireless modems offer throughput speeds of 9600 bps to 19.2 kbps. Third party tests using Venturi have concluded that modem performance increases up to 28.8 kbps.
"Our unique technology helps Bell Atlantic Mobile deliver optimal performance to its wireless customers using laptops to stay connected," said Patrick Glenn, Fourelle Chairman and CEO. "We have seen, on average, a 125 percent performance improvement on web browsing over wireless, and a 50 - 300 percent performance gain in sending and receiving e-mail wirelessly, including attachments."
With Fourelle's approach to optimizing bandwidth, data is compressed and decompressed on the fly, greatly reducing the amount of data transmitted across the wireless data network. The Venturi Personal Client software is configured on the mobile user's laptop and passes Internet data to and from the Venturi Server located in Bell Atlantic's network.
For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile's wireless data services, check out www.bam.com/wireless.
About Bell Atlantic Mobile
Editor's Note: Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East and systems in the Southwest, covering 180,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 6.6 million customers and 8,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas. Through its "Wireless at Wor..." community service program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent, Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:BEL) is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.
Fourelle Systems, Inc., is privately held and headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Fourelle designs and builds Venturi, an Internet bandwidth optimization product that maximizes the performance and minimizes the cost of running IP-based applications on wide area network links. More detailed information about Venturi is available at http://www.fourelle.com.
AirBridge is a registered trademark of Bell Atlantic Mobile. Venturi is a trademark of Fourelle Systems, Inc. All other company or product names are trademarks of their respective holders.