AT&T Wireless and Nokia agreed today to work together to develop a new line of mobile phones capable of high-speed Net surfing,
videoconferencing, streaming music and other next-generation features.
The two companies are looking down the road to the day when upgrades to the
wireless phone networks allow Web surfing at speeds far faster than today's
AT&T plans to upgrade its network beginning late next year to a
next-generation technology that should allow such activities as Web surfing
with full-color graphics or listening to MP3 songs online.
The new technology will send voice signals using Internet protocols, so
callers also will be able to surf while they're on the phone.
Like other carriers moving to one of several flavors of next-generation
wireless technology, Ma Bell is still in the process of pulling together
partnerships with phone makers and infrastructure providers. Several weeks
ago, the company announced a deal with Nortel Networks to work
together on a trial project for the fast Internet-based networks.
The deal with Nokia, the largest manufacturer of mobile phones, will help
boost AT&T's momentum as it moves toward the faster technology. The deal
will focus on developing "enhancements" to the basic next-generation
services, such as audio streaming and videoconferencing using the cell
phones, the companies said.
"This collaboration will help AT&T Wireless Services speed our time to
market with advanced products and services customers will demand in the
future," Rod Nelson, chief technology officer for AT&T Wireless, said in a