Lycos, Inc. (NASDAQ: LCOS), the Internet's leading multibrand network, today announced the launch of its comprehensive wireless initiative, Lycos Anywhere(tm), a group of products and services that connect Lycos users to information from across the Lycos Network via their wireless devices, wherever they go. Lycos Anywhere will soon feature the first Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) search from any major portal, and a comprehensive wireless driving direction service. Lycos Anywhere leverages the powerful My Lycos personalization platform and is built using a device-agnostic philosophy that provides a common user experience regardless of the device or carrier. Users can start their Lycos Anywhere experience from their My Lycos start page or by visiting http://anywhere.lycos.com.
"Lycos Anywhere is the most comprehensive wireless offering of any major portal, with an effective combination of content, search, e-commerce and applications," said Ron Sege, executive vice president of Lycos. "The wireless market is exploding as more and more users adopt new value-added tools. It's a worldwide phenomenon, and Lycos's global infrastructure positions us to take a leadership role in the marketplace."
Today's launch complements the May 16, 2000 announcement by Lycos and Terra Networks of their intention to merge into a new company, Terra Lycos. Terra Lycos will have access to Terra's parent company Telefonica's extensive communications infrastructure of more than 60 million customers globally, including 21 million wireless customers. After completion of the transaction, Terra Lycos will own nearly half of a new wireless joint venture being established in partnership with Telefonica. Lycos Anywhere will contribute products and services including its powerful personalization platform. Combining the mobile efforts of the companies will allow them to speed time to market, and also provide best-of-breed mobile products for the current Lycos, Terra and Telefonica user bases.
Lycos's wireless strategy is centered on the concept that users want one unified experience for SMS, WAP, voice and traditional desktop Internet access regardless of what device they use to retrieve Lycos content and services. Users wish to experience a common navigation approach as they switch from device to device, computer to WAP phone, etc. My Lycos, the personalization platform that allows millions of users to determine what information is delivered to their desktops in what order, will provide the commonality of experience regardless of device. Users set up their My Lycos profiles from their computers, cell phones, or even payphones, and easily outline the information they seek, choosing from a list that includes news, sports, stocks, entertainment, weather and many more categories.
"Personalization is the key to customer satisfaction when you must deliver information to a limited device space," said Jason Pavona, director of wireless strategy and personalization for Lycos. "Lycos Anywhere lets the user decide what information is most important, and that information is formatted specifically for each device, maximizing the efficiency, and therefore the satisfaction, of the experience."
Lycos is the first portal to announce a comprehensive WAP search, to launch in August. In addition to an editorially generated directory of WAP-enabled pages, Lycos users will be able search the Web's largest catalog of WAP sites to locate the information they need where they need it. A comprehensive driving direction and business locator service will also be available to Lycos Anywhere users.
Lycos is the first major portal to offer for sale self-branded wireless devices and services with the launch of Lycos Wireless Marketplace (http://www.cellphones.lycos.com), an e-commerce destination. Lycos-branded cellular phones including WAP enabled devices, pagers, wireless enabled personal digital assistants (PDAs) and service agreements will be available through the site and marketed across the Lycos Network of Web sites.
Lycos's commitment to the wireless space additionally includes significant investment in best-of-breed technology and services providers whose goals and market strategies closely align with Lycos Anywhere's. LycosLabs, the first business incubator launched by a major portal, announced June, 2000 that its first investment was made in thinkingBytes.com, a new wireless provider of applications for the PDA market. Early stage investments such as this will provide the Lycos Network with innovative technology ensuring a leadership position in the rapidly growing wireless space.
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