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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