Free to Page You and Me

Totally Free is offering free access to communications and information services through its pagers-a practice that also includes an unusual way to advertise.
Totally Free Paging, a wholly owned DSI Technology company, debuted in California last week and rolls out nationally in January. It promises to eliminate monthly paging fees and allow users to receive messages and information from one phone number for each unit. A four-line alpha-numeric pager, which the company sells, is the only requirement for the free services; they also include voicemail, e-mail, and faxing.
The catch: The service will be supported by three-line ads prefacing every paging message, letting advertisers target customers in specific demographics. Ads will tout retail and e-tail discounts and coupons, as well as notifications of sales and other bargains.
The company is negotiating contracts this week with several undisclosed advertisers, who may be announced soon, said David Uman, CEO of Culver City, Calif.-based Totally Free Paging.
-Angela Dawson