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EarthLink, Motorola Put E-mail in Your Pocket

EarthLink, the second-largest ISP in the U.S., Wednesday cut a deal with Motorola Inc. to offer its mobile e-mail services on Motorola's Talkabout two-way model T900, a device roughly the size of a large pack of gum.

The deal is a follow-through on EarthLink's "EarthLink Everywhere" initiative -- reminiscent of the AOL Anywhere initiative well underway by AOL Time Warner -- far and away the largest ISP in the world. While AOL Time Warner focused on delivering its "Anywhere" initiative through a voice-driven phone portal -- accessible by any telephone -- which reads e-mail to users, EarthLink selected the Talkabout T900, a two-way text messaging device with more than 750,000 units shipped in the U.S. since its introduction in May 2000.

"In today's fast-paced society, consumers are demanding more effective ways to connect," said Mike Pellon, vice president and general manager, Wireless Messaging, Motorola. This new partnership between Motorola and EarthLink now frees consumers of a PC-dependent world and lets them take their electronic conversations with them wherever they choose to go. With EarthLink, we are providing a wireless solution that lets the consumer be in control of when and how they connect and communicate."

The Talkabout T900 is a pocket-sized device, weighing less than four ounces, which provides EarthLink subscribers with an extension of their primary EarthLink e-mail and allows them to send and receive messages. It also has an address book that can hold information for up to 250 contacts. It includes a full QWERTY keyboard and four-line display screen. EarthLink subscribers can direct their existing EarthLink e-mail accounts to be delivered to their handheld devices, and can then reply, forward, delete or store e-mails as they choose.

"As the Internet evolves, e-mail continues to be the leading Net-based application," said Lance Weatherby, executive vice president of EarthLink's EarthLink Everywhere initiative. "By employing Motorola's leading two-way messaging technology in the Talkabout T900, we are offering our subscribers the simplicity of a seamless e-mail connection -- from the home PC to the subscriber's handheld T900."