Originally created 08/18/99

Links to data with no wires

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Mobile office workers and Internet addicts take note: Cell phone companies are coming with new services that will connect you the wireless way.

Sprint PCS has unveiled its Sprint PCS Wireless Web, a collection of services and new cell phones.

The Internet-capable phones can connect to a stripped-down version of the Internet, automatically receive updated information from an Internet service, or allow laptop computers to dial in to the Internet or corporate networks without the use of a telephone jack.

The marriage of wireless and Internet technologies is making the mobile office a reality, said Nathan Jamail, district director of field operations in Memphis for Sprint PCS.

"We're going to people being 100 percent mobile with a very simple system," Jamail said.

Sprint PCS will start its new service in late September throughout its digital network, serving about 4,000 U.S. cities.

Data services, calls that carry computer language instead of voices, are a growing trend in the wireless industry.

For example, Nextel Communications Inc. since June has announced that it is selling two "Internet-ready" wireless phones made by Motorola. The i500plus, unveiled last week, complete with Web browser, may cost as little as $99 with promotional pricing.

Nextel plans to launch its wireless online services for the phones within months.

BellSouth Mobility provides another example. The company this week said that it will offer its wireless phone users access to CNN news and information through a new CNN Mobile service.

The BellSouth Mobility service, delivered through the short messaging service on digital mobile phones, is to be available by year-end.

Sprint PCS has made the most comprehensive announcement so far. The Kansas City-based company announced the following products and services:

-- Sprint PCS cell phones equipped with a simple Web microbrowser designed by Phone.com will allow cell phone users to browse special, text-only versions of popular Web sites using the display on their phones.

-- Several U.S. companies, including Sprint PCS, AT&T Wireless, GTE and Nextel, have tapped Phone.com for the technology that allows Internet-based services to be delivered by wireless phone.

-- Web updates -- such as stock quotes, weather, news headlines and sports -- will be available from Yahoo!, an Internet company. Phone users select items that will be updated from a Web site, and the updates are delivered in text form via cell phone.

-- A "wireless Web connection" allows the company's Internet-capable cell phones to be plugged into the serial port of a laptop computer or other device and provide a wireless connection using the Sprint PCS network. The connection speed is 14,400 bits per second, one-quarter the speed of a typical 56K modem.

The Yahoo! services, called Sprint PCS My Yahoo!, will include E-mail, an address book, calendar, news, sports, finance, weather and horoscopes.

A new cell phone manufactured by Neopoint, suggested retail price $399, offers an expanded display screen suitable for the new Web features, a personal digital assistant and voice command capabilities.

A dual-band Touchpoint phone by Denso, $199.99, a Nokia at $179.99 and a QualComm Thin Phone for $99.99 are among those being rolled out for the new services.

Prices for Sprint PCS Wireless Web plans start at an additional $9.99 a month, for 50 minutes of data and 50 Yahoo! updates. The cost is added to customers with cell phone plans of $29.99 a month or more.

From there, plans range from $59.99 for 300 "anytime, anywhere" voice or data minutes and 200 Yahoo! updates to $179 a month for 1,200 "anytime, anywhere" voice or data minutes and 200 updates.


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