Companies Team to Grant Access to Online Shopping

FRAMINGHAM (06/27/2000) - A group of companies have joined together so users of the Motient eLink wireless service can access the MySimon Inc. comparison shopping service. The partnership shows the underlying complexity involved in letting handheld devices access Web services.

Motient eLink is a two-way packet data network for e-mail, faxing and paging services. Subscribers can use the Research In Motion Ltd. 850 two-way pager or a Palm Inc. handheld computer. The mySimon service lets users work with a Web browser to compare prices for a wide range of products sold online.

To set up the link between the two, microbrowser vendor Neomar joined with mobile applications developer ViaFone to build an interface to mySimon specifically for Motient eLink devices. The Neomar browser for handheld devices uses the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) to communicate with Web sites specially designed for mobile users. These sites use WAP's equivalent of HTML, called Wireless Markup Language, to format documents.

The result, starting July 1, is that Motient eLink users can access wirelessly the mySimon service either through wap.mysimon.com or Neomar's own mobile portal, www.neomar.com. These users also will be able to access the other services offered on the Neomar portal, such as driving directions and stock quotes.

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