Vodafone AirTouch Selects IBM to Launch Global Internet Portal for Wireless Services

Vodafone AirTouch today announced that it has selected IBM to design, build, manage and run a global Internet portal for wireless devices. These will include mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) from Nokia, Ericsson, Palm Computing and other leading companies. In addition, IBM will integrate applications and content from leading e-businesses such as Charles Schwab, Sabre, Travelocity.com and InfoSpace.com.

    This wireless Web portal is expected to be launched in July 2000 in Australia, Europe and North America. The Web portal will enable business and individuals to access the Internet through wireless devices using customized browsers, facilitating a full range of e-business capabilities.

    "We estimate that by 2003, more people will be connecting to the Web via a wireless device than through PCs," said Doug Elix, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Global Services. "IBM is helping companies around the world connect to the Internet through new types of devices as securely and reliably as being directly connected to a corporate network."

    "Wireless networks, such as the one from Vodafone AirTouch, combined with IBM's enterprise strength software and services, have the potential to connect to devices such as vehicles, appliances and vending machines. This capability, which IBM calls `pervasive computing,' is essential for business-to-business and business-to-consumer wireless services," Mr. Elix added.
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