Cingular's bid for more Internet use

November 17, 2005

The United States lags behind Europe and Japan when it comes to using cell phones, as U.S. users often are content simply to use their mobile handsets simply as phones on the go. Their European and Japanese counterparts, on the other hand, are much more likely to use their cell phones to text-message, go online, or even purchase goods, in addition to actually using them to talk.

Cingular Wireless, however, is hoping that that gap will shrink with the launch of its latest mobile*phone Internet browsing functions.

Even among those who have phones that have Internet access capability, only 25 percent actually use it, said Jim Ryan, Cingular's vice president of consumer data products.

"That means 75 percent don't use it at all," he added.

The company, however, hopes to take advantage of that situation by launching its new Internet capabilities called media net Thursday.

Since the company merged with AT&T over a year ago, the wireless carrier has been working to develop a system that will entice users to get online on their phones, Ryan said, adding that about 100 staff members have devoted their time solely to develop the Web link.

In conventional cell-phone Internet programs, all the information that people wanted to use was "four or five clicks away ... no one was doing a good job in wireless Internet," he said, adding that users wanted quick access to personalized information as quickly and easily as possible.

People should be able to use their phones to get information particular to them and to their different needs throughout the day, so one user might want traffic information in the morning, general news during the day, stock-market updates in the evening and sports news at night, all on his or her phone.

As of Thursday, about 10 million Cingular subscribers should be opening up their phones and seeing a different start-up screen, which Ryan hopes will encourage them to use their phones for Internet access. The company will be offering the service for free to about 30 million of its 52 million subscribers, or to all users who have a phone that is capable of Internet access.

Initially, users will be waking up to information that has been customized for them by Cingular as the company will change their Internet front page by customizing it according to their billing ZIP code. That means the user will be prompted with their local weather and other local information on their phone, which can then be tailored to more specific needs.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Smartphone growth creating etiquette challenges

Related Stories

Ashley Madison hack strikes fear in outed users

August 26, 2015

Two years ago, trapped in what he remembers as "a dead marriage," Michael logged on to adulterous dating site Ashley Madison for the first time. He was less than impressed.

Federal workers with sensitive jobs used cheating website

August 21, 2015

U.S. government employees with sensitive jobs in national security or law enforcement were among hundreds of federal workers found to be using government networks to access and pay membership fees to the cheating website ...

Things to know about Ashley Madison breach: Who's affected?

August 21, 2015

The spectacular breach at adultery site Ashley Madison gave rise to sordid tales of horrified spouses rushing to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases, frantic phone calls to lawyers and torrid confrontations with ...

Lawsuits against Ashley Madison over hack face tough road

August 20, 2015

The release of the names and personal information of millions of potentially cheating spouses around the world will undoubtedly have disastrous consequences for many couples, but Ashley Madison members might think twice before ...

Recommended for you

New material science research may advance tech tools

August 31, 2015

Hard, complex materials with many components are used to fabricate some of today's most advanced technology tools. However, little is still known about how the properties of these materials change under specific temperatures, ...

An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

August 31, 2015

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.