NTT is putting is putting global partners in place, and AT&T will benefit from them because they have already deployed a successful technology, says Kelly Quinn, an analyst at the Aberdeen Group.
As an early developer of W-CDMA, NTT DoCoMo which counts KPN Mobile from The Netherlands, Telecom Italia Mobile from Italy, and SK Telecom from South Korea among its international alliances would reap rich rewards if the technology becomes a dominant third-generation force.
AT&T also hopes to benefit from NTT DoCoMos international influence. According to AT&T Wireless Services Vice President of Data Prodduct Development Tom Trinneer, AT&T Wirelesss arrangement with NTT DoCoMo will affect competition in relation to third generation standards and the use of I-Mode components in the U.S.
Relative to the third generation standard, we really believe that this act shifts the playing field in a pretty dramatic way, says Trinneer. We are moving down the GSM path in entirety to UMTS (W-CDMA) and we are doing that in association with DoCoMo.
The AT&T/NTT DoCoMo alliance gives current technologies in the GSM path a strong foothold in the U.S. and should substantially boost W-CDMAs base market. More users means better handsets, services and prices. Competitors that dont support these technologies would be marginalized.
For global business travelers using AT&T services, the switch to GSM means that they will be able to carry one phone almost all the way around the world (from Central Europe, across North America, to Japan). AT&T is already a dominant provider of business services and these new offerings will help the company maintain its position. AT&T also hopes to help NTT, which is currently more consumer oriented, provide business offerings for its customers.
AT&Ts Trinneer offers advice to CIOs: Today, every major software corporation has very serious wireless initiatives. Just like ever CIO gets a bi-annual or quarterly review from their major software providers, they should be asking hard questions about how their provider is going to take them wireless. For example: Ive got a legacy installation of product X, how will you get me to the next version, and how will I be able to wirelessly enable my workforce? They should be planning for that now.
There are already numerous possibilities for enabling a work force with wireless technology, but it is important to remember that the industry is still in its infancy. If CIOs want to move now, all of those providers have that capability, Trinner says. The early adopter types of corporate America are already doing this, either in small deployments, trials or in some cases tens of thousands of deployments.