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IBM, Nokia team on corporate wireless

IBM and Nokia unveil a variety of wireless products and services aimed at the extending companies' tech infrastructure to mobile devices.

IBM and Nokia on Tuesday unveiled a variety of wireless products and services aimed at the extending companies' tech infrastructure to mobile devices.

The new products and service are built on IBM's Wireless Enterprise Delivery Environment, an open standards-based wireless e-business framework, as well as on its WebSphere infrastructure software. The products and services are designed to work on specific Nokia mobile phones and devices, allowing them to access e-mail and address book information, synchronize calendars and access certain back-end applications.

Similar to the IBM alliance, Nokia additionally announced that it will also work with Oracle to bring the software maker's Collaboration Suite to mobile devices.

The two companies demonstrated the new business tools at the 3GSM World Congress, which runs through Friday in Cannes, France. They hope the products and services will provide compatibility with legacy systems, a strategy designed to allow companies to build on their existing IT investments.

IBM and Nokia also announced plans to jointly develop services using Nokia's mobile devices, including the Nokia 6800 and Symbian-based devices such as the Nokia 9210i Communicator. IBM said it intends to develop its WebSphere Everyplace Access client for the Symbian operating system.

Symbian, backed by Nokia, Motorola and other wireless leaders, is one of several operating systems that helps create phones that blend the functions of cell phones and personal digital assistants. Symbian's rival in the operating system market for smart phones is Microsoft, which has its own family of smart phone software.

The latest trend is to let workers use their mobile devices to connect to servers running Web services. IBM and Nokia each began to focus on the strategy late last year. IBM in November unveiled a set of programming tools, its Web Services Toolkit for Mobile Devices, specifically designed to bring Web services to mobile devices.

Around the same time, Nokia released several tools and interfaces aimed at giving cell phones a greater role within corporations. Some of the tools are designed to enhance security for workers connecting to corporate networks remotely, while others are meant to help manage privacy.

Separately, Nokia and Texas Instruments announced Tuesday that they have extended their relationship to improve how the Nokia Series 60 Platform, a software for smart phones that Nokia licenses to other mobile-handset makers, works with TI's OMAP application processors.