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RealTime IT News

ISP Aims for Mobile Users

Excite Mobile users can now download more than 9,300 software applications thanks to an agreement announced Wednesday between Excite@Home and Handango.

Handango is a resource library marketed to the Palm OS, Windows CE, Pocket PC and Symbian line of products. The co-branded site features downloadable applications for travel, business, education, personal productivity and entertainment, usable on any of the wireless platforms.

Rob Wilen, Excite@Home senior director and group manager for wireless, said the software is a great value-add for wireless users.

"Through this relationship, we are providing Excite Mobile visitors with direct access to a whole spectrum of software for wireless and handheld devices," Wilen said. "Handango's expertise in the handheld marketplace and its breadth of handheld solutions provides Excite@Home customers with instant access to software that can immediately help them take advantage of the full functionality of their handheld computers."

The move is a savvy one for Excite Mobile, which is beefing up its content offerings for the increased demand expected in wireless services.

According to a Cahners In-Stat report, more than 24 million people will access the Internet through wireless devices by 2003. A major percentage of these users will be from the enterprise sector. Many have said they prefer to have one site to access "pull" information.

Becky Diercks, a director with Cahners, said the wireless market explosion is attributable to the price campaigns waged by carriers.

"With data, carriers will have to work harder to earn the business because data is more complex and difficult to sell," Diercks said. "We expect the large business/enterprise market will be a key driver of the wireless data market as they transition from primarily niche-oriented, vertical market applications to horizontal applications such as Internet access for 'pull' content, e-mail, database access and fax."

The deal marks Handango's second agreement with a services provider. In April it signed a similar co-branding deal with Lycos Inc., , which sees more than 31 million monthly users.

Handango has been busy keeping itself relevant for wireless portals to pick up.

In June it penned a deal with anti-virus software company McAfee.com Corp. and will offer an updated anti-virus database for wireless visitors to download. In exchange, Handango is the exclusive provider of third-party software for the McAfee.com Wireless Security Center.