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March 1, 2000
StockHouse News Desk
By Gordon Edall (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Chaya Cooperberg (email@example.com),
Hilary Chiba (firstname.lastname@example.org), and
Sally Yates (email@example.com)
Wireless 2000 Day Two: Mergers, Two-Way Video Phones, Infowave's Deal With Nokia
The deal-making continued on the second day of the giant Wireless 2000 trade show in New Orleans Tuesday. TeleCorp PCS stole the show with its acquisition of Tritel. Glenayre announced a partnership with Aether regarding instant messaging. Sanyo promised two-way video, anytime, anywhere by next year, and Vancouver-based Infowave made strides in marketing its wireless software to cell phone makers like Nokia.
New Orleans, March 1 /SHfn/ -- TeleCorp PCS [TLCP] stole the show Tuesday at Wireless 2000 by announcing that it will acquire Tritel [TTEL] in a $3.5 billion, all-stock deal. The combination of the two companies, which were already affiliated carriers within the AT&T Wireless Services group, will create a TDMA-based powerhouse serving 35 million in markets stretching from the Southeast into the heart of middle America. And in a separate deal, TeleCorp announced that it plans to trade several wireless markets with AT&T [T] in order to take control of licenses covering 6 million users in Iowa and Wisconsin. TeleCorp will offer AT&T $410 million worth of shares in the merged company in return for the licenses, thereby raising AT&T's stake in the companies to approximately 23%. TeleCorp indicated that all its moves have been and will continue to be made with an eye towards growth, as TeleCorp remains committed to becoming the nation's ninth largest wireless player. Word of the merger pushed TeleCorp down more than $8 to close Tuesday at $45-15/16, while Tritel surged $7-3/4 to $31-3/4.
One of the main themes(instant messaging) on day one of the conference remained in the spotlight on day two as well, as Glenayre [GEMS] announced it would partner with Aether [AETH] and its new Incisent joint venture to bring instant messaging to the Handspring Visor PDA. Glenayre's @ctivelink messaging module for the Handspring springboard will be able to access the Internet and enterprise applications using Aether's intelligent messaging platform via Motorola's [MOT] ReFLEX 25. Glenayre rocketed almost $7 on the news to $19-7/8 Tuesday, and Aether followed suit posting a massive gain of $45-3/8 to close at $258-3/8.
IBM [IBM] and American Mobile Satellite [SKYC] announced a joint venture to market enterprise e-business solutions to corporate customers, including application service providers, internet service providers and mail service providers. IBM also introduced its WebSphere Transcoding Publisher software for dynamically translating Web text and images into formats readable on a wide variety of e-appliances, including cellphones. American Mobile Satellite was off slightly Tuesday, down $1-1/8 to 29, while IBM slid $1-3/4 to $102/3/4.
The buzz surrounding wireless data applications made a momentary shift to media rich content Tuesday, thanks to a provocative announcement from a SANYO North America Corporation. The SANYO Electric Co. subsidiary divulged its plans to introduce a two-way mobile videophone based upon PacketVideo's MPEG-4 compliant software for wireless multimedia. Users can expect to receive high-quality, two-way video anytime, anywhere by next year according to SANYO.
Also making its presence known on the conference floor was Vancouver-based Infowave Software[T.IW]. Infowave's Wireless Division builds mobile business solutions that use the power of wireless communications to extend the reach of enterprise computing. The company announced a marketing alliance with Pivotal[PVTL], a provider of business-to-business solutions for eBusiness Relationship Management (eBRM). However, investors were more interested in another announcement made by Nokia [NOK] that Infowave will demonstrate its WAP application at the Nokia pavilion. The application will allow mobile users to access their Microsoft Exchange messaging from any WAP-enabled device such as the Nokia 7100 Series handset. "We have signed an agreement with Nokia that deepens that relationship," confirmed Ron Jasper, Infowave's VP Marketing in an interview with StockHouse. "What we're talking about here is an agreement in which we work together to develop products and services delivered through joint marketing, joint selling, and bundling of the products together for delivery to Nokia customers."
The deal shows that the company is "sewing up great partnerships" with device and infrastructure companies, Jasper pointed out, and intimated that there will be more to come. "Clearly, there's lots of room for other partnerships. There's anybody in the WAP gateway space, the carrier space, the short messaging system (SMS) space-these are people we're certainly trying to talk to around this event." The wireless show has been very successful so far for Infowave, Jasper said enthusiastically. "This is a partnering mecca. There's an unprecedented level of partnership opportunities and business development relationships that have started just around the show for us."
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