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IBM Unveils Next Generation Mobile Technology

BellSouth Unit Uses Innovative Solution To Connect Handheld Devices With Corporate Networks

NEW ORLEANS - 08 Feb 1999: . . . IBM today announced the availability of IBM Mobile Connect, a pervasive computing technology that provides users of handheld devices and wireless phones with direct access to corporate networks. This end-to-end solution utilizes Palm OS or WinCE-based devices as network companions, connecting them to back-end systems through existing digital mobile phone technology.

Pervasive computing refers, in part, to an intelligent network combined with convenient easy-to-use devices such as PDAs, kiosks, screen phones and mobile phones to provide convenient access to relevant information.

IBM Mobile Connect manages the automatic exchange of data between handheld devices and corporate networks. Through this system, a handheld device can be used to execute basic communications such as e-mail and scheduling for corporate calendars. And, for the first time, these devices can provide direct access to corporate databases, enhancing efficiency and productivity for customized applications including order taking and inventory control.

BellSouth Mobility DCS, a subsidiary of the BellSouth Corporation, has been piloting Mobile Connect with its sales force. Using IBM Mobile Connect with handheld devices and GSM phones has allowed its sales people to connect with the corporate network for messaging and order taking from virtually anywhere.

"IBM Mobile Connect enables our sales force to use network resources while away from the office," said Bill Wheeler, regional vice president, BellSouth Mobility DCS. "The ability to take orders and communicate using a handheld has increased their ability to work with customers. And, using our existing GSM phones to connect to the network has allowed us to implement this solution easily. I am very excited about all the new possibilities available with IBM Mobile Connect ."

IBM's Mobile e-business solution comprises the following:

"Many of today's handheld devices require a connection to a PC for the exchange of information with a network, which limits their usefulness," said Randall McComas, vice president of marketing for IBM's Telecommunications Industry. "We're giving companies a way to leverage existing technology and extend e-business applications to mobile workers. By providing convenient and direct access to the network, Mobile Connect is an important step towards making pervasive computing a reality."

Today, IBM Mobile Connect users primarily link to the network via mobile phones connected by infrared or cable to the handheld device. IBM is also working on the Bluetooth initiative, which will embed transceivers in computing devices for wireless connections to digital cellular phones or directly to a network.

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM provides a wide range of services, solutions and technologies to the telecommunications and Internet Service Provider industries in more than 160 countries. For more information on IBM Mobile Connect or IBM's Telecommunications Industry visit http://www.ibm.com/solutions/mobile/">www.ibm.com/solutions/mobile/.

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Contact(s) information

Matthew Anchin
IBM
914-642-5377
anchin@us.ibm.com

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