The exclusive agreement calls forto use IBM as its exclusive provider of technology infrastructure on which to run its wireless application offerings, said IBM, a of Linux.
"What's most important is they said (they're) going to ask developers and system technicians to write the codes and applications to Linux instead of the proprietary platforms they used to," IBM spokesman Jim Larkin said.
"It marks a major change in the wireless industry," he said, "the acceptance of Linux by arguably the most formidable wireless (communications providers)."
Linux, the fast-growing operating system popular with businesses, is an operating system that provides an alternative to Unix and to Microsoft's dominant Windows software. It is a variant of the widely used Unix operating system that can be copied and modified freely.
The announcement came on the eve of the, taking place this week in New York.