RealTime IT News

AT&T Wireless Debuts Free Wireless Internet

AT&T Wireless Group this week introduced its Digital PocketNet service designed to provide unlimited wireless access to over 40 stripped-down Web sites.

The division of AT&T Corp. is initially offering the service at no extra charge when customers purchase one of two new wireless Internet phones and sign up for any AT&T Wireless Services digital voice plan.

AT&T Wireless Services is diving into the booming wireless Internet market segment looking to overshadow rivals by offering twice as as many Web destinations than its competitors.

AT&T Wireless Services customers may also opt for adding other wireless capabilities, including e-mail access, personal organizer services and access to the Internet portal Excite.

Fresh from its well-received initial stock offing, John D. Zeglis, AT&T Wireless Group chairman and chief executive officer, said the service launch it part of AT&T plan to dominate wireless Internet services in the U.S.

"We're continuing to participate in one of the greatest revolutions in communications by bringing together two of the world's most powerful mediums, wireless communications and the Internet, and placing them in the hands and pockets of our customers," Zeglis said. "Introduced just three weeks after the country's largest IPO, our new AT&T Digital PocketNet service offers a highly personalized way for people to bring their wireless phone and the Internet together."

AT&T Digital PocketNet service provides wireless Internet with a variety of e-commerce, informational, and entertainment services. Content from top-rated Web destinations like ABC-NEWS.com, eBay, ESPN.com, weather.com and DealTime are available with AT&T's basic service plan for $7 a month.

The AT&T Wireless $15 a month premium plan provides access to calendar services, contact organization and to-do lists, as well as filtered text access to other Web content.

DealTime Mobile provides AT&T's wireless subscribers with the ability to compare products and prices across the Web at anytime, from anywhere

Dan Ciporin, DealTime president and chief executive officer, said the comparison shopping service puts the power of the Internet in the hands of consumers nationwide.

"Our partnership with AT&T wireless places DealTime's comparison shopping service at the fingertips of AT&T Digital PocketNet subscribers," Ciporin said. "DealTime Mobile will enable AT&T wireless subscribers to comparison shop anywhere using their Internet-ready mobile phones, even while standing in the store in front of their intended purchase."

Mohan Gyani, AT&T Wireless Services president and chief executive officer said its PocketNet service would change the standard for accessing the wireless Internet.

"The unlimited access to the wireless Internet enables more people to obtain information in over 3000 cities across the U.S.," Gyani said.

Customers signing up for AT&T Digital PocketNet service can use either the LM Ericsson Telephone Co. or Mitsubishi Ltd. Web-enabled wireless phones. Both handsets are Digital multi-network phones which use the AT&T Wireless Internet Protocol Cellular Digital Packet Data network for data services and the Time Division Multiple Access network for digital voice services.

AT&T Wireless currently provides wireless voice, data and fixed wireless communications for more than 12.5 million customers. With annual revenues of more than