NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 8, 1999 — British Telecommunications plc (BT) and Microsoft Corp. today announced a global agreement to develop a new range of Internet, intranet and corporate data services for mobile customers around the world.
For the first time, these services will allow mobile users outside North America to access securely the broad range of Microsoft® Internet and corporate applications, on which they rely in the office and at home. Customers could, for example, access applications such as e-mail, calendaring, personalized Web content and online information services using their digital mobile phone, pager or handheld or laptop computer.
Trials are scheduled to begin in the United Kingdom this spring, with services expected to become available in several countries by early 2000. Under this agreement, the new services will be developed and marketed worldwide by BT and Microsoft, and offered by Concert Communications Services, BT’s global communications company.
As part of this agreement, BT will accelerate the development and deployment of Internet-standards-based wireless services by selecting Microsoft microbrowser technology for manufacturers’ handsets. In addition, BT and Microsoft will work together to drive development of future Windows® CE operating system-based wireless products.
“BT’s mobile networks currently serve more than 13 million customers in 10 countries. Through Concert Communications Services we reach more than 40 countries outside North America,”
said Andy Green, group director of strategy and development at BT.
“BT’s global partnership with Microsoft bridges the divide between computing and mobile communications, enabling customers to see what they want on the phone. Our mutual goals are to meet the needs of those who need to communicate on the move, allowing them to be reachable and remain connected to vital information at all times.”
As part of the trial, BT and Microsoft will create data centers based on Microsoft’s end-to-end, standards-based platform for wireless services. The Microsoft platform consists of the Windows NT® operating system, its Internet Information Server services and Microsoft Exchange Server. Microsoft’s leading enterprise messaging and collaboration solution, Exchange Server, will provide the core of the wireless e-mail and data services offered by BT and Concert Communications Services. Exchange’s native support for Internet standards and tight integration with Microsoft Internet Information Server Web services makes it ideally suited for wireless access and unified messaging technologies.
“Microsoft is committed to deploying Internet-standards-based services, such as the Microsoft Exchange and microbrowser technology demonstrated today at Wireless ’99, and by working with industry partners to provide a worldwide, end-to-end wireless solution,”
said Paul Maritz, group vice president, Microsoft.
“We are excited that by working with BT and Concert Communications Services we can bring this vision closer to reality by extending services to more than 40 countries.”
At launch, Microsoft and BT will provide systems integration services, including testing, interface development and managing customer trials. The companies will also offer extensive training programs to increase awareness of the productivity benefits of wireless data access.
Note to Editors
The first service offerings following trials this year are expected to include e-mail, calendaring contact list and basic Web information services through the Internet, along with access to Exchange-based corporate networks. Additional features and personalized services will be added over time. Data centers will support access from a broad range of devices, including
phones, four-line digital phones, pagers, Windows CE-based Handheld and Palm-size PCs, and Windows 98- and Windows NT-based desktop and laptop computers.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
British Telecommunications plc is one of the world’s leading providers of telecommunications services. With a market capitalization in excess of 60 billion, it is one of the largest private sector companies in Europe. Its principal activity is the supply of local, long distance and international telecommunications services and equipment in the United Kingdom, serving
27 million exchange lines. International direct-dialed telephone service is available to more than 200 countries and other overseas territories, covering 99 per cent of the world’s 800 million telephones.
BT is expanding its presence overseas rapidly and has operations in more than 30 countries worldwide, with joint ventures in the Republic of Ireland, France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and India. Concert, a wholly owned subsidiary of BT, is based in the United States and develops advanced networking services for global companies. Today, Concert’s intelligent network platform provides an array of global telecommunications services to more than 4,400 companies in over 50 countries.
In July 1998, BT announced the formation of a $10 billion (U.S.) global venture combining its trans-border assets and operations with those of AT & T and developing an intelligent Internet Protocol (IP)-based network, which will support services such as global electronic commerce, global call centres and new Intranet-based solutions. The joint venture, which includes Concert, is expected to be completed during the second half of 1999.
In the last financial year (1997-98), BT’s turnover was 15,640m with a pretax profit of 3,219m.
Microsoft, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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