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.,
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, 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.”

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