GTE touts wireless Web access

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GTE Wireless introduces consumers to unfettered Internet access this week. A new ad campaign from Ogilvy & Mather, New York, touts the company's Mobile Internet Services for Web access via wireless phones.

GTE began offering the wireless Internet service in its 30-plus digital markets in mid-February.

"The fact that you can get Internet access on your wireless phone is compelling, but only for a short time. You have to show that it's practical and useful, too," said Rob Keller, GTE Wireless director of business marketing.

The first TV spot shows a man whose car has broken down asking another motorist if she knows whom he could call for help. The woman looks down and begins rattling off the names of towing services and directions to get there. The incredulous man says, "Wow. How long have you lived here?" The woman smiles and says, "I've never been here before in my life." The ad then cuts to a shot of the phone with its clickable Net access.

A second spot will focus on the benefits of the GTE personal Web page (, where users can personalize the information they want.


"The first spot establishes kind of the typical wireless `hero' situation and then builds upon it. In the next spots, we'll explain even more about the uses for mobile Internet services," said Marvin Davis, GTE Wireless assistant VP-marketing communications.

Susan Palombo, Ogilvy senior partner and management supervisor, said, "We will continue to drive home the practicality and usefulness and extreme relevance to everyday life. You could see more spots depicting everyday situations where this becomes the tool you rely on most."


Three services are offered in the Mobile Internet Service package. The widest ranging bundle is Wireless InfoManager, priced at an extra $9.95 per month. It gives general Web access and e-mail on a microbrowser built into the phone. The service is currently available only on Qualcomm 860 or 2760 models, but other phones will be coming online soon, Mr. Keller said.

Wireless Office, priced at $4.95 per month, connects the phone to a laptop computer for Internet and e-mail access. A special $79 cable is needed for that service. In effect, the phone acts as a wireless modem for the user's computer.

For $3.95 per month, Internet Text Messaging allows a digital phone user to receive text messages and alerts for preselected events.

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