LONDON and REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 6, 1999 — British Telecom PLC (BT) and Microsoft Corp. today began the most extensive and ambitious trial of wireless Internet services ever, involving four of the companies’ corporate customers – British Broadcasting Corp., Credit Suisse First Boston, KPMG LLP and Nortel Networks – and business partner Telenor Mobil.
The trial, starting this month, builds on a BT and Microsoft agreement announced earlier this year to develop Internet, intranet and corporate data services for mobile customers around the world. It will involve about 1,000 mobile phone users in the United Kingdom and Norway.
Some of the tests will evaluate services that allow users to send and receive e-mail as well as access in real-time their Microsoft® Exchange-based calendaring, address list, personalized Web content and online information services from their mobile phones over established radio interfaces.
In support of this initiative, BT and Microsoft have signed development agreements with France-based Sagem SA and South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Company Ltd., two of the world’s leading mobile equipment manufacturers. Both companies have developed Web browser mobile phone equipment for use in the trial.
BT and Microsoft have worked with these manufacturers to integrate Microsoft’s operating-system-independent microbrowser into a number of mobile handset devices. Microsoft’s leading enterprise messaging and collaboration solution, Exchange Server, will provide the core of the wireless e-mail and data services, which are built using Exchange and Windows NT® Server with Internet Information Server (IIS) technology.
These trials follow a successful internal test and will help BT and Microsoft assess the market, gather detailed feedback on how customers will use emerging mobile data services, and prepare for a sizable commercial deployment expected early next year.
“Through this important collaboration, BT and Microsoft will enable their corporate customers to use vital computing and Internet-based business applications while on the move. For the first time, it will be possible for these corporations to use mobile handsets to send and receive e-mail and operate an electronic diary working directly into a corporate server in real time,”
said Sohail Qadri, director of mobility for BT.
“The Internet and wireless industries represent the growth engines of high technology, and BT and Microsoft are delighted to be supported by these customers and leading manufacturers. There is a demand for this type of service from both multinational and medium-sized enterprises. The global mobile data market has a 75 percent compound annual growth rate and will be worth more than $80 billion by 2005.”
“Microsoft is pleased to have a productive relationship with BT, enabling it to quickly roll out these first corporate trials,”
said Harel Kodesh, vice president of the Productivity Appliance Division at Microsoft.
“We look forward to the valuable customer feedback we will receive and are eager to work with BT to build on this experience and provide wireless data solutions for corporate customers worldwide.”
“Offering mobile data services to our customers is a top priority for us,”
said Knut Oppegaard, director of Value Added Services at Telenor Mobil.
“We are very eager to learn what this technology can contribute to our product portfolio and our bottom line.”
British Telecommunications plc is one of the world’s leading providers of telecommunications services. With a market capitalisation 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-dialled telephone service is available to more than 200 countries and other overseas territories, covering 99 per cent of the world’s 800 million telephones.
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.
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