Oracle and Sprint PCS Ink Wireless Deal

Oracle Corp. announced Monday it received a big vote of confidence in the wireless game when Sprint PCS Group agreed to use the software vendor's wireless applications for the next line of Internet-based wireless services designed by Sprint.

With Sprint PCS serving close to 8 million [M] subscribers, the deal stands as the largest to date for Oracle's iAS Wireless Edition software. Sprint implemented the Oracle software in its Oct. 3 launch of the My Wireless Web service and now plans to develop a number of business-to-business wireless applications around the technology.

Oracle claims its iAS Wireless Edition allows Sprint PCS to retrieve information stored in any database or Internet application and deliver the content to any of Sprint's Internet-ready phones. In the past, Sprint might provide a restaurant's location from a yellow pages type of database and then follow with driving directions to the eatery from a separate database. Now, however, it can combine the information in one fell swoop and eliminate a few clicks across the Web, according to a release.

Additionally, users can now receive the same information on the entire spectrum of wireless devices. Oracle vowed it can provide content over any network to PDAs (personal digital assistants), wireless phones, hand-held computers, and also standard telephones. The Oracle wireless software supports HTML (hypertext markup language), WML (wireless markup language), VoxML (Voice Markup language), and WAP (wireless application protocol).

Last week, Sprint PCS teamed with Oracle's bitter rival Microsoft Corp. for the delivery of the MSN portal over Sprint Internet-ready phones. While Microsoft previously forged deals with a number of other wireless service providers, it joined up with Sprint after some of its main competitors. America Online Inc., Yahoo Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. already provide a suite of services such as stock quotes, e-mail management and composition, and shopping services via Sprint cell phones. [See "MSN Makes Its Way onto Sprint PCS," Oct. 5]Oracle, in Redwood Shores, California, can be reached at +1-650-506-7000 or via the Internet at http://www.oracle.com/. Sprint PCS, based in Kansas City, Missouri, can be reached at +1-816-559-1050 or http://www.sprintpcs.com/.

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