Companies from all corners of the high-tech industry are looking to adapt services normally associated with corporate networks or the Internet to the emerging wireless-device trend. In doing so, companies such as EarthLink, Wireless Knowledge and OmniSky, among others, can extend their reach.
Earthlink subscribers will now be able to access e-mail wirelessly using a Motorola Talkabout T900 messaging device, the two companies announced. The service won't be available until late February. There have been more than 750,000 of the low-end gadgets shipped to the United States since May 2000.
In a separate announcement, wireless-technology company Wireless Knowledge has entered into an agreement with OmniSky, the wireless e-mail provider. Under the terms of the agreement, OmniSky users can access Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes e-mail systems through Wireless Knowledge. Wireless Knowledge is a joint venture of Qualcomm and Microsoft.
Prior to the deal, EarthLink customers had to own a Research In Motion BlackBerry to get their e-mail on the go.
EarthLink spokesman Arley Baker said the company has been exploring partnerships with other device manufacturers, "whether it's mobile pagers or Web-enabled phones or Palm devices."
EarthLink has more than 4.6 million subscribers.
The Wireless Knowledge deal will let OmniSky users get behind their corporate network firewall and access their business e-mail on the go, said Wireless Knowledge business development manager Owen Williams.
Most of Wireless Knowledge's deals have been with third-party telecommunications carriers such as Sprint, Nextel Communications and AT&T.
"We've always done deals directly with the carriers, but never have we done one with a wireless Internet service provider," Williams said.
Wall Street estimates that OmniSky's service will reach about 200,000 devices this year.