UPS Stores To Get Hotspots

It's teaming with SBC to put the wireless access points into thousands of its stores.
Hotspot access will be added to thousands of UPS Store locations, United Parcel Service and SBC Communications said Tuesday.

The companies said in a statement that the hotspot access will be added to 1,500 locations by year's end, with deployments continuing through 2005. UPS said the addition of wireless access is part of its attempt to make the stores serve as remote offices for mobile workers.

SBC said it will work with Wayport to deploy the hotspots. In addition to wireless access, the company said it will offer wired access at the stores. That access will be available for either $19.95 a month or $7.95 a day.

The deployments are part of SBC's FreedomLink service. The company said it is aiming to deploy 20,000 FreedomLink hotspots in the next three years and to integrate hotspot and 3G access. UPS also said it is assessing whether to put hotspot access into its European stores.

UPS Store locations provide other business services such as printing and shipping. UPS acquired Mail Boxes Etc and has been competing with Kinkos, which was recently acquired by Federal Express.

There are about 3,300 UPS Store locations; the company says it's aiming to have 5,000 by 2007.

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