IRVING, Texas -- GTE today introduced a new, low-cost way to deliver up-to-the-minute information to mobile workers or travelers who carry portable computers. GTE's offering combines Socket Communications' PageCard with GTE's national paging network to give customers the traditional advantages of paging plus the ability to download time-critical data such as sales leads, new real estate listings, stock quotes, service dispatches or priority e-mail directly to their Windows notebooks, Newton MessagePads or Apple PowerBooks.
The PageCard performs double duty - it works as a traditional standalone pager and as a data pager. Data is transmitted to the slim 2.2 ounce PageCard pager over GTE's paging network. Customers have the option to be notified automatically by the pager when a data message is received and ready to be downloaded into their portable computer. In contrast to traditional text pagers that can store up to 16 short messages, the PageCard can store more than 300 multiple-page messages.
"GTE has taken the lead in merging wireless communications and mobile computing by being the first paging carrier in the U.S. to offer a package that combines traditional paging with data paging," says C. C. Stephens, general manager, GTE Public Communications. "The PageCard provides a solution for millions of mobile workers who travel or work outside of a traditional office and want easy access to important information."
"There are more than 30 million pager users in the U.S. and at least 20 million mobile computers with PC Card slots," said Socket's CEO Martin Levetin. "By combining the PC Card and the pager, Socket meets the mobile worker's need to receive critical information while on the road."
Options for GTE's advanced messaging services for text pagers include an operator-assisted 800 number for translating voice messages to text, voice mail and fax store-and-forward services with automatic pager notification. GTE offers local, state, regional or nationwide paging that covers 90 percent of the U.S. population. The paging range is extended worldwide with the ability to page customers via the Internet or the World Wide Web.
Customers who purchase or lease the PageCard pager from GTE will receive Socket's PageSoft software for sending out messages through a modem and for downloading data from the PageCard to a mobile computer. GTE offers a leasing plan that provides the PageCard pager, software, wireless service and support for a single monthly fee that starts at less than $30. The PageCard, software and service are available directly from a GTE account representative or by calling 1-888-GTE-2100. Later this year, it will be available at the GTE Phone Marts.
Socket Communications, Inc. develops and sells data communications solutions for the mobile computer market. Socket products include PC Card hardware and software for wireless messaging and the PageCard, PC Card alphanumeric pager. The PageSoft, messaging library includes development tools and middleware, send and receive applications, plus rules-based e-mail forwarding agents. Other Socket products include Serial PC Cards, wired Ethernet PC Cards and a Global Positioning System PC Card.
With revenues of $20 billion in 1995, GTE is one of the largest publicly-held telecommunications companies in the world. GTE is also the largest U.S.-based local telephone company and a leading cellular-service provider.