RealTime IT News

Cable & Wireless, Nokia to Create Global Wireless Net

[London, ENGLAND] Cable & Wireless plc and Nokia Networks announced Thursday what they termed a "landmark agreement" to create a global wireless Internet platform.

Cable & Wireless, subject of much speculation this week with Deutsche Telekom strongly tipped to mount a $50 billion bid for it, will host the new platform at its data centers. The platform will provide fully managed wireless Internet services to mobile network operators, ISPs and large corporations.

Graham Wallace, chief executive of Cable & Wireless, said that analysts believe that in the next three years, 350 million people will be accessing Internet content via mobile devices.

"Cable & Wireless will offer a fully managed end-to-end wireless Internet service to our business customers which allows them to benefit from the huge growth in this market," said Wallace.

Nokia's contribution to the project will be to provide the services platform, with various applications and systems integration compatible with Cable & Wireless's own Internet systems.

The agreement will lead to the creation of hosting services that will give mobile operators, ISPs and dotcoms access to a portfolio of wireless applications without needing to build their own hosting infrastructure.

Initially, Cable & Wireless will offer services to European customers from a data center in the U.K. scheduled to open next week. It will offer similar services to U.S. customers from data centers in Virginia and California, and to Asian customers from two centers in Japan.

Revenues from wireless operations are set to grow exponentially, according to market research company Forrester, which says they will soar from $5.3 million in 2000 to $3.8 billion in 2005.

By the end of 2003, Nokia expects there will be more handsets connected to the Internet than PCs. Whether wireless content begins to approach standard Internet content in popularity and usefulness remains to be seen.