Triatel, the CDMA mobile and EVDO wireless internet operator, has launched a clever summer product -- maritime mobile internet. The company's engineers determined that signals from Triatel's EVDO base stations were reaching as far as 40 kilometers over the sea. The entire Gulf of Riga has coverage, it is claimed. So they are now launching internet for boaters.
The business logic is simple. Most inland base stations cover a 360 degree zone where there are potential customers everywhere. But base stations near Latvia's seashore beam a good part of their coverage out over the water, where there is no one but the fish and the occasional recreational boater. Owning a powerboat or yacht in Latvia sort of puts you in an upper income bracket, so paying around LVL 23 a month to have internet on board is not a huge expense and kinda cool.
I am waiting for the headline: Luxury cruiser hits sand bar, helmsman was surfing draugiem.lv*
*the Latvian social network with 2 million users, sort of like Facebook or Friendster.