Deal Between Transnet Wireless And TBC Corp. Brings Internet Access To Tire Kingdom/NTB Retail Store Waiting Areas

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A new agreement between Transnet Wireless Corp. and the TBC Corporation Â? parent company of Tire Kingdom, National Tire and Battery (NTB) and MerchantÂ?s Tire and Auto Â? will provide wireless and walkup Internet access to customers waiting for automotive service in a total of 65 retail locations. This latest venture from Transnet is Transnet's biggest to date.

A new agreement between Transnet Wireless Corp. and the TBC Corporation – parent company of Tire Kingdom, National Tire and Battery (NTB) and Merchant’s Tire and Auto – will provide wireless and walkup Internet access to customers waiting for automotive service in a total of 65 retail locations, including Tire Kingdom stores in Tampa/St. Petersburg and Orlando, Fla., and NTB stores in Houston, Texas. This latest venture from Transnet is its biggest to date, and further underscores the fast-growing need for wireless Internet access among today’s consumers – and the increase in the types and number of businesses willing to offer the service.

Transnet’s wireless Internet kiosks – which let users either access the Internet on the actual kiosk, or utilize the wireless connection on their own laptop – will allow Tire Kingdom and NTB stores to be the first of their kind to offer this convenient service. Retail locations in Tampa/St. Petersburg and Orlando, Fla., and Houston, Texas, will begin to offer this service in the first part of September.

“Transnet is extremely pleased to be the premier wireless Internet service provider for TBC Corporation, and, as a result, the retail automotive service market as a whole,” said Brad Cartwright, president of Transnet Wireless. “We think this will be a very successful venture for TBC stores and an added convenience for their customers, and the addition of Transnet Wireless Internet service will set the standard for other companies to follow.”

Transnet Wireless is establishing a national network of Wi-Fi Hot Spots through an innovative private local distributorship program. In the deal with TBC, Transnet will manage the setup and maintenance through the distributor partnership program. Following a successful pilot program in the initial 65 locations, TBC plans to introduce this customer service to all 620 retail locations.

Erik Olsen, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.-based TBC Corporation, said the addition of wireless Internet access falls in line with the company philosophy of providing its customers with the best-possible service experience. “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. It’s a nice way of giving us distinction.”

Olsen added that TBC Corp. decided Transnet offered the best package, and would be best-suited to providing the service to TBC stores. “They offer a high level of service to the consumer in giving us the opportunity to seamlessly integrate this technology into our stores.”

Bob Crostarosa, vice president of marketing for the Tire Kingdom Group, said the company decided to have its initial rollout of the service in the Tampa, Orlando and Houston markets because of both their strong Tire Kingdom and NTB brand presence and firm placement in the Wi-Fi market. He said the company most likely would extend the service into other markets. “We think that this is yet another service that we can offer to our customers to make theirs a more productive and pleasant experience. We can’t see why this would not be good for our other customers and partners.”

About TBC Corporation

TBC Corporation is one of the nation's largest marketers of automotive replacement tires through a multi-channel strategy. In addition to Tire Kingdom and National Tire and Battery, Merchant's Tire & Auto Centers are company-operated retail centers. TBC Corp. also operates franchised retail tire stores under the Big O Tires brand and the wholesale distribution of tires and related equipment to independent tire dealers through Carroll Tire.

About Transnet Wireless

Transnet Wireless Corporation is a member of the Airpath Provider Alliance, the global standard for comprehensive Wi-Fi roaming, with 600 providers operating more than 3,500 hot spots and counting in more than 23 countries. Transnet Wireless is a privately held corporation headquartered in Plantation, FL.

For additional information on turning your location into a Hot Spot, visit http://www.transnetlocations.com. For information on becoming a Transnet distributor, visit http://www.transnetwireless.com. Phone: 1.800.767.1973

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