Metricom Brings Time-to-Market Advantage to Wireless Data Resellers

Communications providers can offer Ricochet 128 kbps mobile access services as soon as next year -- without network upgrades

Los Gatos, California - November 8, 1999 -- Metricom, Inc. (NASDAQ: MCOM), leading provider of mobile data networking and technology, today unveiled its reseller program targeting providers that can benefit from the time-to-market advantage Ricochet will provide with mobile data access speeds of 128 kbps next year. Ricochet will be made available to resellers to serve growing customer demand for high data rate mobile access to information.

"The time is now for broadband high-speed mobile data access that frees people to work outside the confines of their office," said John Wernke, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales, for Metricom. "With 128 kbps available in the market next year, resellers that sign up for the Ricochet program will be able to easily begin filling this need for their customers - without the time and expense of deploying infrastructure and without giving up voice revenue or valuable spectrum to accommodate data transmission. And the unique advantages of Ricochet's underlying technology means resellers will be able to continue offering low flat prices in future years as the numbers of users and capacity demands grow."

Metricom is actively pursuing resellers for its Ricochet service, which is expected to come online in an initial dozen markets in the summer of 2000, and cover 100 million people by mid-2001. Companies qualifying for the reseller program include communications providers and vertical application developers that own an ongoing customer relationship, manage backend services and customer support, and have viable distribution channels.

Regardless of current network platforms, these communications providers can easily hook into the Ricochet system without buying and deploying new network infrastructure equipment or upgrading their current systems. Unlike newly emerging technologies, reselling Ricochet does not require providers to purchase additional spectrum or dedicate a channel of their existing radio spectrum (1.25 MHz per channel) to ensure excess bandwidth dedicated to high data rate services. Ricochet was designed with very high raw data rates to ensure that resellers can offer customers a consistent 128 kbps end-user speed during peak load, with non-peak transmission averaging higher than 128 kbps.In addition, Ricochet's design is intended to serve many users at a time rather than dedicating one channel per user, which means that capacity is not an issue for resellers as they add customers to the system.

As part of the reseller program, Metricom operates and manages the Ricochet system, allowing resellers to quickly and cost-effectively extend their service portfolio to include high-speed mobile access for customers that want to enhance productivity by working outside the confines of the office. End-users need to purchase a Ricochet wireless modem from Metricom resellers or hardware distribution partners. The Ricochet modem works with all computing devices including portable PC or Mac computers and handheld devices. Ricochet is a very simple solution for customers as they use already familiar interfaces to access information either inside or outside the office.

Unlike technologies just now evolving to solve growing high-performance high-speed wireless data requirements, Ricochet is a proven technology that leads the industry today at 28.8 kbps. Ricochet is uniquely positioned to capture a significant share of the growing mobile professional market with secure and reliable "always-on" connections, flat-rate "all-you-can-use" pricing, no metered roaming fees, and true mobility at 70 mph. These benefits are a result of the Ricochet architecture, which is based on a digital packet-switched network employing spread-spectrum radio frequency transmission and standard Internet Protocol (IP). Ricochet was designed from inception for packet data, which means high throughput, extremely low Bit Error Rate (BER), instantaneous handoff, and low cost per connection. Metricom plans to continually evolve Ricochet to provide the highest performance mobile access service in the market.

"We're building a mobile access network in major markets with a technology that is already proven. Ricochet will provide resellers an early entry into the high-speed wireless data services market at almost no cost to them, and benefit customers longing to be set free from the confines of an office to work wherever they need," concluded Wernke.

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