IBM India puts $113M into mobile communications

IBM is allocating $113 million to research in mobile communications over the next five years.

The company is investing to create technology in its labs that will bring simple, easy-to-use services to people who no longer use their PCs as the primary way of accessing the Internet, and instead use their mobile devices for managing large forces of enterprise field workers, conducting financial transactions, and for entertainment, shopping, and other activities. Mobile broadband has increased more than 850 per cent over the last couple of years.

A lot of the research is likely to focus on technologies for emerging markets as in these markets mobile phones rather than PCs have become the preferred Internet access device, a spokesman for IBM Research in India said on Wednesday.

The new research initiative is being led by Guruduth Banavar, who is also director of IBM India Research Laboratory.

Research on mobile communications will be done across all of IBM’s research laboratories, the spokesman said.

The India lab has worked on a number of mobile communications technologies including “Spoken Web” that enables local communities to create and disseminate locally relevant content, and interact with e-commerce sites using the spoken word over the telephone instead of the written word.

The pilot for this technology has already started.

The “Spoken Web” technology aims to create a world-wide telecom web of VoiceSites, which can be thought of as websites accessible over voice, and which are situated on a telephony network rather than the Internet, Banavar said in an interview in September.

In another research project, IBM Research Lab in Haifa is working with Taiwan Mobile, a telecommunications services company in Taiwan, to analyze customer information and get business intelligence based on evolving user preferences, users context and transaction history.

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