Clearnet Announces Initial Strategic Partnerships for Wireless Internet Services
SCARBOROUGH, Ontario, May 18, 2000 Clearnet Communications Inc. (Clearnet) today announced multiple strategic partnerships that are enabling the development of superior infrastructure, software applications and Internet Web content in preparation for Clearnets summer launch of wireless Internet Services for both Clearnet PCS and The Mike Network.
Clearnet is preparing first-rate wireless Internet Services that allow very fast access speeds, easy client customizability and a multitude of information options, said George Cope, Clearnets President and Chief Executive Officer. Weve built both the internal Internet Services infrastructure and the partnerships required to deliver unique and relevant software applications and unmatched Web content that our business and consumer clients will want and use.
Clearnet already has the highest installed base of .com ready phones those equipped with microbrowser software for accessing interactive Internet Services of any wireless provider in Canada. More than 40 per cent of the more than 600,000 Clearnet PCS and Mike clients across Canada own phones that are now .com ready; another 20 per cent own phones that can be upgraded to .com capability this summer.
Clearnet wireless Internet Services will allow clients to easily customize interactive Internet information services, including personalized news, sports, banking and other financial information, and send and receive Internet information directly to and from their phone without the need to connect to an external device such as a computer. Mike and Clearnet PCS Internet Services will be built around a new Clearnet Web portal that allows clients to custom configure their wireless information and delivery options and manage their Clearnet PCS or Mike client accounts online.
Clearnet has built agreements with the infrastructure and content providers to provide the interactive Internet information, software applications and backbone infrastructure required to deliver its Internet Services this summer.
Clearnet today announced agreements with Phone.com, Inc., i3 Mobile, Classwave Wireless Inc., Infowave Software, canada.com, CANOE, Digital Bridges, HMV.com and National Post Online. Clearnet is negotiating with several other retailers, online directories, financial institutions and other content providers to further expand its .com ready offering.
Phone.com, Inc. (www.phone.com)
Clearnet is using Phone.coms UP.Link Server Suite as the key infrastructure to enable Mike and Clearnet PCS phones to connect to the Internet. The UP.Link Server Suite provides the WAP Internet connectivity, optimization, security, activity tracking and administration tools needed to implement a wireless Internet solution. Its the most robust gateway in the industry.
"The UP.Link Server Suite provides the key infrastructure for Clearnets CDMA and IDEN networks," said Ben Linder, vice president of marketing for Phone.com. "It provides a comprehensive set of features and functionality that network operators need to host complete WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) solutions on their wireless voice and data networks."
Phone.coms UP. Browser microbrowser will be used in all of Clearnets .com ready phones to enable access to the Internet. The Phone.com microbrowser is now the industry standard in wireless Internet technology.
Phone.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:PHCM) is a leading provider of software, applications, and services that enable the delivery of Internet-based information and voice services to mass-market wireless telephones. Using its software, wireless subscribers have access to Internet- and corporate intranet-based services, including email, news, stocks, weather, travel and sports. In addition, subscribers have access via their wireless telephones to network operators intranet-based telephony services, which may include over-the-air activation, call management, billing history information, pricing plan subscription and voice message management. Phone.com is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California and has regional offices in Belfast, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo.
Classwave Wireless Inc. (www.classwave.com)
Toronto-based Classwave Wireless will provide Clearnet with software that enhances delivery of data services to both Mike and Clearnet PCS clients. Classwaves technology simplifies the use of Web-based text messaging systems and enables numerous enhancements that will be launched with Clearnet Internet Services this summer.
Classwave has created a Web-based application that enables people to send text messages to Clearnet clients with enhanced features such as group distribution lists, scheduling, message expiry, message status, said Tom Sweeney, Classwave President and CEO. This is the first of several features which will enable Clearnet and its clients to take messaging to an entirely new level.
Classwave Wireless is a Toronto-based Canadian software company with a global vision to transform the way wireless data is delivered to and from mobile devices such as wireless phones and PDAs.
i3 Mobile (www.i3mobile.com)
i3 Mobile will provide Clearnet clients with individually customizable data services such as stock quotes and other financial information, news, weather, sports, entertainment, traffic and travel information on both a one-way and interactive basis as well as calendar and other personal productivity applications. Clients select information they want delivered to their handset and choose when they want to receive it.
Together with Clearnet, weve developed a diverse suite of services designed to provide every Clearnet client with personalized, meaningful information on their phones," said Stephen G. Maloney, President and CEO of i3 Mobile. "Were looking forward to working with Clearnet and providing their clients with the most customized, localized information and commerce services available."
i3 Mobile provides innovative wireless media solutions and m-commerce services to users of wireless communications devices, such as mobile phones, pagers and PDAs. The companys technology provides wireless users with filtered content via text messaging and microbrowsers. i3 Mobiles personalized content includes stock quotes, news, weather, traffic, personal e-mail and more.
Infowave Software (www.infowave.com)
Infowave is providing Clearnet with Symmetry software, which works with Microsoft Outlook to send e-mail and customized calendar reminders, contacts and task lists directly to Mike or Clearnet PCS phones.
"Clearnet clients will be able to use their existing Clearnet PCS or Mike phones to connect directly to their desktop Outlook systems," says Bijan Sanni, COO of Infowave. "Symmetry gives clients the freedom to leave their computer screens without concern that they will miss something important, whether a message, a contact, a meeting or a task, and makes the wireless phone an unbeatable mobile productivity tool."
Infowave develops, markets and sells specialized software solutions for wireless computing and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Infowave builds mobile business solutions that use the power of wireless communications to extend the reach of enterprise computing.
INFORMATION CONTENT PROVIDERS
canada.com, Canadas Internet portal of choice, will supply Clearnets wireless mobile browsers with digital content, including up-to-date headline news, business reports, weather forecasts, sports headlines, horoscopes and lottery results. The partnership with Clearnet is in keeping with canada.coms mandate to offer Canadians convenient access to news and information via the Internet.
"Supplying digital content to Clearnet mobile browsers is another way for us to help people stay connected to the information they need every day," said Marlise Nishikihama, Director of Marketing at canada.com. "Whether at home, in the office or on the road, canada.com is pleased to be bringing
Canadians the news and information they want and need in a timely and convenient way."
CANOE, Canadas most popular news and information Internet Network, will provide Clearnet subscribers with a wide range of content from its acclaimed list of nationally branded products, including: national, international and local news from CNEWS; business news and stock quotes from CANOE Money; sports news, scores and statistics from SLAM! Sports; entertainment news and event listings from JAM! Showbiz; destination reviews and booking services from CANOE Travel; health and lifestyle content from C-Health and Lifewise; and access to such other popular CANOE features as weather, horoscopes and lotteries.
"CANOE has become a Canadian leader in online services because of the quality and depth of our branded content products, such as CANOE Money, SLAM! Sports and JAM! Showbiz," said John Paton, President and CEO of CANOE. "We are excited by the opportunity to be able to distribute this great content to Clearnet subscribers."
With more than five million unique visitors each month, and available in English and French, CANOE has become the No. 1 destination for online Canadians. In addition to its popular national product, CANOE is currently rolling out an impressive list of city sites, having already launched in Montreal, Quebec City, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton, with Toronto, Ottawa and London to come soon. Content from the local products will be integrated into CANOEs wireless distribution channel. CANOEs wireless offering will also eventually be bolstered by the addition of such services as shopping through Shop.CANOE.ca and classified advertising through ClassifiedExtra.com.
Digital Bridges (www.digitalbridges.com)
Digital Bridges, world-leading provider of game and entertainment channels for wireless devices, welcomes Clearnet subscribers to the world of mobile gaming. Clearnet users will be able to access single and multiplayer games, take part in tournaments and competitions, and participate in online gaming communities at wirelessgames.com, a content channel of Digital Bridges.
While a full suite of single and multiplayer games for browser-enabled mobile phones is currently available at www.wirelessgames.com, Digital Bridges is already developing larger and more elaborate, Persistent World-style games. As the technology of wireless devices advances, with faster transmission and retrieval of information between handsets, users will be able to fully immerse themselves into ongoing gaming environments, joining in and making new moves as they wish.
Staying ahead of the field, Digital Bridges is already in negotiation with top developers and publishers from the world of computer and video gaming, with the aim of bringing the highest quality entertainment content to the wireless device market.
"Clearnet clients will have access to HMV.com with the push of a button to see the weeks latest releases, check out whats hot on the charts and see what the current single is for their favourite artist," says Frank Koblun, Director of Consumer E-Commerce for HMV.com. "Contact information for the nearest HMV store makes it simple for clients to place holds on orders and pick them up at their convenience. In the very near future, clients will be able to sample music and make purchases at HMV.com right from their Clearnet phone, and then have it delivered right to their doorstep."
With more than 75 years of music retailing history, 275 stores worldwide and 97 stores in Canada, HMV is the worlds premier retailer of music. HMV has proven itself as an innovative leader in Canada since 1986 and has been named Canadian Music Retailer of the Year by the music industry for the past 11 years. HMV.com, launched in July 1999, offers Canadas largest online music selection and downloads from several major artists. With links to Japan and the UK, HMV.com offers nearly two million CDs, videos and DVDs.
National Post Online (www.nationalpost.com)
National Post Online will make National Post news and feature stories accessible to their online readers via Clearnets Internet Services. This recent partnership is representative of the innovative direction National Post Online has taken with respect to their online content strategy.
"We certainly recognize the untapped potential of the wireless Internet," said Martin Byrne, Director of National Post Online. "We will continue to work closely with partners like Clearnet to create long-term partnerships that will ultimately enhance our users experience. Making our content more accessible is just the beginning." Going forward, National Post Online will offer customizable news features that will be accessible to readers through a variety of channels.
National Post Online attracts over 6,000,000 page views per month, reaching a highly desirable online reader base of high income, highly educated professionals that are both loyal and web savvy.
Clearnet (TSE: NET.A; NASDAQ: CLNT) is a leading Canadian wireless communications company that operates two state-of-the-art digital wireless networks: Clearnet PCS and The Mike Network. Founded in 1984 and public since 1994, Clearnet is an independent Canadian controlled and managed company. For more information, please visit www.clearnet.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Some statements in this news release look forward in time and deal with other than historical or current facts. Such statements are qualified in their entirety by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations, including the risks associated with: new product launches, availability of new handsets and services and other risk factors detailed in Clearnets comprehensive public disclosure documents and other filings with securities commissions. Clearnets actual future experience may differ substantially from the expectations described in such forward-looking statements.
For more information:
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