San Antonio, TX—-(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–July 21, 2004–SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) today announced a series of agreements that will significantly expand the Wi-Fi service coverage area for SBC FreedomLink customers and allow customers from other providers to access the extensive SBC network of Wi-Fi hot spots.
In a move critical to the widespread adoption of Wi-Fi, SBC companies have formed a roaming agreement that will allow FreedomLink customers who travel to Mexico to access Wi-Fi hot spots operated by Telmex, the company’s first bilateral international roaming agreement.
This agreement enables FreedomLink customers to roam on the Wi-Fi network of Telmex’s ISP Prodigy Móvil. The Prodigy Móvil Wi-Fi network reaches more than 400 hot spots located at strategic sites throughout Mexico. The Telmex Wi-Fi network encompasses more than 20 airports, 22 malls, 20 universities, 70 hotels, seven hospitals and over 200 restaurants reaching more than 40 Mexican cities and growing.
The roaming between FreedomLink and Prodigy Móvil networks will be available later this year. The detailed list of Telmex’s Prodigy Móvil Wi-Fi locations is available online at http://www.telmex.com under the Prodigy section.
“We are very excited about this new agreement between SBC Internet Services and Telmex which continues to strengthen the relationship between the two companies, and will hopefully open the door to explore more opportunities of international expansion in other Latin American countries where Telmex has recently made acquisitions,” said Andrés Vázquez del Mercado, executive vice president, Telmex investments and strategic development.
Other agreements within the U.S., with Concourse Communications and Wise Technologies, will allow FreedomLink customers to roam onto their respective Wi-Fi networks at reduced rates. Many of the providers’ hot spots are in high-traffic venues such as airports, and SBC FreedomLink customers will pay only $4 per daily session. Customers from these companies will also be able to roam onto the nearly 2,000 FreedomLink Wi-Fi hot spots.
Monthly SBC FreedomLink memberships are available for $19.95 and provide unlimited access to all FreedomLink hot spots. Daily sessions are also available for $7.95 and provide unlimited access to FreedomLink hot spots for 24-hours.
Key venues where SBC FreedomLink customers can access Wi-Fi at a reduced rate through the new roaming agreements include:
— Telmex: More than 400 venues in Mexico including more than 200 restaurants, 20 airports, 20 malls, 20 universities, 70 hotels and seven hospitals;
— Concourse Communications: JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul airports;
— Wise Technologies: Baltimore, San Diego, Miami, Anchorage, Omaha, West Palm Beach, Chattanooga and El Paso airports and retail locations.
“The new roaming agreements help augment the extensive Wi-Fi deployment we’ve undertaken,” said Ray Wilkins, group president, SBC marketing & sales. “These are important steps in making our service more widely available to consumers and business users. We believe our extensive Wi-Fi footprint, our diversity of locations and our affordable pricing will make the FreedomLink service the most attractive Wi-Fi offering on the market.”
Beyond the three reciprocal roaming agreements, SBC companies also have signed in-bound roaming agreements with GoRemote, iPass and Syniverse Technologies, which offer global connectivity services, including Wi-Fi, to enterprise customers with millions of potential end-users. GoRemote, iPass and Syniverse have similar agreements with other Wi-Fi providers and offer their customers access to a collection of hot spots operated by third-party Wi-Fi providers. iPass operates the world’s largest roaming network with access to more than 10,000 active Wi-Fi hotspots. Customers from the more than 300 wireless operators and Wi-Fi services providers worldwide that partner with Syniverse will benefit from roaming access to the FreedomLink network. The agreements will generate additional revenue for SBC companies by making FreedomLink hot spots available to the millions of potential Wi-Fi users these companies reach. SBC companies will receive revenue whenever GoRemote, iPass and Syniverse customers roam onto the FreedomLink network.
SBC companies expect to have all the roaming agreements activated by the end of the year.
The agreements follow other major steps the company is taking to make SBC FreedomLink service more widely available, including making it possible for FreedomLink customers to access Wi-Fi at many McDonald’s restaurants, and The UPS Store locations. Starting in November, FreedomLink will be available at Caribou Coffee stores, the nation’s second largest coffee chain.
The SBC FreedomLink service enables customers to use laptop computers and personal digital assistants to wirelessly connect to the Internet and corporate networks at speeds 50 to 100 times faster than a dial-up connection. FreedomLink high-speed wireless Internet access is a strategically significant service that further strengthens the SBC bundling strategy, generates incremental revenue and improves the company’s ability to attract and retain customers.
Later this year, FreedomLink service will be bundled with SBC Yahoo! DSL and offered at a significant discount to SBC Yahoo! DSL subscribers, further enhancing the value and benefits of their broadband service. In addition, SBC sales organization will offer monthly memberships in bulk to enterprise customers who wish to use the power of Wi-Fi to improve employee productivity.
The FreedomLink service is part of an integrated effort to meet customer demand for a comparable broadband experience in the home, office or on the road. To meet this goal, SBC companies plan to make available more than 20,000 Wi-Fi hot spots to FreedomLink customers by the end of 2006 and work with Cingular Wireless to utilize Wi-Fi and Cingular’s wireless network to deliver unprecedented coverage that enables customers to enjoy a comparable broadband experience at home, in the office and on the road.
Customers can view a list of FreedomLink locations and obtain ordering information by visiting http://www.sbc.com/freedomlink.
FREEDOMLINK(SM) wireless connection to the Internet provided by SBC Internet Services. SBC, the SBC logo, FREEDOMLINK(SM) and the FREEDOMLINK(SM) logo are trademarks or service marks of SBC Knowledge Ventures, L.P. © 2004 SBC Knowledge Ventures, L.P. All rights reserved.
SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) is a Fortune 50 company whose subsidiaries, operating under the SBC brand, provide a full range of voice, data, networking, e-business, directory publishing and advertising, and related services to businesses, consumers and other telecommunications providers. SBC holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which serves more than 24 million wireless customers. SBC companies provide high-speed DSL Internet access lines to more American consumers than any other provider and are among the nation’s leading providers of Internet services. SBC companies also now offer satellite TV service. Additional information about SBC and SBC products and services is available at www.sbc.com.
Monica Talán, 512-495-7167