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Phone.com Buys Voice Portal Player

Mobile Net software company Phone.com Inc. Tuesday bought voice portal supplier @Motion Inc. for $285 million in stock.

Phone.com (PHCM) will use @Motion's technology to voice-enable its MyPhone mobile portal and its UP.Link Server Suite Wireless Application Protocol 1.1 platform. @Motion will also add voice communications services including virtual assistant and unified messaging to the MyPhone offering.

The acquisition can be attributed to Phone.com's desire to create the leading platform for the delivery of Internet services to mobile phones. @Motion has a high-profile team whose founders hail from leading wireless, telecom, Internet and networking companies including Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), Telco Systems and Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW).

@Motion's voice portal is designed to allow voice service nodes to be placed at the network operator's switch locations to eliminate long distance back-haul costs which have made other attempts at virtual assistants impossible. @Motion's speaker-independent voice recognition and text-to-speech services have been important assets to wireless subscribers.

"Phone.com's innovative software, licensed to 47 network operators and over 25 phone manufacturers worldwide, has led the first stage of the mobile Internet revolution," said Alain Rossmann, chairman and chief executive officerof Phone.com. "With the acquisition of @Motion, we are redefining the mobile Internet through the power and ubiquity of voice.

@Motion Inc., was founded to link the Net and mobile communications through Web portal offerings that deliver integrated communications, information and commerce services to anywireless subscriber.

In September, Phone.com introduced MyPhone, a new platform that allows network operators to offer their own portal sites for wireless subscribers.