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
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.