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Excite@Home Launches Mobile Portal

Excite@Home zeroed in on the wireless market Monday with the launch of Excite Mobile.

The move is an extension of Excite's (ATHM) broadband online service strategy, in which the company hopes to fit wireless Web users with their customized portfolio of news, directions, weather, personal information and other specified interests for their convenience.

Excite Mobile features the first customizable mobile home page in the United States, so users can access their favorite items faster by moving them to the top of the menu or removing menu items they don't use. To use Excite Mobile, individuals access mobile.excite.com using their phone's browser. Users then log on to their personalized mobile portal and can bookmark it on their phone.

The play by the ISP is in conjunction with its goal to acclerate its prospects in the broadband market, a new initiative it has embarked on that will allow the company to put distance between itself and other broadband competitors.

Rob Wilen, senior director and group manager for wireless at Excite@Home, confirmed the mobile portal was an extension of its efforts to bring personalized Internet access to consumers.

"Personalization is one of our core competencies and our focus for the mobile portal, which is critical to the mobile experience given the limited screen space, limited bandwidth and online rates on mobile Web devices," Wilen said.

"The mobile user doesn't want everything, but they want what's important to them. We're building a mobile experience that is about the user's information and interests, so individuals have a personalized information service at their fingertips."

Excite Mobile's location-based services -- including yellow pages and white pages, driving directions, and ATM sites -- are provided by AirFlash Inc., the first ASP of location content and commerce infrastructure designed exclusively for the mobile medium.

Excite also hopes the move will help the advertising side of the business. For some reason, the firm shed a few hundred advertisers from the fourth quarter to the first quarter. Conversely, its user base was up by 13 million by the end of March.