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Gateway cuts price on wireless bundle

The PC maker cuts $200 off the price of a wireless home networking package as part of its strategy to boost sales.

Gateway is putting wireless home networking on sale.

The PC maker will offer its Wireless Home Network Solution, a bundle of hardware and services, for $299 to customers who buy a new Gateway notebook with a Pentium 4-M processor or subscribe to a broadband Internet service through the company.

The offer discounts the home network package, which includes networking hardware and in-home installation, by $200 as part of an effort to increase adoption of wireless networks among Gateway customers. The bundle normally sells for $499.

Meanwhile, CEO Ted Waitt and the company's talking Holstein cow will promote the new offering in a TV commercial that begins airing Tuesday. It's their latest appearance since a spot promoting the consumption of digital music.

The Wireless Home Network Solution includes Intel's AnyPoint Wireless II base station as well as network adaptors for a notebook and a desktop. The hardware will allows multiple computers to share an Internet connection as well as share files and printers using 802.11b wireless LAN. The bundle also includes on-site installation by a Gateway technician as well as three years of support and a three-year warranty.

The rebate mirrors Gateway's strategy for 2002 of cutting prices and, where appropriate, offering better hardware than its competitors. It's a strategy designed to help the company win back customers and boost market share--at the expense of profitability--after a less-than-spectacular performance in the fourth quarter of 2001.