AT&T Wireless taps content partners

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In an effort to pump up the information available on its PocketNet phone service, AT&T Wireless last week struck deals with 24 Internet content providers.

The providers, including, Bloomberg Online, ESPN SportsZone and Travelocity, will deliver content to a small, four-line screen on AT&T's wireless phones.


In conjunction with the announcement, AT&T Wireless kicked off a national and regional advertising campaign designed by McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York.

The multimillion-dollar campaign launched with print and radio. Both campaigns move to the Web today with ads on Excite, Infoseek and other sites, as well as on the 24 content partners' sites. The Web campaigns were created by TN Technologies Modem Media, Westport, CT.

Also this week, ads will begin to appear on in-flight videos on United Airlines and Northwest Airlines and in their print magazines.


"Awareness building is a critical issue," said Kendra VanderMeulen, senior VP and general manager of the wireless data division of AT&T Wireless. "Helping people understand what they can do and where they can do this is key to building our brand awareness."

AT&T Wireless is also working with AT&T to determine the role of wireless and general brand support of it, she said. McCann also handles corporate branding for AT&T.

Until now, PocketNet users had basic data services such as e-mail, a personal calendar and address books.

With the wireless phones, users can access the Internet directly, but most Web pages are not formatted in a way that lets them see the information clearly.

Under terms of the deal, AT&T's content partners have agreed to format their pages using hand-held device markup language (hdml), which is similar to the html programming language that is used in most Web site development.


AT&T Wireless plans to charge a subscription rate of $29.99 per month for the content and data services. The subscriber rate for basic cellular phone service is extra. The PocketNet phones cost $299 and are manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co.

PocketNet service is currently available in 25 to 30 cities nationwide, Ms. VanderMeulen said, but can be used with roaming agreements in 85 metropolitan service areas.

The other 20 new content providers are AccuWeather, American Weather Concepts,, Data Broadcasting Corp.,, Intelligent Information, InfoSpace, Internet Restaurant Guide, Inquisit, MapQuest, National Sports Service, NewsAlert, One-on-One Sports,, Sportsland, Stock Tips,, Toll Free Cellular, Weather Underground and WhoWhere?.

Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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