Ecast and Pronto Networks Partner to Turn Jukeboxes into Wi-Fi Hotspots
Las Vegas – The AMOA International Expo – Sept. 30, 2004 – Ecast, a broadband network operator providing a digital media software platform for pay-per-use jukeboxes and other digital media vending devices, will begin offering wireless Internet access in the popular Wi-Fi format through its national network of digital-downloading jukebox locations with the help of Pronto Networks, a leading provider of carrier-class operations support systems software for managing large scale Wi-Fi networks.
Through their new “Ecast Unplugged” service, which gives jukebox operators the ability to add Wi- Fi to any broadband-enabled Ecast location, patrons will be able to surf the net, access email and send instant messages from thousands of restaurants and taverns throughout U.S.
“After pilot testing Ecast Unplugged Wi-Fi in ten jukebox locations for nearly a year, we found that customers stay longer and spend more at venues where they can log on,” said Robbie Vann-Adibe, Ecast’s chief executive. “Thanks to Pronto Networks Wi-Fi solution, our operators will be able to easily convert their Ecast-powered locations into wireless hot spots.”
The advanced security features of Pronto’s Wi-Fi solution also lets venues connect additional broadband-enabled devices, like ATMs, credit card authorization machines, business computers and coin-operated devices, to a second wired Ethernet port, subjugating wired traffic to an isolated, secure LAN subnet. As a result, Wi-Fi users are prevented from spreading a potential computer virus, or from hacking into devices on the local area network.
Pronto’s software also reports usage and revenue statistics on a chain-wide level, as well as providing the ability to brand a “splash page,” which is the first page that loads in an Internet browser when someone logs onto the Ecast Unplugged Wi-Fi service.
“Adding Wi-Fi is just the first step in providing new digital services to consumers,” said Jasbir Singh, president and CEO of Pronto Networks. “In the future, wireless gaming, selling audio/video downloads and fantasy sports are all possibilities.”
“Used to be you put a sign up advertising that you had air conditioning and people came in. Now, you put up a sign that says you have wireless Internet access instead,” said Mick, owner of Scobies Sports Bar & Grill in Alameda, California, one of the pilot locations that tested Ecast Unplugged. “We not only saw our existing customers log on. We also saw new customers, who might not have otherwise come in, opening up their laptops and checking their email.”
Ecast introduces Ecast Unplugged to the trade at The AMOA International Expo, sponsored by the Amusement & Music Operators Association in Las Vegas, on Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, in Booth #4303.
Founded in 1999, Ecast Inc. (http://www.ecastinc.com) is privately owned with offices in San Francisco. Ecast owns and operates a Location-Based Broadband Network that combines a proprietary digital media software platform, a US-wide broadband network and pay-per-use devices such as digital jukeboxes and other media vending devices, which are currently operating in more than 2500 restaurants and bars in all 50 states. The platform enables the secure delivery, management and accurate administration of rights usage. Ecast’s platform is the out-of-home digital jukebox standard, powering units built by the three leading jukebox manufacturers in the United States. Visit Ecast’s pressroom: http://www.ipressroom.com/pr/ecast/info/
About Pronto Networks
Pronto Networks, based in Pleasanton, Calif., provides carrier-class Operations Support Systems (OSS) that enable network operators to deploy and manage large public hot spot and hot zone networks. The company’s software handles provisioning, configuration, authentication, access control, security, pre-paid and post-paid billing, and roaming settlement for large public WLAN networks, in addition to remotely managing and updating multi-vendor hardware and Wi-Fi switches. Pronto Networks is funded by BV Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and the Intel Communications Fund. Pronto Networks was recently named to the AlwaysOn List of Top 100 Private Companies for the second consecutive year and in 2003 received Wired Magazine’s Top 25 Wi-Fi Companies to Watch and Computerworld’s Innovative Technology Awards. For more information about Pronto Networks, please visit www.prontonetworks.com.
For more information, please contact:
Hillary Smoot for Ecast Schwartzman & Associates, Inc.
Kristie Heins for Pronto Networks Ruder Finn, Inc.