TBC Corp. is offering customers wireless Internet access at selected Tire Kingdom and National Tire and Battery (NTB) locations in Florida and Texas in a test that may lead to the installation of wireless Internet kiosks at all 620 of TBC's company-owned retail outlets.
TBC is test marketing the concept at 65 locations, including Tire Kingdom stores in Tampa/St. Petersburg and Orlando, Fla., and NTB stores in Houston. The service is being handled by Transnet Wireless Corp., a Plantation, Fla.-based provider of wireless technology.
Transnet Wireless is establishing a national network of Wi-Fi Hot Spots through a private local distributorship program, which will manage the set-up and maintenance of TBC's network, the firm said.
``Our objective in our waiting rooms is to give customers the most friendly and productive area in which to wait, and this really helps us do that,'' said Erik Olsen, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for TBC, in a prepared statement. ``It's a nice way of giving us distinction.''
TBC chose the Tampa, Orlando and Houston markets for the test because of their strong Tire Kingdom and NTB brand presence and firm placement in the Wi-Fi market, said Bob Crostarosa, vice president of marketing for Tire Kingdom.
``We think this is yet another service we can offer to our customers to make theirs a more productive and pleasant experience,'' Mr. Crostarosa said in the statement. ``We can't see why this would not be good for our other customers and partners.''
Transnet Wireless is a member of the Airpath Provider Alliance, the global standard for comprehensive Wi-Fi roaming. The alliance comprises 600 providers operating more than 3,500 hot spots and in more than 23 countries, Transnet said.