C&W, Nokia team up on wireless app hosting

Cable & Wireless (C&W) and Nokia yesterday announced plans to jointly deliver global hosting for mobile internet applications and services.

The goal of the cooperation is to provide the infrastructure upon which mobile operators, ISPs (internet service providers) and large corporate customers can quickly roll out wireless internet services, without having to invest in their own hosting centres, C&W said in a statement.

The London-based telecommunications carrier will provide hosting services through its international network of data centres that are connected via a global network with a backbone based on IP (internet protocol), while Nokia will contribute applications and system integration services.

C&W in May announced the completion of the first phase of a planned $US3.5 billion global IP network, to which the data centres are linked.

Most of the applications and services, ranging from information retrieval and location-based services to mobile commerce applications, will be tailor-made to meet customers' requirements, said Arja Suominen, vice president of communications at Nokia Networks, the Finnish company's network equipment division.

"Providing systems integration and total systems solutions will take Nokia one step higher in the value chain," said Suominen. "But we will not become a service provider; we will only offer the application platform for building services."

Although mobile operators and ISPs are expected to make up the bulk of the customers, Suominen noted that major corporations also are increasingly showing interest in taking advantage of wireless internet applications.

The agreement between C&W and Nokia is nonexclusive, but Suominen declined to comment on prospects for Nokia entering into similar alliances with other network operators.

C&W said it expects to begin offering the first wirelessiInternet hosting services later this year, initially to its European customers from its new data centre in Swindon, which is scheduled to open next week.

US customers will be served from data centres in Reston, Virginia, which opened last November, and a forthcoming facility in Santa Clara, California, scheduled to open later this year, while services for customers in Asia will be hosted at data centres in Tokyo and Osaka, C&W said.

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