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IBM, AT&T Bring Wireless to Enterprise Customers

IBM Corp. and AT&T Corp. Friday joined forces to expand wireless services to the business customer by offering access to Internets, intranets and databases.

IBM (IBM) will combine its software and services with AT&T's (T) wireless IP network to provide access to business data and applications.

Specifically, the two industry giants will target users of existing Cellular Digital Packet Data network technology as well as future "third generation" wireless devices and networks. Third generation describes wireless broadband data services and global roaming capabilities for wireless phones and other devices.

IBM's new transcoding technology is designed to enable corporate data to be translated into the appropriate formats for a wide variety of devices, including wireless phones, PDAs, and laptop computers. AT&T's wireless network is estimated to cover 70 percent of all metropolitan areas throughout the U.S.

Gary Cohen, general manager for IBM Global Telecommunications Industry, said the two companies are working to address the growing proliferation of non-PC devices in the corporate market.

"Over the next five years, more than 80 percent of new corporate applications will be designed for non-PC devices, such as wireless phones," said Cohen.

"The collaboration between AT&T and IBM will provide the expertise and technology to meet the demanding needs of an enterprise for wireless access to mission critical information," With always-on data access, we will meet another key need of our customers."

Also as part of Friday's deal, IBM plans to join the AT&T Developer Program. AT&T and IBM will work closely during the development, testing, and implementation of wireless data solutions for businesses.