AT&T, BT, Microsoft Team on Wireless Data Apps

STOCKHOLM (03/30/2000) - Microsoft Corp. today announced that it is teaming up with British Telecommunications PLC (BT) and AT&T Wireless Services Inc. to develop mobile data applications for high-speed wireless networks.

The three partners aim to jointly develop and deploy new wireless broadband Internet applications for both business and consumer users, building on and extending Microsoft's existing relationship with BT as well as the Advance alliance between AT&T and BT, Microsoft said in a statement.

For business users, the wireless data services will provide access to e-mail, calendaring, contacts and other corporate information, while consumers will be offered multimedia applications such as interactive games, e-books and music, Microsoft said.

To be based on Microsoft's software for mobile data services for deployment on AT&T's and BT's current as well as next-generation high-speed wireless data networks, the companies expect to start trials of the first services in the third or fourth quarter of this year, with commercial roll-out scheduled to follow soon thereafter, according to the statement.

A dedicated development team at Microsoft will create applications that are able to take advantage of the higher data rates of upcoming third-generation wireless network technologies to be deployed by AT&T and BT, the company said.

AT&T plans to build an EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) network, while BT and its international joint-venture partners will deploy UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) networks. Users of both network technologies will be offered global roaming and access to high-speed IP (Internet protocol)-based services, the statement said.

In addition, the plan also calls for the forthcoming applications to be capable of being deployed over AT&T's existing CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) and BT's forthcoming GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) networks.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080, or at http://www.microsoft.com/.

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