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Oracle to offer wireless Web access for handhelds

OracleMobile, a subsidiary of the database giant, plans to team with wireless data and messaging firms Metrocall and Research in Motion to offer the new service.

OracleMobile, a subsidiary of database giant Oracle, today said it will offer a new wireless service that allows handheld devices to access the Web.

The Oracle unit said it will team with Metrocall and Research in Motion (RIM), both wireless data and messaging firms.

The emphasis on a wireless strategy by leading e-commerce and technology companies reflects the anticipation that the market for wireless services is about to take off. In the past few months, companies such as Palm Computing, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard,, Charles Schwab and others have rushed to offer wireless services.

Oracle's service, dubbed "Ask@OracleMobile," will allow people to access information such as stock quotes, driving directions and flight information from OracleMobile's wireless portal.

These services are designed for any Web- or messaging-enabled device, including Web phones, pagers, Palm Pilots, Blackberry devices and other wireless personal digital assistants (PDAs) or handhelds, the company said. The consumer service is free of charge.

OracleMobile was launched in February to focus on the rapidly emerging wireless Internet market.