Denver-based Ricochet Networks is morphing itself into a WiFi and WiMAX provider and a municipal wireless player. The ISP has been around since 1994, when it launched a proprietary fixed wireless service in 21 major U.S. cities but subsequently filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The company went through a slew of owners until Terabeam bought the company in 2004. It currently operates in just two markets: Denver and San Diego. Now Ricochet has made an agreement with the city and county of Denver to incorporate WiFi, WiMAX and other broadband services into the city's existing right-of-way contract with Ricochet. The deal will enable Ricochet to provide service dubbed "WiFi in the Mile Hight" to the entire footprint of the city and county of Denver, Ricochet said. Proxim, also a wholly owned subsidiary of Terabeam, is the vendor. Ricochet said it will eventually phase out its proprietary system to make WiFi the the technology of choice.
Ricochet also plans to target municipalities as customers by either serving as the managed service provider or as the anchor tenant with a traditional subscriber base. Ricochet may offer an advantage to municipalities since it may be able to provide a tightly integrated solution with Proxim.