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Wi-Fi For Dial-Up ISP Customers

9/20/2004 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Always On Wireless wants to give dial-up modem users something new: the ability to create a Wi-Fi network using dial-up ISP service.

Like floppy-disk drives and CRT monitors, dial-up modems are still used by a respectable number of people. Millions, according to Always On's founder Rudy Prince, and he believes they want the ability to go wireless.

The Always On WiFlyer is an 802.11b-based wireless hub that connects to a phone line and works with all the major dial-up ISPs. It will become available direct from the company on Oct. 1 with a $149 suggested retail price. Other retail plans were not announced. This is Always On's first product.

In order to make it more attractive the company has included a proprietary data accelerator that can quadruple normal data transfer speeds and will work with the ISPs. There is a $49-per-year charge for the accelerator service.

Prince sees business travelers being the first WiFlyer customers. The device is smaller than a paperback book for easy travel and also has an Ethernet port, so it can turn any hotel room into an instant Wi-Fi hot spot. Eventually, home owners will dominate, he predicted, as those who either cannot or do not want to go with broadband learn about the WiFlyer.