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Autonet Mobile to turn cars into 'Wi-Fi hotspot'

Posted: 04 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Autonet Mobile? Wi-Fi? Wi-Fi devices? Wi-Fi products? Wi-Fi hotspot?

Hoping to carve out a niche by bringing in-vehicle Internet connection, Autonet Mobile Inc. plans to deliver a wireless service that can turn cars into Wi-Fi hotspots. The company will debut the service at the 40th Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next week (Jan. 8-11) in Las Vegas.

Touted as the 'first' Wireless Broadband Mobile Network, the service is optimized for the in-car experience and enables to bring an Internet media center to vehiclesallowing passengers to check e-mail, surf the Web, game or communicate via any Wi-Fi-enabled device. It is based on Autonet Mobile's patent pending TRU Technology that provides automatic session management between high/low speed networks, so passengers stay connected while driving.

"We live in a car-centric society and our Autonet Mobile Service is directly addressing the communications needs of today's drivers and passengers," said Sterling Pratz, CEO of Autonet Mobile. "Today, 40 percent of all SUVs and station wagons come equipped with media centers, supporting music and DVDs, yet, do not support today's connected lifestyle of the Internet, e-mail and social media. We are putting the connected lifestyle in the car with an easy to use service for executives and families on-the-go."

The Autonet Mobile Service ensures a secure, broadband-level connection to any Wi-Fi-enabled device within close proximity to the vehicle. It will retail for $399 with a monthly service charge of $49.

"The auto industry has been searching for a practical in-vehicle Internet solution for almost a decade," said Dave Whetstone, wireless industry veteran and co-founder of Virgin Mobile USA. "Autonet Mobile's unique approach has been optimized around the specific challenges of keeping laptops, UMPCs, gaming devices and other Wi-Fi enabled devices connected while driving. The Autonet service will help to fill consumers' insatiable need to stay connected, even while on the road."

According to the company, the service is designed to work on 95 percent of U.S. roads, regardless of driving conditions or location. To use, passengers need to only plug the unit into a cigarette lighter or standard wall plug and it is ready to go.

Moreover, Autonet Mobile plans to announce at CES an agreement with a car rental company to offer the portable, wireless Internet service by the end of the first quarter.

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