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Mobile Web Hits The Road
Posted: 24-Jul-2000 [Source: ZDNet]

[Verizon wireless talks about its location based service plans.]

By Meg McGinty -- "Location-based services are on the horizon for wireless mega-company Verizon Wireless. The company announced plans to roll out its new wireless Internet service - dubbed Mobile Web - on July 17. The offering will enable customers to access the Internet from a mobile phone. The next step? Verizon and some partnering content companies envision location-based wireless service as a key application for subscribers.

"Wireless Internet services have gotten much attention recently. According to figures cited by Verizon, consulting firm The Yankee Group predicts that there will be some 48 million Web-enabled digital phone users worldwide by 2002. By 2005, that number could hit 204 million users. But today, the segment has yet to take off.

"If you are surfing for information with a handset, it can be daunting," says Andrea Linskey, spokeswoman at Verizon. Slow speeds and cumbersome graphics from a Web site that can't be translated onto a skimpy mobile phone screen are two main culprits. Because Mobile Web allows the user to customize what content he or she wants to see from a Web site, the experience with Verizon's service makes the Internet access process easier, she says.

"Mobile Web will cost the Verizon customer $6.95 per month and can be added to existing digital service plans. Verizon, which is made up of Bell Atlantic, GTE and Vodafone AirTouch, counts more than 25 million customers. The service will be available on six different handsets, from manufacturers including Motorola and Qualcomm, that are either Wireless Application Protocol or wireless Web browser-enabled, according to the company.

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