Linksys, Ricochet To Offer Router Aimed At SOHO Wireless Internet Access


Linksys Group Monday announced that it has teamed with Ricochet Networks to offer the Linksys Ricochet Router, which allows Ricochet to offer high-speed, wireless Internet access to home and small-office network users for $44.95 per month.

Ricochet, a high-speed ISP based in Denver, said it is offering the new router for $119.95 to customers in Denver and San Diego. It is also being sold online at www.ricochet.com.

The partnership and new router announcements follow recent news that Linksys signed a deal, worth an estimated $500 million in stock, to be acquired by Cisco Systems. Cisco's acquisition of Linksys is in the midst of approval, but is expected to close during the summer. Under the terms of the deal, Linksys would continue to operate as a separate entity even after being acquired by Cisco.

The new router includes network-address translation for security and a PC card slot for a Ricochet-approved PC modem card. Users can share a single Ricochet high-speed wireless Internet account across multiple computers in a home or small-office setting by connecting computers with Ethernet cable to the new router's four 10/100 switches ports, according to both companies.

Sold separately and aimed at saving cabling time, users can purchase a Linksys wireless access point to set up a WLAN to share the service.

Mort Aaronson, president and CEO of Ricochet, said the router offers a "high-speed, wireless network product at consumer prices, and with the ability to install in less than 10 minutes out of the box."

The Linksys Ricochet Router would allow as many as four computers to connect to the Internet over one Ricochet connection. Because Ricochet is wireless technology, a LAN can be set up and moved anywhere in Ricochet's coverage area.

Matt McRae, director of broadband at Linksys, said Linksys redesigned the software on its cable/DSL router to support the code interface on Ricochet modem cards that allows access to their Internet network.

Ricochet's wireless Internet service allows subscribers to surf the Web or access LAN files from anywhere in Ricochet service areas. It also serves as a high-speed alternative to dial-up connections for computer users that don't have access to cable or DSL service.

The Ricochet network operates at speeds four times faster than dial-up Internet over its own proprietary Micro Cellular Data Network, which uses VPN capability, according to both companies.