GoAmerica's service allows customers to access corporate databases and intranets, e-mail and the Internet over wireless networked devices. EarthLink will buy subscribers to GoAmerica's cellular digital packet data (CDPD) networks, as well as a segment of its Cingular and Motient network customers, the companies said. EarthLink will continue to offer Go America's services bundled with airtime, billing and customer support, the companies said.
Financial terms of the deal were not released. The deal does appear to create a tighter relationship between the two companies. GoAmerica's sales force will market and sell EarthLink mobile services, and EarthLink will supply billing, customer service and network services for GoAmerica.
Both companies have also agreed to work together on new technology for wireless data services, and EarthLink has agreed to use GoAmerica's Go.Web technology in its next-generation wireless Web products.
GoAmerica said its Go.Web technology, which is used to transfer data and applications between servers and wireless clients, will be a main focus of the company's strategy in the future. In addition, GoAmerica is giving up plans to raise $10 million to $15 million in new funding, instead relying on its deal with EarthLink, as well as ones with Motient and Rogers AT&T Wireless in Canada, to support its technology. GoAmerica also announced it was slashing its work force roughly in half, eliminating 100 jobs over the rest of the year.
"This refined execution of our strategy allows us to concentrate on opportunities that we believe create the highest margin revenue potential at the lowest cost structure," Chief Operating Officer Dan Luis said in a statement.
EarthLink, an Internet service provider, has been venturinginto wireless territory. It was one of the first major providers of traditional Internet access to offer services over , a wireless network that creates a "cloud" of service over a roughly 300-foot area.
Separately Thursday, EarthLink announced deals with Office Depot and Level 3. Office Depot will sell EarthLink's high-speed cable, digital subscriber line and two-way satellite Internet service through its chain of stores. Office Depot will have salespeople at kiosks to provide demonstrations and will promote the service through its Web site, catalogs and mailings.
The Level 3 deal calls for the companies to extend an existing contract for managed modem services and gives EarthLink access to Level 3's dial-up Internet infrastructure in hundreds of cities under a new contract.