News Column

Virtual Launches ZONAi

May 4 2000 2:49PM

Hoping to carve out a niche in the Hispanic market, Virtual Inc. has launched Puerto Rico's first portal Web site, ZONAi Network.

Already attracting more than 7 million page views per month, the Spanish-language site ( features breaking news, entertainment, sports, e-commerce, and weather updates. There also are directories and services aimed specifically at Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics.

"Our specialized services offer the most complete information about Puerto Rico," says Virtual president Carlos J. Nido, adding that the site will target Puerto Ricans and Hispanics all over the world.

ZONAi Network is drawing its daily news content from several respected sources, including El Nuevo Día and Primera Hora, both prominent newspapers, and Vida Digital, an online technology magazine. In addition, Telemundo Puerto Rico Inc. soon will provide news broadcasts to be transmitted over the Web site.

The site evolved from, the online version of El Nuevo Día, says Gustavo Bermudo, sales and marketing manager for ZONAi Network. Set up in 1996 and operated by Virtual Inc. (owned by Ferré Rangel Group), reported about 4 million page views per month by the end of last year.

ZONAi Network was launched with expanded features in January. Mr. Bermudo says the potential for e-commerce is outstanding, since a recent survey showed that one of nine Puerto Ricans owns a computer. He says the company may set up an English-language version of the Web site.

Source: Hispanic Business Magazine

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