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December 2, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Two years ago, Oracle Corp formed Oracle Data Publishing designed to provide users of its relational database access to a variety of computer-based information services relevant to their particular businesses (CI No 1,318), since when little has been heard from the new unit. Until this week: now the company is set to announce an agreement with McCaw Cellular Communications Inc to piggyback data broadcasting onto McCaw’s cellular radio signals. The idea is that data will be tagged with a code according to subject, and a small radio receiver attached to the desktop computer or personal communicator would look out for packets carrying the codes covering topics – share quotes, airline flight updates, newsletters, manuals and software – and capture the relevant ones. According to the Wall Street Journal the system will initially be tried in the Seattle area, but it could go US-wide by 1993. Oracle is said to be seeking partners for a European and Asian version of the service: it believes the only competitors that can hurt its database business are those that own the data. Lotus Development Corp’s efforts to get into the same business failed because its system had insufficient capacity to support a data stream on more than a single subject.

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