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The SABRE Group, IBM and Nokia team to create traveler service for enhanced mobile phone


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1 - 18 Mar 1999: . . . The SABRE Group (NYSE: TSG), IBM and Nokia today announced they are working on a real-time, interactive service - delivered via mobile phone utilizing the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), a new open industry standard for mobile Internet - that will allow travelers to initiate flight changes and even receive updates from airlines anywhere, anytime. The service will combine SABRE Business Travel Solutions, the company's online corporate travel purchasing system, IBM e-business technologies and the latest mobile communications technology and terminals from Nokia.

Whether a traveler has had a meeting rescheduled or is running late for a flight, this first-of-its-kind technology gives the ability to make new travel arrangements while on the road. Travelers can use the phone's graphical display to request flight details, change a flight or search for alternatives - from an office or hotel, or even on the way to the airport.

"This service demonstrates the forward thinking of these three companies and the next generation technology solutions specifically developed for travelers," said Sam Gilliland, senior vice president of SABRE Travel Information Network, a division of The SABRE Group, and general manager of SABRE BTS. "We continuously work to incorporate new technologies into SABRE BTS that provide business travelers more convenient access to their travel information. Wherever the business traveler goes, SABRE BTS will be there to serve them."

With this combined technology, The SABRE Group, IBM and Nokia will be able to manage and deliver information to business travelers anywhere in the world. When the SABRE system determines the currently scheduled flight has been delayed or cancelled, a message is sent to the traveler via the Nokia mobile phone. After receiving a message on the phone's graphical display, the traveler can make adjustments to itineraries as needed.

"Today's announcement illustrates the impact pervasive computing technology will have on everyday life, and its importance to the travel industry," said Greg Conley, general manager, IBM Global Travel and Transportation Industry. "IBM is developing and delivering the essential technology that will enable consumer devices, like mobile phones, to more easily and seamlessly communicate with remote networks. We plan to leverage that investment by working with other industry leaders, within and beyond the travel industry, to deliver a variety of end-to-end solutions."

Each of the three companies provides a critical element in the new service. The SABRE Group is developing the application code that delivers travel-related information and provides the ability to create and change travel bookings. IBM is providing the application development tools and specialized software, which translates the information from the SABRE system into a highly condensed form that can be sent to a mobile phone. In addition, IBM will provide project management, design and programming skills to the overall project. Nokia is providing the server through which the information is sent on the wireless network, as well as the state-of-the-art Nokia phones that will receive it.

"This important cooperation project is further proof of the wireless Internet coming of age through the adoption of the Wireless Application Protocol - an open industry standard that Nokia has had the privilege of creating among leading companies in the communications and information technology industries," said Pertti Lounamaa, vice president of Nokia Wireless Software Solutions, the Nokia business unit responsible for the development of Nokia WAP software technology. "We are especially pleased to be able to show travelers how Nokia, IBM and SABRE - leaders in their respective industries - together can implement solutions that really make a difference. Travel is all about mobility and with WAP-enabled mobile phones, a new era has begun."

The SABRE BTS software suite consists of integrated modules for travel booking, policy compliance, expense reporting and travel decision support. It gives business travelers a quick and easy way to make their own travel arrangements on their computers while complying with corporate policies. In addition, it enables corporations to track every travel dollar from pre-planning and purchasing to expense reporting and reimbursement - giving the potential to save as much as 30 percent in total travel management costs.

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