|[May 27, 2004]
TA SpeedZone Brings Wireless Internet Access to Travelers; TA is Teaming with V-Link Solutions and AT&T to Offer a Network of Wi-Fi Hotspots
WESTLAKE, Ohio --(Business Wire)-- May 27, 2004 -- Just in time for the peak summer driving season, TravelCenters of America (TA) is introducing a new high-speed wireless Internet service, called TA SpeedZone(SM), that conveniently allows travelers to stay in touch with friends, families, businesses and the rest of the world.
TA is teaming with V-Link Solutions and AT&T to offer a network of Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) hotspots that will provide high-speed wireless Internet access for vacationers, RVers, professional drivers and business travelers. V-Link will build, manage, and support the Wi-Fi hot spots for TA while AT&T will provide its Integrated Network Connection Service. TA SpeedZone is currently available at more than 40 TA locations and is expected to be 100 percent operational at 125 company-owned TA travel centers, as well as several TA franchise locations, by July 3.
The TA SpeedZone Wi-Fi network incorporates state-of-the-art technology including a web-based monitoring and management system to ensure robust performance around the clock. TA customers will be able to gain high-speed wireless access to the Internet from a variety of locations on each travel center's property, including the restaurant, fast food court, and most areas of the truck and car parking lots.
Limited-time promotional rates, effective through August 2004, are $1.49 for 60 minutes of access, $4.49 for 24 hours, $22.49 for 62 days, and $169.99 for 365 days. Subscription times are continuous from the time of the first log-in. For example, if the user purchases a 24-hour plan and logs in at 7 p.m., access would end at 7 p.m. the next day.
While connected to TA SpeedZone, TA RoadKing Club members can instantly redeem their TA RoadMile points to purchase access time or to add time to their TA SpeedZone accounts. TA RoadMiles are earned through the purchase of diesel fuel at TA. Other customers can purchase prepaid cards at the TA Travel Store or can pay with a credit card while connected to TA SpeedZone.
"TA SpeedZone is just the latest customer-service enhancement that makes TA travel centers such popular venues for professional drivers and motorists alike," said Ed Kuhn, TA chairman and chief executive officer. "In addition to enjoying a delicious and satisfying meal, fueling or servicing their vehicle, or picking up convenience items, our customers are now able to conduct business, or stay in touch with family and friends, with a high-speed wireless Internet connection. We are also proud to let our RoadKing Club members easily redeem their points to access the Internet."
TA has awarded a contract to V-Link Solutions to build and manage the Wi-Fi hotspots at the TA travel centers. V-Link will provide back-end management (authentication, billing and monitoring) for these hotspots with its proprietary back-end engine called PASSYM. V-Link also will offer 24-hour customer support to help TA SpeedZone users with everything from inserting the wireless card to logging on, as well as with technical questions. The toll-free number is 1-866-776-8182. Wireless cards, USB adaptors and antennas are available at most TA Travel Stores.
Additionally, under a three-year contract, AT&T will provide Integrated Network Connection Service to TA, replacing multiple access arrangements and integrating AT&T local, long-distance, frame relay and managed Internet services on one platform. AT&T's networking solution enables TA to dynamically allocate bandwidth to support existing voice and data services, and to introduce Wi-Fi connectivity.
About TravelCenters of America
TravelCenters of America, headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, is the largest network of full-service travel centers in the country, with 10,500 people at more than 150 locations in 41 states and Canada. With 30 years of experience, TravelCenters of America has established itself as a leader in serving professional drivers and motorists alike. For more information, go to: www.tatravelcenters.com.
About V-Link Solutions
V-Link Solutions Inc. is one of the fastest growing Wi-Fi services companies in the United States and a leader in providing high-speed Internet services to the hospitality industry. Its current customers include Hilton, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hampton, Hyatt, Marriott and Intercontinental Hotels, Princess Cruise Lines, the Resort Municipality of Whistler in British Columbia, and others. V-Link builds Wi-Fi networks and manages these networks with its proprietary back-end software called PASSYM. It also brings to the table a suite of Wi-Fi based productivity applications which work off Wi-Fi to deliver additional business benefits. V-Link is privately held and is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For more information: www.vlinknet.com
For more than 125 years, AT&T (NYSE "T") has been known for unparalleled quality and reliability in communications. Backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs, the company is a global leader in local, long distance, Internet and transaction-based voice and data services.
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