Cisco, Motorola Build Wireless 'Net

Cisco Systems and Motorola said yesterday that they will jointly invest $US1 billion over the next four to five years to develop and deliver a global wireless Internet architecture.

As the first step, the companies will develop a "New World" framework for Internet Protocol-based wireless networks aimed at uniting different standards for wireless services worldwide, company officials said yesterday during the Wireless '99 trade show in New Orleans.

The architecture is expected to work across existing wireless standards, including GSM (global system for mobile communication), CDMA (code division multiple access) and TDMA (time division multiple access) that will allow devices that can be used anytime and anywhere worldwide, the officials said.

The alliance is designed to create an open Internet-based platform for integrated data, voice and video services over cellular networks, that could help to jump-start a new category of advanced products and services. The alliance is not exclusive and officials from the companies said that their plans already are drawing industry support.

"The really important part is the openness of this," said Don Listwin, Cisco's executive vice president.

In addition to a joint investment of $1 billion over four or five years, the two companies also plan to cross-licence technology and develop complementary products, as well as jointly set up four "Internet Solutions Centres" that will encourage third-parties to develop and create new wireless services and products.

A white paper on the architecture is expected to be released in May, with services being rolled out within the next few months, Listwin said.

Advanced wireless services can be anticipated and will include offerings such as integrated messaging and easier methods for using credit cards to pay for things such as cab fare, which now often involve a laborious process to authorise the transaction.

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