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AOL strengthens its WAP position with Tegic acquisition
Posted: 01-Dec-1999 [Source: Business Wire]

[Industry-Leading Text Input Software Licensed to WAP Phone Makers Serving More Than 90% of World Market]

DULLES, Va. -- "America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL), the world's leading interactive services company, today announced that it has acquired Tegic Communications, the global leader in text entry so lutions for wireless devices, in a move that will advance the "AOL Anywhere" strategy for mobile telephones and other devices.

"Tegic's leading product, T9 Text Input software, enables individuals to quickly and easily send e-mail, Short Messaging Services (SMS), and instant messages, as well as perfo rm other text-based functions and access the Internet, using the standard telephone keypad to enter words or entire sentences with just one key press per letter. The software det ermines the desired word based on the user's key presses and statistical frequency of words in a given language. T9 Text Input software operates in 14 languages -- including all the major western European languages, as well as Chinese and Japanese.

"Tegic is also collaborating with AOL to create an AOL Instant Messenger application optimized for wireless devices. This wireless solution exists as an embedded application b undled with T9 Text Input software, and in a form that is fully compatible with Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) or SMS. The new application will enable wireless service providers around the world to provide instant messaging to their subscribers across a variety of networks, including GSM, TDMA and CDMA.

"Tegic has licensed its T9 software to more than 20 wireless phone manufacturers that serve more than 90% of the world market, and at least ten already are shipping T9-enabled phones. T9 software also operates on such other platforms as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and MP3 technology.

In addition, Tegic Communications also has a strong commitment to developing technologies for individuals with communication disabilities. For example, Tegic's advanced text i nput technologies can be applied to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems to provide a highly effective means of communications for individuals whose disabilit ies make it difficult for them to use a standard keyboard.

"Barry Schuler, President of AOL Interactive Services, said: "We are delighted that the Tegic team will be joining the America Online family and making such a key contribution to our 'AOL Anywhere' strategy. Tegic's revolutionary T9 software makes it possible for consumers to easily and quickly take advantage of e-mail and instant messaging on their w ireless telephones...

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