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IBM pushing wireless through partnerships

The computing giant is stepping up its wireless efforts through partnerships, looking to sell to municipalities, hospitals and colleges.

IBM is advancing its wireless efforts through partnerships as it looks to sell software to cities, hospitals, colleges and big business.

The computing giant is working with partners on an array of wireless technologies, including WiMax and Wi-Fi, in an effort to supply potential customers with wireless equipment and service.

Wireless networks have also been popping up in isolated areas, such as airports, train stations and coffee shops, throughout cities. On a larger scale, Philadelphia is examining how to use wireless connectivity to provide its citizens with broadband access citywide. A number of other cities, such as New York, are also looking to install wireless networks to aid emergency response teams in communicating during a disaster. Service providers and carriers are planning to use wireless broadband technologies to extend broadband access to rural areas and to serve as backups in congested metro regions where wired networks may be over burdened.

Not wanting to be left behind, IBM says it will draw on its experience in wireline and wireless broadband to offer consulting, testing and security options to large customers.

IBM is also looking to play a role in developing new services, such as voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or location-based services, to become available over wireless networks.

Among IBM's partners are Airespace, Avaya, Cisco Systems, Intel, Lucent and Proxim for everything from equipment to service and software.