New wireless service offers alternatives to businesses

New wireless service offers alternatives to businesses by David Lias Businesses in Vermillion and the surrounding area have a new alternative in wireless communications.

Nextel Partners has launched a "four-in-one" digital wireless service available in Sioux Falls, Sioux City, IA, and surrounding areas.

Nextel Partners has launched an all-digital wireless network and services combining digital cellular, digital two-way radio, wireless Internet access and text/numeric messaging, all in one compact phone.

"Our handsets are capable of doing four wireless functions," said Barry Morehart, Nextel general manager, Omaha, NE. "We offer an all-digital, nation-wide cellular network, so you can place and receive calls anywhere on our network around the United States.

"One of the distinctions is our system is all digital everywhere you travel, and within our network you are never roaming, so there are never any of the higher charges that folks might be accustomed to paying," he said.

wireless network extends along the Interstate 29 corridor south from Sioux Falls through Vermillion, and Sioux City to Omaha.

The network continues southwest through Lincoln to Grand Island, NE, and extends back north from Sioux City through Le Mars and Sioux Center, IA back to Sioux Falls.

Nextel offers other services, including Direct Connect, a push-to-talk service which is similar to a two-way radio.

"It just enables a business person to push a button and instantly communicate with his or her co-workers," Morehart said.

Nextel customers also can take advantage of the company's wireless Web services.

"At a real simple level, you can use your handset to access the Internet," Morehart said. "You can do that right from your phone."

He added that consumers can also use their handsets to send and receive e-mail messages from their Web sites.

"And you can actually use your phone as a wireless modem," Morehart said. "Let's say you are at a meeting, and you want to send or receive an e-mail from your laptop computer. With a cable plugged into your phone in the back of your laptop, you can use our network to deliver e-mail wireless."

To learn more about Nextel's services, visit www.nextel.com on the Internet, or contact the company's Sioux Falls office at 5000 S. Minnesota Ave., Suite 100.

The company employs 10 people regionally to date.

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