BellSouth, Voyager turn phones into Net appliances

BellSouth and Voyager have pushed the cause of convergence one step further by offering email previewing by cellphone.

BellSouth and Voyager have pushed the cause of convergence one step further by offering email previewing by cellphone.

Voyager customers will be able to preview their email on the screen of a BellSouth GSM digital phone, potentially offering an alternative to fax and paging technology. They will be able to read the first 160 characters of any email message as soon as it is received.

Voyager managing director John O'Hara says the service "makes the Internet viable as a primary communications tool."

Dubbed Internet Preview, the service is scheduled to start in November under a three-month evaluation programme. Messages are forwarded from Voyager to the BellSouth Short Message Service Centre and the users will be notified of their arrival.

Messages can be read, stored, deleted and on some telephone models replies can be sent. The original remains in the Internet mailbox.

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