Sunday, June 09, 2002

Cell phone service allows fans to talk to stars

        Britney Spears likes to speak directly to her fans. So she calls them up on their cell phones.

        The New York based Wireless Fan Access (WFX) network enables fans to receive text and voice messages from the singer, offering lifestyle and fashion tips, anecdotes from tour personnel and backstage reports.

        “Any time an artist wants to say something to the fans, they can record it and send it out,” WFX president Jed Alpert said. “The artists can get off a stage (during a concert) and say something into a cell phone and it goes out to all members.”

        Launched on May 9, WFX is one of the first wireless applications to cater to the fan club market. Ms. Spears is the first in what Mr. Alpert hopes will be a line up of sports figures, artists and other celebrities to use the service. The convenience of cell phones, he said, is major draw for fans and performers.

        “The cell phone is something you have all the time like a wallet,” Mr. Alpert said. “It's a way of communicating that is comfortable for the artist.”

        The service costs $19.99 for a three-month subscription and is available at Best Buy.

— Robert Lopez


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