System News
Vodafone AirTouch and Sun
Selects Sun and Sun-Netscape Alliance for Wireless Internet Platform
January 11, 2000,
Volume 21, Issue 1

Sun announced a far-reaching agreement with Vodafone AirTouch, the world's leading mobile communications company; Sun and the Sun-Netscape Alliance (the Alliance) intend to provide the technology for Vodafone AirTouch's new global wireless Internet platform.

Vodafone AirTouch and Sun have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent that is subject to further negotiation and the closing of a definitive agreement. The agreement, and the current Vodafone AirTouch relationship with Sun, could represent up to $500 million in value to Sun over a three year period.

The proposed deal calls for Sun to supply an end-to-end architecture -- scaling from handsets to the central and back office -- for the delivery of wireless Internet services to Vodafone AirTouch's customers worldwide. Vodafone AirTouch intends to deploy Sun's Netra carrier-grade and Enterprise servers and Sun StorEdge storage arrays running Solaris as the platform's foundation. The companies intend to implement Java technology -- the Java 2 Platform Enterprise and Micro Editions -- throughout the architecture to enable exciting and easy-to-use applications for mobile users.

Additionally, Sun intends to work with Vodafone AirTouch and its partners to develop mobile devices incorporating the Java 2 Platform Micro Edition, turning the cell phone into a personal network appliance for the world's consumers. This should enable Vodafone AirTouch to deliver secure anytime, anywhere access to information and services from a wide variety of devices via a simple, consumer-friendly interface.

The Alliance intends to provide Vodafone AirTouch with a wide range of iPlanet products, including infrastructure, communications and e-commerce applications software. Wireless users should benefit with convenient, device-appropriate access to these applications. They should save time with a single mail and calendar store, have the ability to manage information more easily with greater privacy, should have rapid access to new services and should have more choices at lower costs.

Sun also plans to help Vodafone AirTouch architect, integrate and deploy the Sun components of this next-generation technology platform through its Sun Professional Services organization.

Vodafone AirTouch is the world's largest mobile communications company serving more than 35.5 million proportionate customers in 24 countries on five continents and is the second largest UK FTSE company. Vodafone AirTouch is the UK's leading mobile operator with more than 7.94 million customers nation-wide. Vodafone AirTouch has led the market for mobile data and text messaging in the UK with more than 86 million text messages being handled during December.

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