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Nokia teams with Fujitsu sub for wireless data

Shifty-sounding announcement doesn't entirely hide cunning plans

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Nokia has bought "certain research and development units" of Fujitsu's Teamware Group, but both parties are shadily non-specific about precisely what they are. The cellular giant is picking up a couple of units, totaling 70 staff, and "certain" (that word again) wireless information management software products. It's pretty clear what's going on here though, and as Nokia isn't by any means picking up the works from Teamware, there's probably a bit of alliance-firming going on in the background. Nokia has been involved in cellular data development for some time, and at some point in the near future it (and its friends in Symbian) is going to have to come up with some noisy counterblasts to MS-Qualcomm's Wireless Knowledge. Teamware has been piloting a server-based wireless Internet application, ByeDesk Link, in the US since last year, and intends to start a similar service in Europe this year. It's aimed at major companies, content providers, ISPs and "GSM-based cellular carriers" (our italics, Teamware's words). ByeDesk seems to do similar wireless data things to those offered by Wireless Knowledge's Revolv, but it's multi-platform (Palm is included), GSM, and isn't dependent on MS BackOffice at the server. So it's on the other side. But ByeDesk itself is not part of the Nokia deal, so we can presume Nokia is picking up server end and infrastructure-type technology and expertise that is associated with it. The two companies will no doubt co-operate closely (they're awfully chummy anyway) in the rollout of ByeDesk and similar in Europe later this year. ®

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