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UPS to deliver service from wireless devices

The package delivery giant forms an alliance with Air2Web, a wireless application service provider, to let UPS customers access delivery services from wireless devices.

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    Unwired Web: Applications
    Package delivery giant United Parcel Service today said it has formed an alliance with Air2Web, a wireless application service provider, to let UPS customers access delivery services from wireless devices.

    UPS said it has allowed its customers to track their packages using Palm VII devices since last spring. Today's added services will include the ability to calculate rates and find transit times for shipments on any digital wireless device in the United States. The added features will be available to U.S. customers beginning in September. The service will be available to global UPS customers during the first quarter of 2001.

    Offline giant UPS has benefited tremendously from the online revolution. The growth of e-commerce has helped drive the delivery business, as more consumers place orders online. Earlier this year, UPS created an e-commerce subsidiary to research and develop new businesses in the package-delivery industry.

    The number of people using cell phones for wireless data applications in the United States is expected to explode, increasing about 78 percent in the next 12 months, according to the e-business unit of Cap Gemini.

    UPS said Atlanta-based Air2Web's platform is compatible across all types of wireless devices and networks, from WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and SMS (short messaging service) phones to pagers and pervasive computing devices.