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VoiceStream Debuts Wireless Internet Services

Personal communication service provider VoiceStream Wireless Wednesday launched the first phase of its wireless Internet services

VoiceStream's customizable portal services allows customers to receive e-mail, news, sports, entertainment and other information on their wireless phone. Dubbed MyVoiceStream.com, the wireless service debut marks the first in a series of messaging and data services VoiceStream has scheduled for commercial release this year.

Unlike other wireless services, content and branding of MyVoiceStream.com is completely controlled by VoiceStream. The stripped-down portal was custom designed by InfoSpace, Inc. for VoiceStream. It was built to fully integrate Internet functionality with wireless service in a way that complements both technologies to provide a superior customer experience.

Bob Stapleton, VoiceStream president and chief operating officer, said its wireless Internet and data strategy is consistent with its successful "Get More" business strategy, which is centered around offering customers value-added wireless services.

"VoiceStream's unique offering will give customers access to a broader array of Internet services than they've seen with any other provider, delivering them the information and services they want, when they want, directly to their handset," Stapleton said.

In addition to accessing news and information services, the integrated portal offers the ability to send and receive e-mail to and from a wireless device and allows customers to filter, forward and reply to home or office e-mail addresses.

Additionally, customers can select from over 175 downloadable ringtones to distinguish their service, purchase custom face plates and accessories, manage their personal phone directory, as well as view and pay their bill online.

VoiceStream Wireless operates on the global system for mobile communication technology platform. GSM is a digital mobile telephone system that is the de facto wireless telephone standard in Europe. GSM uses a variation of time division multiple access and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephone technologies.

GSM digitizes and compresses data, then sends it down a channel with two other streams of user data, each in its own time slot. It operates at either the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz frequency band. Since many GSM network operators have roaming agreements with foreign operators, users can often continue to use their mobile phones when they travel to other countries.

VoiceStream can bring cost-effective wireless Internet and data services to the marketplace by leveraging the strengths of the GSM platform.

John Stanton, VoiceStream chairman and chief executive officer said the inherent strength of the GSM platform makes VoiceStream's wireless service offering a category killer.

"VoiceStream's strong combination of high-speed packet data, Internet content and high quality wireless service will allow us to become the industry leader in wireless data and Internet services as we expand our services over the next 12 months," Stanton said.

VoiceStream intends to expand its wireless data and Internet services in two additional phases later this year. VoiceStream is scheduled to add e-commerce functionality to its personal portal portfolio and deploy high-speed packet network data using GPRS.

VoiceStream's implementation of wireless Internet services is supported by a group of partners providing high-speed network equipment, wireless devices and Internet content. Key suppliers include Nokia Inc. , Nortel Networks , and