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New e-book reader to use AT&T network

Following in the footsteps of Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle, another e-book reader is set to get a wireless connection from a cellular carrier, letting it access books anywhere there’s a signal.

Technicians walk through the clean room of the British company Plastic Logic during a tour of the new production facility for flexible electronic displays in Dresden.

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NEW YORK — Following in the footsteps of Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle, another e-book reader is set to get a wireless connection from a cellular carrier, letting it access books anywhere there's a signal.

AT&T Inc. planned to announce Wednesday that it will support an electronic book reading device due early next year from Plastic Logic Ltd., a Mountain View, Calif.-based startup based on British display technology.

It marks the second significant announcement of the week for Plastic Logic, which said Monday that Barnes & Noble Inc. will supply digital versions of books for its device.

With the AT&T and Barnes & Noble deals in place, Plastic Logic will be able to match functions of the Kindle, which uses Amazon's e-book store and a wireless connection provided by Sprint Nextel Corp.

But Plastic Logic's goals are quite different, according to Chief Executive Richard Archuleta. The device's screen will be nearly 8.5 inches by 11 inches, and its target market will be professionals who would want to display business documents in nearly full size. Reading novels would be a secondary application.

"If somebody is just looking to read a book, and that's all they're going to do, they probably don't need all the capabilities in our product," Archuleta said.

Like the Kindle, Plastic Logic uses an "electronic ink" display, which looks somewhat similar to regular paper and consumes very little power. However, it takes a relatively long time to switch between images, making navigation slow.

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