Product review: AT&T Wireless' new Digital PocketNet service


Friday, June 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


AT&T Wireless' new mobile data service for consumers is a great improvement over its previous efforts, which came out years before wireless data was even beginning to be cool.

Those earlier efforts were aimed at business customers and only worked on analog phones. The new Digital PocketNet service is easy to use, starting with a tutorial explaining how to type on the phone.

Besides access to productivity programs such as e-mail and a calendar, it can help you find movies or restaurants in short order. Also available: online shopping, stock quotes, door-to-door directions, directory information and wireless Web sites including InfoSpace.com, Travelocity.com, Hollywood.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Worth noting: Typing on the phone's tiny keyboard is much simpler these days, thanks to a mode called T9, a huge advance widely adopted in the mobile phone industry. Without it, letters are typed by pressing the number keys repeatedly until the correct letter scrolls around. Typing Jennifer, for instance, would have meant pressing 5, 3-3, 6-6, 6-6, 4-4-4, 3-3-3, 3-3, 7-7-7 the old way. With T9, I just typed 53664337, and up popped my name.

The service works on a $99 Ericsson phone in areas where AT&T has a digital network. Rate plans vary, but a package that allows access to e-mail and lots of information costs $6.99. Of course, the voice service is extra.

See AT&T Wireless' Web page at www.attws.com or call 1-888-844-9135.