REDMOND, Wash., and LONDON, March 30, 2000 — British Telecommunications PLC (BT), AT & T Wireless Services Inc. and Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to cooperate in the wireless Internet industry to meet the needs of customers for mobile multimedia services.
The companies will collaborate to conceive, develop and deploy new wireless broadband applications for consumer and business markets around the world. Based on Microsoft’s platform for mobile data services, the applications will be capable of being deployed on BT’s and AT & T’s existing and next-generation high-speed mobile data networks. The companies expect to begin trials of some services this fall with commercial rollout planned for soon thereafter.
Microsoft will dedicate a development team to create the mobile applications that will take advantage of existing and future high-speed wireless data networks, including AT & T’s and BT’s future third-generation networks. AT & T will deploy the Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) network, and BT, together with its international joint venture partners, will deploy Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) networks. EDGE and UMTS will provide seamless global roaming capabilities and high-speed wireless Internet protocol (IP) services. The applications will also be capable of being deployed over AT & T’s existing Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) network and BT’s forthcoming General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) network.
Microsoft’s wireless data services platform will provide an end-to-end solution to allow a broad class of mobile devices to interact with carrier-provided services. Business subscribers using Microsoft’s wireless data services platform will have access to corporate information such as e-mail, calendar, contacts and other critical information while on the go. In addition, consumer subscribers will have access to wireless multimedia applications, such as interactive games, e-books and music. Because Microsoft’s platform supports open standards, application developers will find it easy to build additional service offerings.
Sohail Qadri, director of BT mobility, said,
“Applications are key to customers. By working with AT & T Wireless and Microsoft, we will provide our customers with advanced, innovative and higher-speed mobile Internet applications, giving them true multimedia capability while on the move. Together we will drive the growth of innovative services that have the potential to improve business competitiveness and make day-to-day communications much easier.”
“Our customers will be the direct beneficiaries of this exciting collaboration,”
said Kendra VanderMeulen, senior vice president of product strategy and development at AT & T Wireless Services.
“The rollout of our third-generation wireless networks will go hand-in-hand with the development and delivery of new applications, providing our customers with the ability to communicate in new and powerful ways as these services become available.”
“We are excited to team with BT and AT & T Wireless to offer innovative applications for Microsoft’s platform for mobile data services,”
said Paul Gross, senior vice president of mobility and server applications at Microsoft.
“This agreement enables BT and AT & T Wireless to benefit from our development resources and allows us to work with these industry-leading network operators to ensure that our platform will meet the needs of the carrier community looking to provide application-rich mobile data services.”
Today’s announcement extends the existing relationship between BT and Microsoft into the broadband mobile arena. BT and Microsoft have already announced that they are developing corporate and consumer mobile applications for use on existing mobile networks.
It also builds on Advance, the BT and AT & T alliance, aimed at creating seamless mobile communications services around the world. The Advance alliance represents approximately 48 million subscribers in more than 15 countries.
This initiative supports BT and AT & T’s plans to conduct the world’s first GPRS precommercial roaming trial with BT Cellnet, SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Ltd. of Hong Kong and Taiwan’s FarEasTone Telecommunications Company Ltd. in the second quarter of this year. The applications will also be developed for BT Cellnet’s forthcoming GPRS network, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, and Europe’s first commercial UMTS network, being constructed by BT and Manx Telecom Ltd. on the Isle of Man. The applications will work on these networks and will be offered to customers through BT’s mass-market global mobile portal, which will be launched this summer.
About AT & T
AT & T Corp. ( http://www.att.com/ ) is among the world’s premier voice and data communications companies, serving more than 80 million customers, including consumers, businesses and government. With annual revenues of more than $53 billion and 151,000 employees, AT & T provides services to customers worldwide.
About British Telecommunications
British Telecommunications plc is one of the world’s leading providers of telecommunications services. Its principal activities include local, long-distance and international telecommunications services, mobile communications, Internet services and IT solutions. BT is expanding its presence overseas rapidly and has operations in more than 30 countries worldwide, with ventures in the Republic of Ireland, France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Latin America and India. BT and AT & T have also created Concert, the leading global telecommunications company serving multinational business customers, international carriers and Internet service providers worldwide.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.