Eircom to bundle DSL and WLAN for home workers


7 Feb 2003

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Eircom has revealed that it is planning to offer bundled digital subscriber line (DSL) and wireless local area network (WLAN) packages to small office and home workers from April onwards.

The national carrier, which is planning to unveil WLAN services to hotels across the country later this month, described the bundling of WLAN and DSL as a natural progression to the rollout of wireless services.

The company added that its subsidiary Lan Communications will focus largely on medium-sized businesses and corporate market whilst it offers a smaller bundled solution for small home offices and companies employing up to 10 or 15 people. The cost of the bundled package is estimated to be in the region of €500.

Eircom’s head of business IP (internet protocol) products, Peter O’Shaughnessy told siliconrepublic.com: “There is a great opportunity in the market for such services. Our aim is to make such a competitive offering that it will ultimately stimulate the WLAN and DSL market collectively. Individuals or small companies working from home can enjoy complete wireless access of up to 11 megabit per second [Mbps] anywhere in the building. It is a natural match.”

O’Shaughnessy added that Eircom is evaluating various base-stations and WLAN cards for the bundled package. WLAN base stations typically retail for around €300 and network access cards for less than €100. He believes cost-conscious small firms unwilling to make significant investments in installing physical local area networks (LANs) would welcome the new product set.

After a trial period initiated before Christmas, Eircom will be rolling out public hotspots in a variety of locations, including The O’Callaghan Hotel Group, The Red Cow Moran Hotel, The Silver Springs Moran Hotel in Cork and Citywest Hotel in Dublin.

Earlier this week, mobile operator O2 rolled out public hotspots in locations in Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Cork.

WLAN, otherwise known as Wi-Fi, allows individuals to use devices such as laptops and PDAs (personal digital assistants) to enjoy speeds of up to 11Mbps within a 500sq ft radius using a wireless LAN base station.

Pictured: Dermot Ahern TD, Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, and Peter O’Shaughnessy, head of business IP products at Eircom

By John Kennedy