QFC Offers Wi-Fi Hotspots in Six Stores

BELLEVUE, Wash. - Quality Food Centers (QFC), a division of Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., has installed Wi-Fi hotspot services in six of its supermarkets in the Seattle area.

The retailer is working with two partners, Ecuity Inc., and Colubris Networks, to provide complimentary wireless access to its shoppers. The Colubris/Ecuity WLAN System, jointly designed by Ecuity and Colubris, allows QFC customers high-quality wireless broadband Internet access while shopping, eating, studying, or relaxing in the upscale shopping environment. Customers can access the Internet with any Wi-Fi-enabled laptop, PDA, or pocket PC. In addition, customers can download Ecuity's Smart Call mobile Voiceover Internet (VoIP) phone service and make phone calls to any location directly from the QFC hotspot.

"We are committed to providing a quality and upscale shopping experience, and thousands of our customers have taken advantage of this unique amenity," said Dean Olson, QFC's senior director of marketing and advertising, in a statement.

Ecuity, Inc., also based in Bellevue, is an end-to-end unified communications and technologies company serving the small-to-medium business and residential markets, and Waltham, Mass.-based Colubris Networks manufactures and sells a WLAN product family to service providers and enterprises worldwide.

"QFC stores are just the right environment for Wi-Fi users," said Ecuity president King Cole.

The WLAN system that was tested and deployed at QFC includes the Colubris CN3200 Access Controller -- a "hotspot in a box" platform -- to provide public Internet access. It provides reliable and secure user authentication, service presentation, and per-user billing support.
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