SmartTime Network, a division of US Order, plans to introduce a screen telephone that would enable consumers to pay bills, send E-mail, and connect to the Internet.
It is the first in a series of Internet gateway devices the Herndon, Va.-based company plans to bring to market. None of them are personal computers.
"Being able to send a quick E-mail to and from your phone is going to open up the Internet to a whole lot of people," said Stephen Pearson, director of services management for SmartTime.
The screen phones function as regular telephones but also support Caller ID and provide Internet access. It is expected that they will be available in consumer electronics stores by the end of the month.
SmartTime plans to charge consumers $7.95 a month for unlimited Internet access through the devices.
- Compiled by Jennifer Kingson Bloom