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Verizon gives access to full-HTML mobile Web sites

Verizon Wireless customers who visit Web sites on their mobile phones using the carrier's Mobile Web service will now be able to access the same sites they visit using PCs and get a similar experience on their mobile phones.

The new Optimized View for Mobile Web, enabled by technology from Novarra, gives customers access to the majority of Web sites in full HTML view, regardless if their mobile device supports a full HTML Web browser. This also means that when consumes go off-deck, they will have better views of the mobile ads they come across.

"This is a behind-the-scenes technology that allows Web sites to be seen on a non-HTML phone,"said Debra Lewis, spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless, Basking Ridge, NJ.

"If you had a Chocolate or a Motorola phone, in the past you couldn't get an HTML experience, but now you can do that, because it translates Web sites seamlessly for the end user,"she said.

Verizon Wireless customers who were previously unable to view certain Web sites or Web images on their mobile phones because of certain restrictions and limitations can now access almost any Web site quickly, giving them the ability to interact with those Web sites.

Customers can visit the same Web sites on their mobile phones as they do on their PCs, including email, social networking, news, sports, ecommerce and blog sites, and now get more functionality and a more complete view of those sites.

With the new technology, Web pages will typically load on mobile phones in less than 10 seconds, on average.

Optimized View uses Novarra's Vision platform for mobile Internet and multimedia. It lets customers browse the majority of full HTML sites by optimizing Web sites to take advantage of the unique capabilities of each Verizon Wireless cell phone.

The Optimized View technology works automatically when customers visit a Web site using Verizon's mobile Web.

Software upgrades or application downloads are not necessary for customers to be able to view and experience full HTML Web pages.

Optimized View also provides Web site owners with the ability to opt-out and consumers with the ability to turn off optimization.

Unlimited Mobile Web usage is included with a $15 monthly V Cast VPak subscription, which also includes access to V Cast Video, V Cast Music and Media Center/Get It Now applications.

Alternatively, customers can access Verizon Mobile Web for free with a Nationwide Plan, but will incur usage charges of $1.99 per megabyte.

Internet mobility company Novarra provides mobile Web platforms for carriers and content providers to create new Internet-based services and revenue streams.

Novarra developed and patented the first server-client architecture for Web content transformation and network optimization designed for mass-market, high-volume mobile consumer deployments.

Novarra's open-standards-based platforms provide services such as full rich Web, search, portals, personalization, video and advertising, as well as support for mobile sites.

Since its acquisition of Alltel, Verizon Wireless operates a wireless voice and data network serving more than 80 million customers, making it the No. 1 carrier nationwide.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone.

The latest piece of news is in line with Verizon Wireless' focus on improving the customer experience on mobile phones, with access to the mobile Web becoming a critical factor.

"Basically, this improves the mobile Web experience for our users with phones that don't have full HTML browsers,"Ms. Lewis said.