Mobile Coyote rolling out its 1st product for laptops

`Wireless Web Kit' provides Net, e-mail access without phone jack

Maryland technology

June 20, 2000|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

Mobile Coyote, a Baltimore-based wireless data services company, will launch its first product for laptops today in Maryland and neighboring areas as a prelude to a national launch.

Also, the company said it plans to develop five new services, including access for Palm Pilots and Pocket PCs, during the next 18 months, said Jemel Hatcher, Mobile Coyote's co-founder and chief technical officer.

The company's "Wireless Web Kit," which provides Internet and electronic-mail access to laptop users without having to connect to a telephone jack, will be available at 30 retail locations in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia, as well as on five Web sites that cater to mobile professionals and telecommuters, he said.

The kit includes a wireless modem, compression software, activation and customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Mobile Coyote doesn't produce wireless devices, but packages them under its brand name for $349, with unlimited Internet access for $40 a month.

"We saw more than 40 million laptop users being under-served in wireless Internet and a need to make wireless Internet access a commodity," Hatcher said.

"No longer do you have to buy these items piecemeal," Hatcher said. "We created this box solution that anyone can grab off the shelf and install hassle-free."

The company is looking to sign up 20,000 users in its first year, "which we think is very conservative," Hatcher said.

Mobile Coyote, with seven employees in its North Charles Street offices, has partnerships with Ericsson Inc., Verizon Communications and Novatel Wireless Inc.

Hatcher, 29, a former sales engineer for a firm in Baltimore County, founded Mobile Coyote with Bill Bawcombe in 1997.

Bawcombe, 30, is a former designer at an engineering firm in Columbia. He serves as Mobile Coyote's vice president and chief operating officer.

The company initially raised money from angel funding, and is currently courting venture capital firms to raise more, Hatcher said. Mobile Coyote has plans to go public in 18 months, "if possible, so we can grow and survive," he added.

Hatcher said its chief competitor is GoAmerica, a New Jersey-based wireless data company that went public in April.

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