Nokia, IBM sign deal on wireless services

ITworld.com |  Business

Nokia Corp. and IBM Corp. announced Tuesday a licensing deal and an agreement to collaborate in the development of software for the secure delivery of digital content over wireless networks.

Under the licensing deal, IBM will resell Nokia's delivery server, together with IBM content management and protection products as part of IBM's so-called Media Factory framework, the companies said in a statement.

The framework is based on a number of IBM core products, such as the EMMS (Electronic Media Management System) digital distribution suite and the WebSphere application server, which help companies create, store, manage and distribute digital content.

IBM's content management and protection products enable mobile service providers to offer services, such as Java-based games, digital images and polyphonic ring tones.

For richer content, such as music and movies, Nokia and IBM will collaborate on developing digital rights management and content protection technologies.

"The objective is to take content delivery over mobile networks to the next level in order to increase revenue streams for service providers, but this move will require standards," said Matti Vanska, director of server software sales at Nokia.

IBM and Nokia will work jointly and as members of the 200-member strong Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) to "ensure that enabling platforms are interoperable and agreed within the industry," Vanska said. "We want to push open standards and avoid technology fragmentation."

Launched in June, OMA is coordinating efforts to deliver open standards for the mobile industry.

Nokia will make its delivery server "OMA-compliant" as soon as the association agrees to specifications, according to Vanska.

Neither of the agreements between IBM and Nokia are exclusive, representatives from both companies said.

IBM, which will distribute the Nokia delivery server through its IBM Global Services unit, is working with other suppliers, said an IBM spokeswoman. And while the delivery server deal with IBM is the first of its kind for Nokia, the Espoo, Finland, vendor doesn't rule out similar deals with other companies, Vanska said.

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