Startup Expands Wireless Content Service to Europe

BARCELONA, SPAIN (07/11/2000) - AlterEgo Networks Inc. in September will launch the first European node of its new network service for adapting existing Web content for delivery on wireless devices, Richard Ling, the startup company's president and chief executive officer, said Monday here at the Go Mobile Europe 2000 conference.

With nine adaptive network clusters, or nodes, up and running in the U.S., the Redwood City, California-based company is betting that many providers of Web content now are ready to sign up for a service that will enable them to deliver their existing content on any wireless Internet access device, Ling said in an interview with IDG News Service.

"Our first European node will be in Stockholm, but we are already looking at adding more nodes in Europe and are also looking at opportunities to expand into Asia," Ling said.

Aiming to provide content providers with a low-cost, risk-free entry to the wireless Internet arena, AlterEgo does not charge its customers for adapting the content to make it suitable for viewing on wireless devices, which often have relatively small screens and typically connect to the Internet at fairly low speeds.

Instead, the company's business model is based on charging customers on usage only, Ling said.

AlterEgo's adaptive network services are based on software technology licensed from Menlo Park-based SRI International Inc. An adaptation tool called Proteus Designer enables AlterEgo to dynamically adapt existing HTML (hypertext markup language)-based content into an abstraction layer based on XML (extensible markup language).

The content can then be automatically adapted to make it viewable on a wide variety of form factors, including PDAs (personal digital assistants), pagers, mobile phones and other Internet access devices. In addition, navigation is also streamlined to minimize menu searches and mouse clicks to make it easier for users to get to the information they are looking for.

Founded late last year by a group of former Inktomi Corp. employees, AlterEgo launched its service in the U.S. only last month. The company's small but growing list of customers include Internet companies such as consumer-generated product review site, online print shop and restaurant and menu information provider

In May, privately held AlterEgo raised US$7.3 million from a group of investors led by venture capital company Rembrandt Venture Partners. The group also included Cisco Systems Inc. Chief Executive Officer John Chambers and Gene Eidenburg, a principal at Hambrecht & Quist and chairman of Internet connectivity provider InterNAP Network Services Corp.

AlterEgo Networks, in Redwood City, California, can be reached at +1-650-363-5500 or via the Web at

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