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IRVING, Texas - So you need to send or retrieve e-mail messages, but you are hundreds of miles away from your home or office and personal computer. Perhaps you do not even own a computer. Out of luck? "Not anymore," says Alex Coleman, vice president and general manager of online services for GTE Internetworking, a division of GTE Corp., which today becomes the first major telecommunications company and national Internet service provider to offer free Web-based e-mail to Internet users worldwide.
GTE Web Mail, powered by iName, a leading provider of e-mail technology and communications solutions, allows consumers and business professionals to send, receive, store and forward e-mail messages from any computer with a Web browser, without the use of any specific Internet access service. GTE Web Mail will be marketed to all consumers, not just existing GTE telephone service or Internet customers.
Customers can sign up for GTE Web Mail service by visiting http://www.gtemail.net, or by accessing links located at http://www.gte.com, or http://www.gte.net. At the GTE Web Mail welcome page, customers select a personalized e-mail address, determine if they want their e-mail stored in their GTE Web Mailbox or forwarded to another existing e-mail address and enter basic contact information to complete the registration process. From there, customers can write, read and manage their e-mail in the same manner as with an Internet service provider account.
"Offering Web Mail to all telephone subscribers, not just existing GTE customers, extends GTE's brand and presents another way of introducing people to our broad suite of ancillary services," said GTE's Coleman.
"Web Mail is a lot more than giving customers universal access to additional electronic mailboxes," added Coleman. "We are moving people along a path that helps them take full advantage of the World Wide Web and the emerging Internet-protocol-based devices such as screen phones and personal digital assistants that, when combined with Internet access services, allow users to effectively manage their communications."
With GTE Web Mail, customers can send e-mails with attachments up to half a megabyte (Mb) in size, and retrieve e-mails with attachments up to 2 Mb. Web Mail provides popular e-mail features such as folders and an address book. Additionally, users will be able to store up to 5 Mb of messages, providing a simple way to access previous messages and information regardless of what computer is used to access their account.
"We are proud to be working with GTE, delivering our proven e-mail solution to millions of GTE customers as well as all Internet users," said Lon Otremba, COO of iName, Inc. "With this partnership, iName enters the ISP market to capitalize on the tremendous subscriber growth potential within the category."
In five years, more than 170 million users in the United States alone are expected to create five billion daily electronic messages on the Internet and private intranets -- 50 times the number of daily e-mails sent in 1996.
"The ability to have a personal e-mail address to communicate with others for professional and personal reasons has become as important as having a telephone number," said Michael Bolduc, director of product management for GTE.net, the consumer/small business division of GTE Internetworking. "By reserving a free e-mail address, not tied to a specific computer or location, GTE is building a 'digital communication bridge' that allows people to communicate from anywhere in the world with the click of a mouse.
"The use of e-mail continues to grow at a rapid pace, and its increasing popularity reflects the growing dependence on the World Wide Web," added Bolduc.
Because GTE Web Mail is supported by banner advertisements that appear at the top of the computer screen, there is no cost to customers, and no limitation concerning the number of e-mail boxes that can be used by one person. Today, 80 percent of all e-mail accounts are issued by employers and intended exclusively for business and are normally only accessible through the company's proprietary network. This restriction has created a growing need for free Web-based e-mail accounts that can be accessed from any computer with a Web browser.
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About GTE Internetworking
GTE Internetworking, a unit of GTE Corporation (NYSE: GTE) offers customers, from consumers to Fortune 500 companies, a full spectrum of integrated Internet services using IP networking technologies. GTE Internetworking delivers complete network solutions, including dial-up and dedicated Internet access, high-performance Web hosting, managed Internet security, network management, systems integration, and Web-based application development for integrating the Internet into business operations. GTE Internetworking draws upon its expertise in funded research and development of advanced technologies, including satellites, digital radio, multi-gigabit routers, security, and speech, and GTE's strong existing telecommunications services, including local and long distance, wireless, paging, video, and Internet. GTE is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider of integrated voice, video and data services. More information about GTE Internetworking and GTE Corp. can be found on the Internet at http://www.gte.com.
About iName Inc.
iName Inc., offers a comprehensive suite of electronic messaging services to Internet users worldwide. iName offers its services to users through relationships with over 45 leading Internet and media companies, including Alta Vista, NBC Snap!, CNN Interactive, CNN/SI, CMPnet, CBS Sportsline and Standard & Poor's, and is also available through its own website at www.iName.com. iName offers free, private e-mail accounts, lifetime e-mail forwarding, and Web browser-based e-mail access. With over 300 quality domain names to choose from, iName is the only e-mail service to offer personalize e-mail addresses. In addition, iName has a strict anti-spam policy. iName, Inc., headquartered in New York, is a privately held and funded corporation.
Note: The GTE Web Mail Product Launch 11/17/98 conference call was recorded. There will be an audio playback (24 hours) beginning 12:30 PM CST. Call 800-633-8284 Reservation #1833125.