BT and Microsoft Launch Wireless Internet Trials

BT and
Microsoft announced
Wednesday that they are starting a trial of wireless
Internet services with four major corporate customers.

The trial, which starts this month, will involve around
1,000 mobile phone users in the UK and Norway. It is being
conducted with users at the BBC, Credit Suisse First Boston,
KPMG LLP and Nortel Networks, with help from business partner
Telenor Mobil.

During the trial, users will test sending and receiving email,
accessing personalised web content and using Microsoft Exchange
based calendaring — all from their mobile phones. BT and
Microsoft recently signed development agreements with France-based
Sagem and Korea-based Samsung, both leading manufacturers of
mobile equipment.

“Through this important collaboration, BT and Microsoft will
enable their corporate customers to use vital computing and
Internet-based business applications whilst on the move,” said
Sohail Qadri, BT’s director of mobility.

“For the first time, it will be possible for these companies
to use mobile handsets to send and receive emails and operate
an electronic diary working directly into a corporate server
in real-time.”

Qadri noted that the global mobile data market has a 75 per
cent compound annual growth rate and is expected to be worth
over $80 billion by 2005.

The latest trial follows successful internal tests by BT and
Microsoft, and is being conducted to assess the market and
gather feedback on how customers will actually use mobile data
services. The two companies say they are planning a “sizeable
commercial deployment” early next year.

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