IBM has launched a server and associated software tools aimed at the wireless market, and has chosen Europe as the testing ground for new mobile products and services.
The p640 server supports wireless applications as well as new versions of the company's WebSphere Everyplace middleware suite.
The software integrates functions for connecting wireless devices to web content and ecommerce applications. It includes a wireless gateway to support multiple wired and wireless networks and protocols, and a transcoding server to adapt existing web content for mobile devices.
The rack-mountable server is based on IBM's Power3-II copper processors and offers up to 16Gb of SDRam memory.
Michel Mayer, general manager at IBM's pervasive computing division, said the company already provides wireless infrastructure support to customers in Europe and plans to extend it "worldwide, with new servers, software and services that allow businesses to build web and enterprise applications for mobile devices".
Big Blue will initially test its technology and services in Europe because it believes the region to be 18 months ahead of the US in wireless internet usage.
Several service providers, including BT Cellnet, Telecom Italia, France's Avenir, and Holland's UniXS, have already pledged their support for IBM's middleware technology and services.
"In the next two to three years, I think we are talking about a $100bn market to enable the internet to be fully wireless, and we think IBM can address half that market," said Mayer.
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