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Starbucks goes wireless  
Thursday, March 15, 2001 | by
Greg Anderson notes that MobileStar, an ISP that specializes in providing wireless 802.11b (i.e. Apple Airport-compatible) Internet access in hotels and airports across the US, is currently rolling out their service to hundreds of Starbucks locations in two states. By the end of this month, the company plans to have high-speed wireless access running at 139 locations in the San Francisco area, 176 locations in Seattle, and 74 locations in Dallas. Best of all, says a MobileStar spokesman, it should be possible in many cases to jump onto MobileStar's access points even from a parking lot next to the Starbucks, and even outside the coffee house's hours of operation. This will potentially enable news shooters to pull up to a Starbucks at any time of day, connect to the Internet wirelessly, whisk multiple photos to the paper at speeds many, many times faster than a landline modem, then drive on a couple of minutes later. As an avid user of Apple's Airport wireless technology, both in my home office and when stationed in hotels and airport departure lounges, I'm excited about this new service. MobileStar's web site has information on pricing and locations (though wireless-ready Starbucks locations are not yet indicated on the site). For more information on 802.11b wireless Ethernet hardware, see Apple's Airport web pages, as well as those of Agere's Orinoco product line.
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