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OracleMobile Enables Two-Way Wireless Web

Gaining access to content from the wireless Web just got easier. Those who need stock updates, e-mail access or driving instructions delivered to the palm of their hand, can just ask Oracle.

OracleMobile Tuesday introduced its free wireless service that allows two-way messaging devices to access Internet content without a Web browser.

While many wireless devices work on a push system that feeds an alert or message to a pager or mobile phone, Ask@OracleMobile developed a two-way messaging system for Internet users on the move. Ask@OracleMobile enables people to access personalized information about stock quotes, driving directions, flight information and more, directly through its wireless portal.

Users simply send e-mail to ask@oraclemobile.com using keywords such as "stocks" or "flights" in the subject or body of the message. Ask@OracleMobile quickly sends back the requested information to the wireless device, tuned-in to the users personal preferences.

Denise Lahey, OracleMobile chief executive officer, said the free program a key step toward fulfilling its mission is to make the wireless Web accessible from any device.

"Our Ask@OracleMobile service significantly increases the value of the millions of two-way messaging devices in use today by delivering Internet information on demand," Lahey said.

In order to make the two-way wireless system available to millions of users, OracleMobile partnered with wireless data and messaging company Metrocall Inc. and Canada-based Research In Motion Ltd. to tap into its popular Blackberry wireless e-mail programming.

Current services include stock quotes, traffic and flight information, driving directions, horoscope, lottery, dictionary, translation, UPS tracking and weather information, but additional services will be added by OracleMobile throughout the year.

OracleMobile services are designed for any wireless Web-enabled device, including mobile phones, pagers, palms pilots and personal digital assistants. The Oracle Corp. subsidiary was unleashed in February to focus on delivering services to the rapidly emerging wireless Internet marketplace.

According to Cahners In-Stat Group, corporate America is indeed going mobile. In a recent report, the independent research firm determined that large companies with 1,000 or more employees are struggling to manage growing numbers of mobile workers and remote branch and home offices.

In-Stat estimates that large U.S. firms support nearly 1 million remote office locations around the globe in addition to roughly 5 million telecommuters.

In order to increase the accessibility of this growing remote workforce, large companies are using wireless devices to keep many employees productive, even while they're on the go. In-Stat forecasts that more than 13 million employees will use wireless phones and other similar devices and by 2004 to support more than 29 million wireless-enabled workers.

Kneko Burney, In-Stat director of e-business infrastructure and services, said the nature of enterprise investments in information technology will change as firms are expected to reinforce, if not extend, their central computing resources, likely adding application serving capabilities, like those provided by OracleMobile and Citrix Systems Inc. .

"Firms are expected to add more intelligence to their remote office networks allowing for better remote management," Burney said. "Given this, In-Stat expects these firms to become key consumers of both