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IBM Offers 'Speedy' Introduction of Next-Generation Wireless and Telecom Services

New Framework Cuts Development Time from Months to Weeks

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CANNES, France & WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - 19 Feb 2002: IBM today announced the introduction of its Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE).

An open-standards based framework, SPDE gives wireless and wireline telecommunications service providers the flexibility to introduce new voice, text and Internet-based services to their customers faster, easier and at lower cost.

With SPDE, new services are created and managed independently of the underlying network and can be delivered to virtually any computing device that allows the delivery of data. Based on extensive work with partners and customers at IBM Network Innovation Labs, SPDE's integration capabilities and partnering programs enable easier introduction and modification of content, applications and location-based services and their supporting processes. Examples of thesesupporting processes include; billing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), provisioning, assurance, and resource management.

"Telecom service providers for years have been seeking a core IT infrastructure that not only offers scalability, availability and security but is also flexible enough to allow them to interface new systems for supporting market changes and to quickly introduce new services," said Karl Whitelock, Stratecast Partners program director, OSS competitive strategies and analysis. "With the proliferation of new devices and new access channels, these companies need an environment that is device and network agnostic. Solutions such as the IBM Service Provider Delivery Environment are well positioned to address such needs."

SPDE encourages fluid integration of new capabilities and processes with the rest of the existing IT infrastructure through an open hub and spoke integration approach. This can cut development times for new services from months and years, to weeks or even days, enabling service providers to react quickly to changes in the marketplace. SPDE also helps to create new revenue opportunities by opening up service creation and management to third-party application vendors.

The IBM Service Provider Delivery Environment creates a comprehensive delivery and management architecture for content and applications through multiple transport environments without significant modification. It is based on open IT and telecom standards and is designed to take advantage of telco industry standards such as Parlay and OMA (Open Mobile Architecture) as they emerge, as well as key emerging Internet standards such as UDDI, WSDL, and SOAP that are key to delivering Web Services.

Based on SPDE, Far EasTone Communications (FET), Taiwan's leading convergence wireless service provider, today announced the launch of its Common Service Platform (CSP). The platform allows customers to access services through a variety of access channels, including Short Messaging Service (SMS), Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), with different devices. CSP reduces application development efforts by 40 percent and significantly speeds time-to-market for services by concealing the complexity of different access and core networks and providing a single access point. In addition, CSP has a built-in mechanism to implement revenue sharing for new services between FET and third party applications providers.

"Many telecom services today are tied to proprietary platforms that are difficult to create and modify. As they roll out innovative new services over existing and next-generation networks, they face two main challenges," said Rich Stomp, vice president, IBM's Global Telecommunications Industry. "First is the ability to respond quickly to dynamic changes in demand for new applications. Second is to deliver the level of service that ensures a customer's experience is second to none. SPDE addresses both issues by offering an open, flexible architecture that is robust, scalable and secure."

Both IBM's Network Innovation Labs and WebSphere, IBM's e-business infrastructure middleware, are central to the SPDE framework. SPDE incorporates WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Telecommunications Application Server, IBM CrossWorlds, WebSphere Everyplace, WebSphere Portal and WebSphere MQ Integrator. All of these products enable software developers to write Java-based applications that are operating system and hardware agnostic, lowering development costs, speeding time to market, and enabling service providers to more easily integrate applications and business processes.

Today's announcement complements an agreement between IBM and Ericsson announced yesterday. At its PartnerWorld conference in San Francisco, the two companies announced a wide-ranging agreement to link IBM's Development Center for Telecom and e-Business with Ericsson's Mobility World Center to help developers test and deploy mobile applications that connect to any telephone network.

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