Partner to Hone Wireless Data Services
Wednesday, June 14, 2000; Page E03
Systems Inc. has forged a broad alliance with Critical Path Inc., one
of the largest providers of e-mail and other messaging services on the
Internet, aimed at providing wireless access for more than 100 million
e-mail users worldwide, the companies plan to announce today.
Under the agreement, Aether, of Owings Mills,
Md., and San Francisco-based Critical Path will work together to
develop, promote and sell a range of wireless data services. They
include providing access to e-mail, faxes, calendar information and
other data from mobile phones, pagers and hand-held computers to the
two companies' respective customers.
The deal gives Aether access to Critical Path's
huge customer base, while the San Francisco company gets access to
Aether's wireless technology and its corporate customers.
Critical Path provides e-mail systems, fax
transmissions, calendar services and other applications to Internet
service providers, Web portal sites and large companies that account
for more than 100 million individual e-mail accounts, according to Lee
Llevano, the company's vice president for wireless solutions. Among
its customers are AT&T Corp., WorldCom Corp., Sprint Corp.,
Network Solutions Inc., UUNet and America Online Inc.
"Critical Path is the dominant global
provider of advanced messaging applications," said Evan Deoul,
Aether's vice president of wireless Web services. "They've got
over 3,000 customers worldwide, and they power over 100 million
"We really are the brand behind the
brand," said Llevano, noting that Critical Path provides
"back end" service to many of the best-known companies on
the Internet, but individual users never know that they are using a
Critical Path e-mail system.
Aether provides wireless data-access software and
services to large corporations as well as wireless telephone carriers
such as Verizon Wireless, Nextel Communications Inc. and BellSouth
The companies will not disclose financial details
of their agreement. But it calls for joint marketing and promotion of
existing products and services, joint development of new services,
sharing of technology and intellectual property, and reselling of the
two companies' respective products, officials said.
They expect to have customers testing new
applications in the fourth quarter of this year and should begin
generating new revenue from the partnership in the first quarter of
next year, they added.
The alliance gives Aether access to technology
and expertise across a wide range of applications from a single
partner, Deoul said. "Aether really needed a broad messaging
strategy for our existing enterprise customers," he said.
"And when we talk about messaging, we're really not just talking
about e-mail, we're really talking about the ability to synchronize
and coordinate all of your personal information management."
Critical Path reported a loss of nearly $77
million for the first quarter, on revenue of more than $25 million,
while Aether had a loss of more than $33 million on revenue of $5.4
million for the quarter ended March 31.
The Washington Post Company