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Intellicall Dials Into Mobile Wireless Firm

The growing appeal of wireless services Wednesday worked to lure Intellicall, Inc. into purchasing a national wire-free Internet service provider.

In a strategic move to enter the wireless data arena, Intellicall signed a definitive agreement to acquire Wireless WebConnect, Inc.

To fund the merger Intellicall plans to issue more than 16.4 million shares of Intellicall common stock, making the deal worth more than $133 million, based of yesterday's market close.

Intellicall has been shifting gears, moving away from its core competence as a leading manufacturer of advanced public access telecommunications systems and intelligent payphones, toward ventures with wireless firms to expand its depth in telecom technologies.

Founded in 1984, Intellicall has actively been seeking opportunities to strategically realign its business with due to deregulation of the global telecom market. On July 12 Intellicall sold its N-GENIUS business segment to Homisco-VoiceNet, Inc., a turnkey wireless and wireline software-based platform provider for telecom networks.

Later in July, Intellicall executives nixed its planned merger with Heads Up Technologies. Intellicall had announced plans in January to acquire the Texas-based maker of interactive digital products for the aviation, transportation and entertainment industries in an all-stock transaction.

Changing business dynamics that occurred during the negotiation process made the deal less attractive for both companies. Intellicall rededicated its efforts to pursue strategic marketing opportunities in order to move away from its reliance on the stagnant public access communications market segment.

At the time, John McDonald, Intellicall president and chief executive officer said it would continue Intellicall's efforts to reposition its core business around new and profitable technologies.

"We intend to move quickly to capitalize on opportunities that will make us a stronger company,'' McDonald said.

About a month later, Intellicall did just that, by moving to merge with Wireless WebConnect. Intellicall's McDonald said the deal is clearly is the opportunity it's desired.

"Wireless WebConnect is an outstanding organization with a strong entrepreneurial spirit," McDonald said. "It has planted its flag in the wireless data arena, and this merger signals powerful opportunities for both companies to expand and enter new markets in this burgeoning space."

G. T. Finn, Wireless WebConnect chief executive officer said the firm looks forward to expanding the scope and support of its wire-free offerings.

"Together, we're charging into new markets as a more powerful combined organization," Finn said. "Combining forces with Intellicall enables Wireless WebConnect to further strengthen our marketing of wireless access services to mobile professionals.

Wireless WebConnect, formerly knows as Business Tel, and was primarily operating as a wireless solutions provider for the past five years. The firm changed its name earlier this year when it decided to focus on providing mobile wireless data access to business professionals. It struck a deal to distribute Ricochet mobile access with Metricom, Inc. in June.

Metricom credits Wireless WebConnect with signing up more "road warriors" for its high-speed wireless data services than any other company to date.

John Wernke, Metricom senior vice president of marketing and sales, said Wireless WebConnect has been a strong partner for it and the Intellicall merger bodes well for its future success.

"By aggressively moving to expand their business, Wireless WebConnect is signa