Upoc Nets Distribution Deals with VoiceStream, AT&T Wireless

Silicon Alley-based wireless community firm Upoc Monday said it has secured deals with wireless providers VoiceStream and AT&T Wireless, giving it access to two of the largest WAP players.

The arrangement positions Upoc as a premier partner on each of the services’ WAP sites — on the teen-oriented Surf Lounge on the AT&TDigital PocketNet portal; and VoiceStream’s upcoming WAP service and portal WebStream, which is scheduled to launch by end of year.

Upoc’s platform allows PC, wireless phone, pager and WAP phone users to create and participate in cross-platform message groups; the company’s consumer services are primarily geared toward teenagers. Beginning next year, Upoc will start charging its content channel partners, which also distribute messages to members, and which currently include DailyCandy.com, Guyville.com and others.

Monday’s deals introduce Upoc to wider audiences while providing its wireless partners with high-traffic content and user-generated communities.

“We are excited to offer our members another easy way to access Upoc’s communities and mobile content,” said Upoc co-founder and chief executive officer Gordon Gould. “This relationship makes perfect sense, as it merges Upoc’s and AT&T’s Wireless collective interest and expertise in the Gen Wireless market. VoiceStream features some of the most exciting wireless destinations available and we look forward to being a part of their network.”

That’s good news for Upoc, which thus far has had a user base centered primarily in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Earlier this month, Quios, which competes with Upoc through a similar multi-platform community messaging system, cut about 25 percent of its U.S. workforce and said it would be retooling for European operations, where SMS-enabled phones are more common.

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