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Internet on telephone

May 10, 1999 11:28 AM
by M K Ramadoss

Here is something that those skeptics about Internet/e-mail need to read.
This seem to indicate the direction in which Internet e-mail is moving and
is going to be an indispensable means of quick and cheap communication. Of
course many who grew up in pre computer area and clinging on to outmoded
means may find it difficult to understand and accept.

US West offers Net phone 

                           Baby Bell says phones will allow access
                           to e-mail and the Internet 

                           May 10, 1999: 9:41 a.m. ET

                  NEW YORK (Reuters) - U S West Inc., the
                  Denver-based Baby Bell, said Monday it soon will
                  offer phones that allow customers to send email and
                  access the Internet without using a computer. 
                    The new phones will target consumers who find
                  computers too intimidating or expensive. U S West
                  (USW) estimates about 50 percent of consumers have
                  never surfed the Internet or sent e-mail. 
                    "With these new phones, we're going to blow open
                  the Internet revolution to everybody by moving e-mail
                  and Web access to something people are already
                  comfortable with -- the telephone," U S West Chief
                  Executive Sol Trujillo said.
                    The "Web Phones" operate like traditional phones,
                  but they also have a color screen that allows customers
                  to navigate the Internet just by pointing to and touching
                  certain icons.
                    The screen system works similarly to an automatic
                  teller machine at a bank. Users also can send e-mail by
                  typing a message on a built-in keyboard
                    Unlike many computers which are bulky and
                  impractical to move, the Web Phones work in any
                  standard phone jack and can be shifted around the
                  house as users move from the kitchen to the living
                  room or home office.
                    The wireline "Web Phones," made by Alcatel
                  Alsthom, will be available in the fall.
                    The phones cost between $300 and $400, industry
                  analysts said. Users can subscribe to any Internet
                  service provider of their choice to get access to the
                  World Wide Web.
                    In addition to the Web Phones, U S West also will
                  sell wireless phones that can receive, display and store
                  e-mail and access Internet sites offering information on
                  financial news, sports headlines, weather and travel
                    The wireless "Thin Phones," made by Qualcomm
                  Inc (QCOM), will be available in mid-May. Access to
                  the Internet through U S West's Internet service,
        , will be available later this year. 
                    The Thin Phones weigh about four ounces and cost
                  $99, U S West said.
                    U S West, the dominant local phone company in 14
                  states from Minnesota to Washington, will hold its
                  annual shareholders meeting Tuesday, May 11, at the
                  Hudson Theater in New York City.  US West offers Net phone 

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