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Verizon Wireless Hub Gets More Content

Basking Ridge, N.J. — Verizon Wireless expanded the selection of content services available through its

When the Hub rolled out a few weeks ago through Verizon Wireless-owned stores, it enabled users to retrieve traffic and weather reports, check the latest news, access telephone directories sorted by business type, view a business’s location on a map, retrieve local movie listings and view the trailer, and buy movie tickets. It also managed a family calendar.

Other services came on line soon after. Hearst publications made Good Housekeeping content available and plans content from other Hearst publications. E! Entertainment and National Geographic video was also added, along with short-form video from Time properties.

Now, via automatic updates, the Hub is adding its first Internet radio service and Scripps video content. Through Channel Radio’s Iheartradio portal, the Hub streams 14 Clear Channel Radio stations from around the country, including music, sports, and talk radio as well as an exclusive Verizon New Music Channel. Iheart service is already available for the iPhone. Clear Channel said it will expand its selection of stations available through the Hub “quickly over the next 30 to 60 days.”

Scripps Networks content is available from HGTV, the Food Network, DIY Network and Fine Living Network.

The Hub is available only to Verizon Wireless subscribers, whose Hub charges are added to their monthly wireless bill. Hub service includes unlimited text messaging to and from Verizon Wireless phones, access to the carrier’s Chaperone service to view the location of tracked Verizon cellphones, and streaming of Verizon Wireless’s V Cast Video services, including CNN news clips. Hubs also send the GPS coordinates of businesses to a GPS-equipped Verizon cellphone, which will deliver turn-by-turn directions to the location.

The Hub’s handset is a cordless DECT 6.0 model. Verizon Wireless offers additional remote DECT handsets at $79 each to extend VoIP calling to additional rooms. The Hub supports up to four remote handsets. Verizon Wireless also offers a router to work with the Verizon Hub for $69.99.

Separately, research company In-Stat issued a report contending that media phones such as the Hub and AT&T’s Home Manager have “the potential to become the fourth screen in the home as well as to become a next-generation business IP phone.” Such phones support IP communications and the delivery of Internet information and multimedia content.

Consumer media phones will generate between $4 billion and $8 billion in annual revenue, worldwide, by 2013, In-Stat said. The U.S. market will open up in 2009, the company added.

Hub VoIP home phone with the addition of Clear Channel’s Iheartradio Internet radio service and Scripps Networks video programs.The touchscreen-equipped Hub, dubbed a family communications command center, uses Ethernet wires or

built-in 802.11 b/g/n to connect to a broadband modem of any type — cable, DSL or fiber optic. Once connected, the Hub delivers unlimited landline calling to any location in the U.S. and Canada for $34.99/month. It also integrates with select Verizon Wireless services.Hub VoIP home phone with the addition of Clear Channel’s Iheartradio Internet radio service and Scripps Networks video programs.