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BellSouth and IBM Team for Trial of Consumer Web Access Solution

Personal Internet Device Designed to Make At-Home Access Faster and Easier

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SOMERS, N.Y - 27 Jun 2000: -- BellSouth and IBM(R) announced today that they are working together on a market trial of customized Internet solutions for BellSouth customers who want quick and easy access to the Internet and network-based services. The trial program will target families with children who want a simple, no-hassle means for connecting to the web for specific tasks, including e-mail, shopping, surfing and research. The BellSouth solution will couple IBM's NetVista(R) Personal Internet Device, software and services with BellSouth's network-based service platform, to provide customers with an end-to-end, quick-access Web solution.

The trial program is scheduled to begin in July and will take place in Atlanta, Memphis, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. It will center on providing a select group of BellSouth customers with the IBM NetVista Personal Internet Device; testing its overall effectiveness with consumers; and gaining specific feedback on the customer experience. This type of information will allow both companies to fine tune the solution, in anticipation of a BellSouth service deployment in October.

The IBM NetVista Personal Internet Device, available later this year, consists of two basic components: a 10-inch color flat panel monitor and a lightweight keyboard. It is easy to use, with its compact, ergonomic design, and has built-in broadband capabilities, for fast, one-button access to the Web. The Internet Device can be easily transported to anywhere in the home and is customized with corporate branding, on-screen branding and Website links.

The IBM-BellSouth trial program will provide consumers with an end-to-end solution, providing BellSouth services such as messaging; online bill review and payment; and The Real Yellow Pages(TM) online, as well as access to news and information about the user's community. As part of the solution, IBM will use elements of the IBM Websphere Everyplace(R) Suite, including Tivoli's TPSM device management software to manage the Personal Internet Devices for a reliable and secure Web solution. IBM service and support are also part of the BellSouth solution, providing help desk support and a customized user interface.

"BellSouth is dedicated to creating solutions for our customers, using new tools, like Internet Appliances, that enable them to easily connect to their family, friends and community," said Alice McCall, vice president, Consumer Strategy and Marketing for BellSouth. "We look forward to the learnings from this trial to ensure that we are providing customers with the types of new services they want in a user-friendly format."

"IBM is creating Web access that is truly personal and effortless," said Brian Connors, Vice President, Net Device Computing, IBM Personal Systems Group. "We made it our mission to design the NetVista Personal Internet Device as a no-nonsense, physical portal for application deployment, as well as communications. IBM is working with companies, such as BellSouth, to provide customers with a rewarding Internet experience - - without all of the headaches."

BellSouth is a $25 billion communications services company. It provides telecommunications services, Internet, data and e-commerce applications, wireless communications, entertainment services, and online and directory advertising to nearly 39 million customers in 19 countries worldwide.

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses and consumers innovate. For more information on the IBM NetVista Personal Internet Device or other IBM PC products and solutions, go to: http://www.ibm.com/pc

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Editor's Note: IBM and BellSouth will be demonstrating their Web access solution at the IBM booth at PC Expo in New York City on June 27, 28 and 29.

(R) IBM, NetVista and WebSphere are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.

Product and service specifications and availability information are subject to change without notice.

Contact(s) information

Marta Decker
IBM
(914) 766-3832
madecker@us.ibm.com

Rich Jeffers
BellSouth
(404) 927-7430
rich.jeffers@bridge.bellsouth.com