RealTime IT News

Big Blue Has Big Plans for Wireless Market

IBM took several steps to further strengthen its role as a provider of wireless e-business solutions.

On Monday Big Blue debuted two e-business products, announced an alliance with mobile ISPs BT Cellnet, Telecom Italia, Avenir and UniXS to create new e-business applications; and released plans to launch a hosting service that manages wireless e-business applications.

The announcement is part of a long-term plan to dominate a market that industry analysts predict will exceed $100 billion by 2003, according to Michael Mayer, general manager, IBM's pervasive computing division.

"IBM is delivering many of these new wireless IT infrastructure services today, and generating tremendous wireless momentum in Europe," said Mayer. "We plan to extend this momentum worldwide, with new servers, software and services that allow businesses to build and scale web and enterprise applications for mobile devices."

The newly released wireless e-business products are:
  • WebSphere Everyplace Suite Service Provider Edition, which is middleware that integrates the functions for connecting wireless devices to Web content and commerce, including a wireless gateway to support multiple wired and wireless networks and a transcoding server to adapt existing Web content for wireless devices.
  • IBM eServer p640, for the carrier environment, achieves performance across a wide spectrum of workloads. The machine is designed to offer speed and durability for e-commerce applications.

"The WebSphere suite can be used to register more than five-million subscriber," Mayers said. "It uses the same load balancing technology that allowed us to handle 11.3 billion hits to the Sydney Olympic Web site, and can scale to very large numbers of users by increasing the number of processors."

The wireless hosting service is presently under development and is expected to be available later this year.

IBM is currently equipping its e-business hosting centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia with software and hardware that let businesses extend e-business applications and services to mobile devices.

IBM will continue to extend the range of its hosting services through relationships with wireless carriers, according to Mayers.

"IBM is working to bring businesses a complete range of mobile solutions," he said. "We are forging relationships with major players -- from Web integrators, including Agency.com, Razorfish and Luminant, software developers like MicroStrategy Inc., W-Trade Technologies, Inc. and River Run Software Group to device manufacturers, Palm, Symbian and Ericsson and telecommunications equipment manufactures Nokia and Motorola."