RealTime IT News

AOL, Sprint Offer Wireless Web Getaway

Two industry giants are about to allow fun-seekers to take the Web with them during this year's summer vacation season.

Sprint PCS announced AOL Mobile services would debut Friday over Sprint PCS Internet-ready phones nationwide.

Some 22 million America Online members could readily extend their interactive experience to the backseats of station wagons and mini-vans, camping grounds, and hotels across the U.S.

The Sprint PCS Wireless Web will deliver access to popular AOL features in more than 300 metropolitan markets, including e-mail, news, weather and stock quotes. AOL content will also feature Digital City and MovieFone, for easy access to travel information and amusement.

More that 15 different models of Sprint PCS Web-enabled phones will provide AOL members transport to the Web over its totally digital nationwide wireless network.

Wireless AOL access is at the heart of America Online's "AOL Anywhere" strategy. The launch of AOL on Sprint PCS Wireless Web is the latest in a series of AOL wireless agreements, including a recent strategic alliance with Carphone Warehouse in Europe.

Dennis Patrick, AOL Wireless president, said its members want to take the Web with them, wherever they roam.

"As a company, AOL strives to have a deep understanding of the mass-market audience and to find new ways to deliver products and services that best meet their needs," Patrick said. "We're delighted to offer our members and millions of Web users the convenience and benefit of AOL's features and services on their Sprint PCS Internet-ready phones, wherever and whenever they want."

Andrew Sukawaty, Sprint PCS president, said its giving customers a clear connection to the best of wireless communications.

"We're focused on giving our customers what they want, when they want it, wherever they are, by continuing to deliver world-class brands, content and e-mail communication services to the Sprint PCS Wireless Web nationwide," Sukawaty said.

AOL and Sprint PCS intend to initiate a joint marketing campaign to announce the new developments in the wireless service agreement later this summer.

There is no extra service charge to access AOL while on the Sprint PCS Wireless Web. Customers can choose Sprint PCS Wireless Web as their free option as part of its Free & Clear Plan to use their minutes for voice or data.

Customers who choose not to select a wireless web service option can still access the service for per minute rate by default.

Sprint PCS launched its wireless Web service in late September 1999. Customers can shop, trade stocks online, browse select Internet-based content in real time, receive personalized news, and e-mail updates over a modem-less digital phone.