Net caching and web content supplier Inktomi has announced a number of partnerships and taken an equity stake in a wireless content provider to try to break into the wireless internet market.
The company has signed deals with Portal Software and Spyglass to jointly develop a billing system for wireless operators and use Spyglass's transformation tool for reconfiguring content to fit the format of a variety of mobile devices.
Inktomi has also teamed up with consultant Cap Gemini to help integrate these systems with service providers' existing offerings, and plans to bundle its technology with hardware from Sun Microsystems and Hewlett Packard to sell to service providers worldwide.
Swapnil Shah, Inktomi's director of new technologies, said: "Wireless internet is going to be a huge market that will be parallel to fixed line in terms of size, scope and infrastructure. It will take the internet to the masses, but this has to be supported by a good infrastructure."
Inktomi has also acquired an unspecified equity stake in Airflash and the two companies plan to jointly develop a wireless content system aimed at wireless operators wanting to build web portals that can be accessed by mobile devices.
Inktomi will integrate its portal content services, including directories and shopping sites, with Airflash's technology, which enables such content to be delivered over wireless networks. For example, consumers will be able to use their mobile phones to compare prices that have been compiled by Inktomi's web content service while browsing at so-called bricks and mortar shops.
The integrated system is due to ship in June and will branded by service providers under the Airflash powered by Inktomi moniker. Airflash's technology is already used by web portal Excite.com and Finnish mobile operator Sonera.
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