AOL launches e-mail alerts for cell phones, pagers

By Reuters, InfoWorld |  Software

(REUTERS) -- America Online Inc. said on Monday its members can now be alerted on their text-enabled digital cellphones or pagers to the arrival of a designated message in their AOL e-mail box.

The AOL Mail Alerts service, which is free to members using versions of AOL 4.0 or above, is part of the Internet media giant's "AOL Anywhere" strategy that aims to offer its services on a variety of devices beyond the personal computer.

"Increasingly, e-mail is becoming consumers' preferred way to communicate,," Barry Schuler, president of AOL Interactive Services Group, said in a statement, "and with the AOL Mail Alerts service, members can stay in touch without being tethered to their PC."

Separately, AOL said it has included a personalization feature to its AOLbyPhone service that lets people access their AOL accounts and features such as e-mail via phone. It said the AOLbyPhone service, which was launched in late October, has signed up more than 200,000 AOL members so far.

The company's purchase of Time Warner Inc. is still awaiting regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission. Among the issues the agency is reviewing is AOL's popular instant messaging service, which lets members swap messages with each other in real-time.

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