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America Online Strikes Wireless Web Pacts
Reuters
NEW YORK — Leading Internet service provider America Online Inc. (AOL.N) on Monday said it struck a half dozen agreements with major players in the wireless communications arena, furthering its effort to liberate its Web services from the tether of telephone lines.

AOL, which is buying media giant Time Warner Inc. (TWX.N), said its new wireless partners include cellular phone makers Motorola Inc. (MOT.N) and Finland's Nokia Corp. (NOK.N)(NOK1V.HE); wireless device maker Research in Motion Ltd. (RIMM.O) of Canada; wireless service providers Sprint PCS (PCS.N)(FON.N) and BellSouth Corp. (BLS.N); and paging services company Arch Communications Inc. (APGR.O).

The agreements are part of AOL's "AOL Anywhere" strategy, and will allow its 21 million members and millions of others to use mobile devices to access AOL e-mail, instant messaging and several other of AOL's services, such as news, financial information, movie information and driving directions.

AOL Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Case said: "Today's wireless announcements are a major step forward for the AOL Anywhere strategy — allowing consumers to be connected anywhere any time with the ease that they have become accustomed to with the AOL service on a PC."

"There's no question that we're on the eve of an explosion in consumers' move to wireless and how they use interactive devices," Case said. "Our goal is to ensure that this wireless revolution will be both easy and accessible for our 21 million members, plus the tens of millions of consumers that use of our Web brands and millions of other consumers accessing the Internet via the wireless platform."

In late-morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, AOL shares were up 1-1/4 at 60-7/8; Motorola shares were down 2-7/16 at 157; BellSouth shares were up 1-7/8 at 38-1/16; Sprint PCS shares were up 1/8 at 48-3/8; Sprint Corp. shares were up 1-7/16 at 59-1/2; and Nokia shares down 3-3/4 at 201-1/4.

On Nasdaq, Research in Motion shares were up 12-5/16 at 151-1/4, and Arch Communications shares were up 2-5/8 at 14-1/4 — new 52-week highs for both stocks.



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