AT&T Wireless Services has introduced flat-rate pricing for wireless data. For $14.99 per month a business or institutional customer will be able to have unlimited wireless IP service. To qualify, the customer must sign up for one of the company's Digital One or Group Calling Service plans. The customer must also purchase a Mitsubishi MobileAccess Internet telephone priced at $199. The phone uses the company's CDPD (cellular digital packet data) network, available in 3,000 cities across the United States.
Not only has the industry's metered service been difficult to figure out, but the cost of up to 30 cents a minute has discouraged the use of wireless technology to connect bookmobiles to automated library systems.
Libraries with bookmobiles should investigate the new service because it represents the most promising way to provide real-time circulation and patron access catalog access.