Millenium Adds Wi-Fi Hot Spots for Business


Millenium Digital Media is deploying wireless-fidelity (Wi-Fi) hot spots for commercial business customers, to extend service areas for its enterprise users.

The MSO announced a deal with wireless public Internet-access solutions provider NetNearU Corp., which will supply the MSO with TRACKOS, its real-time self-provisioning, authentification, billing, roaming support, network-operability monitoring, configuration and reporting system.

The TRACKOS software system will allow Millenium's existing subscriber base to use the Wi-Fi network, in addition to providing a billing solutions for Wi-Fi users who are Millenium subscribers.

NetNearU also will provide roaming settlement services.

Millenium senior vice president Peter Smith said the MSO has launched commercial business high-speed Internet services in all its systems, which serve 130,000 subscribers in Maryland, Washington, Oregon and Michigan.

“It's a pretty healthy business,” largely the small office/home office and small-to-midsized enterprise market, he said. “We've also made some forays into the larger enterprise area.”

While Millenium has launched residential telephony, Smith said, it hasn't yet added that to the telephony bundle.

The Wi-Fi launch came in response to customer queries. “We've had requests from customers that this is something their customers are asking for,” Smith said. Interest has come from hotel, motels, coffee shops and bookstores, he said.

The typical business customer deal follows a revenue-share model, he said.

“We share the risks and rewards. We have a monthly pricing model. Some subscribers want to make it available for free to their customers,” Smith said.

“We needed to come up with billing and OSS solution to answer the demand,” he said. Thus, the NetNearU deal.

NetNearU allows residential customers who aren't on Millenium's network to access the hot spots. If a business executive from New York was traveling in Millenium territory in Oregon, they could access the MSO's high-speed Internet network from a coffee shop, if Millenium offers service at that location. NetNearU would handle authentification and make sure billing was conducted properly, Smith said.

Smith said MDM has deployed one Wi-Fi hot spot in a bed and breakfast in Oregon.

“It's working great,” he said.

Launches in Michigan and Maryland will follow.