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E*Trade offers wireless trades for investors on the go

The online broker is joining a stampede of competitors that are offering wireless access to customers wherever they need to make a trade.

E*Trade is joining the stampede of online brokerages offering wireless access to customers wherever they need to make a trade.

The Menlo Park, Calif., company today announced an agreement with Verizon Wireless, formerly Vodafone AirTouch, to offer customers "transaction capabilities, account services and real-time information" using browser-enabled digital phones.

E*Trade said in a statement that it expects to roll out the wireless service in late June. The company did not disclose exact terms of the agreement.

As projections for wireless growth are strong, e-commerce companies continue to ramp up wireless offerings to capture customers that use devices such as cell phones, personal digital assistants or pagers.

Internet study group Jupiter Communications predicts that by 2003 there will be more than 100 million wireless subscribers.

Last month, Suretrade and Quick & Reilly, subsidiaries of FleetBoston Financial, announced that they were launching wireless services.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Discover Brokerage, DLJ Direct and Ameritrade last year were among the first to offer wireless online trading.

Verizon Wireless is one of the first offspring to be born out of the merger between telephone giants Bell Atlantic and GTE two weeks ago.

Verizon Wireless, which before the name change was Bell Atlantic's wireless partner Vodafone AirTouch, has 16 million customers, E*Trade said.