Local News

Nextel Offers New Wireless, Broadband Service In Triangle

Posted April 16, 2004 4:28 a.m. EDT

— Fast Internet service is the norm for many homes and offices in the Triangle, but there are limitations when you want to take that service outside the home or office, until now.

Shannon Mosley is using Nextel's brand-new wireless broadband service to help his new career in real estate. It allows Mosley to connect to the Internet at the speed of cable without the cables -- something his clients really appreciate.

"I can do home searches, e-mail them, follow up on my e-mail, send them e-mails back and forth," he said.

A small card is installed into the laptop or for a personal computer, a small modem can be installed. They both use an antenna to transmit a signal to Nextel's towers.

"We took 129 cell sites that we had for voice service and put some new technology in them that allows us to offer broadband wireless service," said Mark Carney of Nextel.

Nextel tested the new technology in the Triangle and this week, the company started accepting paying customers. It is only available in the Triangle. Rival Verizon Wireless is rolling out a similar wireless broadband service, but it is not available in the Triangle yet.

The wired cable and DSL service that many people already use at work and at home is not available in some parts of North Carolina and those are the people Nextel plans to target next.

"We also think some consumers who can't access cable or DSL because they're not within the footpoint for cable or DSL would benefit from this wireless service as well and unfortunately that's still quite a few people," Carney said.

Right now, Nextel's wireless broadband service ranges from $34.99 to $74.99 a month, depending on the speed. There is also a one-time equipment fee of $100 for the PC card or a modem. High-speed wired service through Time Warner's Road Runner is $44.95 a month.