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MS, BT, AT&T strike global wireless broadband deal

At last - Redmond scores a biggie

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One of the major deals Microsoft was hoping Bill Gates could announce in February was finally rolled out today - a triple alliance with BT and AT&T covering broadband mobile data. Microsoft's contribution will be its wireless data services platform, which will allow consumer and business applications to be deployed on AT&T's and BT's wireless networks. Effectively, the system will be a further development of the Microsoft-BT mobile data trials that have been taking place this year in the UK and Sweden. In Europe, BT and its partner networks will ultimately use UMTS broadband for the services, but in the run-up to this it'll use GPRS. In AT&T TDMA land, it'll use the existing Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) network, or the higher speed Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE). The net effect should therefore be, promises the announcement, "seamless global roaming capabilities and high-speed wireless IP services." Trials are intended to begin this Autumn. ®

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