Vodafone adds Lotus to mobile phone software suite

CIOL Bureau
New Update

Braden Reddall


LONDON: Vodafone Group Plc, the world's largest mobile phone operator, will

announce on Monday a partnership with IBM Corp to give British workers mobile

access to their Lotus Notes email.

The deal with Lotus, also a provider of calendar and directory services for

businesses, will be part of the British mobile phone group's OfficeLive

application server.

Vodafone struck a similar deal with rival US software group Microsoft in June

as it sets its sights on a goal of generating a fifth of its revenues from data

services by the end of 2004.


Mobile phone and software companies alike are battling to dominate the

emerging market to link office software and mobile devices as professionals

demand access to their office information anywhere, anytime.

"We see the business community not only as adopters, but mass adopters

for mobile data applications," Amit Pau, managing director of Vodafone

Multimedia, said in a telephone interview. Corporate customers make up one

million of Vodafone's 13 million customers in the UK, while Lotus is used by

around four million people in Britain.

Jeremy Wray, worldwide director of Lotus messaging & collaboration sales,

said about three-quarters of their European clients had expressed interest in

mobile access to applications, which could include consumer records for sales

people or daily schedules for employees on the move.


Wray said Lotus OfficeLive was principally aimed at existing Lotus software

users on fixed computers who did not already have access via a laptop. The

companies said the service will be available in the UK from the end of November

2001 with a view to subsequently rolling it out to other countries.

The Lotus OfficeLive service will cost between nine and 11 pounds per month

per user, dependent on the number of users, they said. Microsoft said in June

its OfficeLive service would cost five pounds per month per user, plus

additional air-time.

Vodafone and IBM first got together in November 2000 when IBM's Lotus

software was selected as an application for a Vodafone GPRS service in the UK.

(C) Reuters Limited.