Motorola's Wireless Net App Integrates Voice

CHICAGO (04/19/2000) - Motorola Inc. is demonstrating here at Spring Comdex its MIX (mobile Internet exchange) platform which integrates voice and data providing consumers with a variety of ways to access information from the Internet.

Motorola has been slowly ramping up its publicity of the MIX platform starting with the television advertisements aired during the broadcast of the Academy Awards last month and full-page ads in USA Today. At Comdex, Motorola was the envy of the trade show floor here yesterday when U.S. President Bill Clinton and his entourage visited the Motorola stand to see a demonstration of some of the platform's features ahead of his keynote address.

MIX is an open, Internet Protocol-based service that uses WAP (wireless application protocol) gateways and servers for data transmission and VoxGateway for voice. WAP, established about one year ago by the WAP Forum, of which Motorola is a founding member, defines a set of standards for service providers, manufacturers and software developers necessary for secure, wireless devices.

Other major handset makers, including Nokia Corp. and L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. also are deploying WAP-enabled products.

The MIX platform allows users to retrieve personal information, including names, addresses and telephone numbers, and general information from the Internet about weather, stock prices, sports, flight schedules and news using their Web-enabled mobile phones, a pager or a regular telephone, Julie Freund Roth, director of marketing communications for Motorola's Internet and Connectivity Solutions Division, said in an interview today.

"Motorola's Mobile Internet Exchange allows the average individual consumer to get Internet content, but defies what devices they might want to use," Roth said, "With a WAP-enabled phone you might want to read the data on the display of the phone. We're also giving people the option to listen to the information from databases on the Internet."

For users who opt for the voice capabilities, the platform incorporates a "cyber assistant" that Motorola calls Mya, which is a woman's voice reading the Web content written in voice XML (extensible markup language). The service makes it possible to dial an access number from a mobile or fixed-line phone and ask Mya for information. She reads it after retrieving the content from providers, including Reuters and Accuweather, who provide the content in voice XML at their Web sites.

"To hear the Internet content on a mobile phone is really the most compelling thing," said Roth, who demonstrated the MIX platform by asking for flight information over the speaker of a fixed-line phone and listening to Mya read back the information. Mya automatically dials the number of a person in a user's address book when the user asks her to do so using the person's name.

When a user wants to access personal information, the service taps into and retrieves the customer's Web-based PIM (personal information manager), which stores names, addresses, phone numbers and calendar entries.

So far, Motorola has signed up four wireless carriers to carry out trials of the service -- Westel 900 in Hungary, MTS in Russia, Movicom in Argentina and BellSouth Corp. in the U.S. E-mail is not yet available on the MIX platform, but Roth said it will become part of Motorola's offering in about three months.

Motorola, in Schaumburg, Illinois, can be contacted at +1-847-576-5000 or at http://www.mot.com/.

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