GNC Stores Leverage Nationwide Wireless Service for Bandwidth and Flexibility over a Private Network
NEW YORK CITY. – (Jan. 12, 2009) – New Edge Networks, the business communications unit of EarthLink Inc., (NASDAQ: ELNK), today launched EVDO (Evolution Data Optimized) broadband, offering businesses high-speed wireless access on a private MPLS-based nationwide network. New Edge introduced this service at the National Retail Federation conference in New York City.
Transmission rates of EVDO Revision-A are comparable to DSL or Fractional T1s, but with the added flexibility inherent in wireless communications. New Edge’s EVDO broadband service uniquely allows enterprises to securely connect business locations using a blend of integrated wireless and wireline access over a single, privately managed network versus over the public Internet.
New Edge’s high-speed wireless EVDO offering can bring measurable benefits to businesses in terms of remote access, increased flexibility, productivity and improved redundancy,” commented Greg Griffiths, vice president of marketing for New Edge.
“A growing number of businesses today require additional flexibility with their physical locations, such as retailers which may have to manage through frequent store openings, moves or kiosk relocations,” explained Griffiths. “EVDO is perfect for businesses with recurrent moves or geographically dispersed locations where DSL is not available and T-1 service is prohibitively expensive. This wireless access technology fully supports seasonality in industries like retail, construction, insurance and tax services. A new location can literally be turned up and online in 48 hours or less.”
General Nutrition Centers Inc., the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional supplements, is one of the first leading retailers to experience the benefits of this private blended network environment. When EVDO was introduced to GNC, New Edge Networks was in the process of building and managing a nationwide wireline MPLS network to power GNC’s new point of sale system for more than 3,500 corporate owned and franchised retail outlets throughout the country. In late 2008, New Edge connected an additional 110 GNC retail outlets across 31 states to the company’s private wide area network using EVDO with plans to wirelessly connect more stores in 2009.
“Having a wireless service incorporated into our existing MPLS-based network delivers more flexibility and options to better manage our business while reducing our operational costs,” said Jerry Werner, vice president and chief information officer for GNC. “Not only do we enhance our robust and secure network, but we are seeing faster cash transactions at our registers and real-time inventory management improvements.”
EVDO is also among the best back-up network alternatives for businesses in terms of level of redundancy. Unlike landline technologies, this high-speed ubiquitous wireless access platform is inherently resilient to natural disasters and construction incidents. Additionally, this service can be utilized as an interim solution when businesses encounter facility issues or long lead times with DSL or T1 installations.
“New Edge has been aggressive in providing enhanced applications and services that rest on our secure MPLS-based network foundation so business customers can fully realize the transformational power of broadband networks,” stated Griffiths.
About New Edge Networks
New Edge Networks builds and manages private IP-based wide area networks that do not use the public Internet. Connecting business sites at virtually any address in the United States, New Edge allows businesses to choose any blend of available access technologies – from DSL and T1 lines to fiber-optic connections – for building private and secure MPLS networks with performance guarantees. A wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based EarthLink Inc., (NASDAQ: ELNK), New Edge is based in Vancouver, Wash. For more information visit www.newedgenetworks.com or call 1-360-693-9009.
GNC, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional products, vitamin, mineral, herbal and other specialty supplements and sports nutrition, diet and energy products. GNC has more than 4,800 retail locations throughout the United States (including more than 1,000 franchise and 1,200 Rite Aid store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in 48 international markets. The Company – which is dedicated to helping consumers Live Well – also offers products and product information online at www.gnc.com.