WebLink Expands E-Mail Services

Joseph Palenchar On May 21 2001 - 6:00am




DALLAS — WebLink Wireless expanded its portfolio of wireless e-mail services with the launch of a desktop-PC software program that provides two-way wireless access to a subscriber's Microsoft Outlook corporate e-mail account. Through select two-way wireless-messaging devices — including Motorola's Timeport P935 and Talkabout T900 — WebLink subscribers can now receive, reply and forward e-mails from their corporate e-mail address and originate messages from it. Forwarded messages, replies and messages originated on the wireless device appear to the recipient as if they came from the subscriber's corporate address.

WebLink subscribers can download the desktop software for free or purchase a more featured version for $29.95. E-mail airtime is included in the subscriber's regular monthly airtime bill. The enhanced version includes multiple filter options and the ability to stop redirecting e-mails to the wireless device when the user is on the PC.

The announcement preceded a decision by Metrocall to call off a proposed merger with WebLink and followed an early-May layoff of 15 percent of WebLink's workforce, or around 250 people.

The merger, planned to close by year-end, was to follow concurrent Chapter 11 reorganizations by the two companies. Metrocall might try to renegotiate the merger terms.

The new service complements Remote E-Mail Manager service launched earlier this year to give subscribers similar two-way access to their personal America Online and Yahoo! e-mail as well as e-mail accounts hosted by almost 8,000 POP3 ISPs. Some of these providers are AT&T@Home, Earthlink, and Worldnet. This service, which adds $2/month to a subscription, doesn't let Yahoo or AOL subscribers wirelessly access those companies' Instant Messenger (IM) services.

For all of its e-mail services, WebLink gives users the option of viewing the entire text of a message or just a summary header. Although attachments can't be opened on the pagers, the pagers can forward e-mail with attachments to any e-mail address.

On the AOL, POP3 and corporate e-mail services, users have the option of wirelessly deleting e-mail from their e-mail box. If the user reads an e-mail on the wireless device, however, it won't be marked "read" in their on-line or corporate mailbox.

WebLink's Motorola Timpeort P935 is currently available for $349 after $150 rebate, and the Motorola Talkabout T900 is selling for $99.95 after $80 rebate. Nationwide airtime service starts at $14.95/month.WebLink's two-way service is available through as Office Max, Wiz, Good Guys, and Frys. WebLink is the exclusive two-way provider for RadioShack.

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