Verizon to Offer Automatic Updates of Contacts on Mobile Phones

Customers of Verizon Wireless, the No. 2 U.S. mobile provider, can now have the contacts in their phones automatically updated without manually entering the data, according to Plaxo Inc, which created the service.

The service takes computer-based contact lists from commonly used e-mail systems, such as those of Microsoft Corp (MSFT) or Yahoo Inc (YHOO), and sends the contact details wirelessly to the customer's cellphone.

Customers will still have to choose which names in e-mail address books they want to copy onto their phones but the service eliminates the need for users to manually copy numbers from computer address books or recreate entire contact lists every time they buy a new phone.

Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications (VZ) and Vodafone Group, is offering the service for a fee of $4.49 a month, Plaxo said.

The service will work on about 30 Verizon Wireless handsets, according to privately held Plaxo, which is based in Mountain View, California.

In the coming weeks, leading rural U.S. wireless service Alltel Corp (AT) and smaller provider U.S. Cellular Corp., will also offer the service, Plaxo said.