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January 18, 2007

Alltel Wireless Unveils 'Celltop' Technology for Mobile Phones

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Associate Editor

Alltel Wireless on Thursday unveiled a new PC desktop-like technology designed to make it easier and faster for users to access and customize information on their cellphones.
In a news release, Alltel described the new product, Celltop, as a patent-pending technology featuring “cells”—category-specific half-screens made up of graphics and text—that act as navigational shortcuts to information and applications such as ringtones, call log, weather, text messaging inbox, and news.

Sample cell showing
ringtones and weather

An infinite number of cells can be loaded on the phone using Celltop, accessible by scrolling left or right, explained Scott Moody, Alltel Director of Wireless Multimedia Services, during a press briefing Wednesday.
Celltop launches today on select Alltel phones, with ten cells (call log, weather, news, baseball, basketball, football, rodeo, stocks, text messaging inbox, and ringtones). More cells will be added to the free service as time goes on, and the technology will be available on all new Alltel phones by year’s end.
“Celltop is based on the ‘widget’ concept,” Moody said during the Wednesday briefing. “It’s open to anybody who has an idea for a mobile phone application. It gives the developer community creative control over how their applications get displayed to customers.”
As new cells are added to the collection, they will be available through Alltel’s online Axcess Shop. Users will be able to customize the appearance an organization of information in each cell, as well as suggest new cell ideas and vote on their favorites.
“Wireless carriers have been trying to solve the content discovery and navigation problem for years, and we are proud to be the first wireless carrier to deliver a technology that provides a solution,” Alltel Wireless Group President of Operations Kevin Beebe said in a statement.
Celltop was designed in collaboration with consultancy frog design. The technology is built on Qualcomm’s (News - Alert) BREW uiOne platform, and content is being provided for launch cells by Motricity.
“Our watchwords for 2007 are choice and control,” Moody said during the press briefing. “Celltop is a continuation of Alltel’s move into a position of innovation.”
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Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page. Also check out her Wireless Mobility blog.

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