Yoohoo - Yahoo! calling
Yahoo! likes life so much on Internet devices that it's buying the company that put it there - and signing up with Sprint PCS to get access to mobile users.
The Web portal will swap $80 million in stock to buy Online Anywhere, which it hired in April to map its content to non-PC devices such as hand-held computers, wireless Internet phones and Microsoft's WebTV.
"We felt it was a critical technology and a really solid team," said Ellen Siminoff, Yahoo!'s vice president for business development. "When you decide something's core, you want to own it."
Online Anywhere lets content providers reformat and deliver pages to interactive TVs and wireless devices, eliminating the need to develop and store separate Web pages for each type of end unit.
Under the Sprint PCS deal, Yahoo!'s Web content will be available to Sprint's 3.5 million digital mobile phone subscribers. Users will pop up a start screen on their phones that offer Yahoo! and other options to be named later, said Andrew Sukawaty, Sprint PCS' president and chief operating officer. By selecting Yahoo, users can read, send, answer and delete e-mail. They can also use functions from their personal Yahoo Web page - address book, calendar and news.
"There's been talk about wireless data for years, but we've never given users clean access to the data they're used to accessing through desktop devices," Sukawaty said. "Bringing wireless phones beyond the 26% of the U.S. population that use them now will take compelling innovations. With this, you're going to see a surge not only in minutes of use, but in market penetration."
Sprint also said it would work with Wireless Knowledge to allow access to corporate e-mail over wireless phones.
BellSouth signed a $750 million contract agreement with Ericsson to supply wireless network infrastructure equipment in 14 markets. The deal includes equipment that will be used by BellSouth Cellular to migrate to third generation and wireless Internet.
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