FT, MSFT Unveil SOA, VOIP Initiatives

France Telecom and Microsoft announce service-oriented architecture (SOA) and VOIP initiatives as part of their strategic partnership

July 6, 2005

3 Min Read

PARIS -- On June 29th, 2005, France Telecom and Microsoft announced a strategic deal to co-develop innovative products and technologies that enable customers to benefit from the new opportunities of the digital world through innovative convergent services.

As part of this partnership, Didier Lombard, Chairman and CEO France Telecom and Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft Corporation are presenting the first two initiatives in this strategic partnership.

First, France Telecom and Microsoft will cooperate on a next generation service platform to enable aggregation and delivery of a wide variety of services, including voice, video and data. Digital convergence brings many new opportunities for users to utilize multiple devices across many different networks. There is a need for next-generation service platforms, for triple play and beyond, in order to evolve from side-by-side services, and provide users with a much richer experience, giving the liberty to combine TV, VoIP, IM, presence, content, and many other services simultaneously and with great flexibility.

This service platform, using the Microsoft Connected Services Framework, will provide a foundation for building and managing complex services using a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web service interfaces. France Telecom will aggregate, provision and manage a range of new converged services for consumers and business customers, to enrich and simplify their everyday life, regardless of network or device.

By bringing together services developed by France Telecom and Microsoft software, as well as a broad array of third-party offerings and content, France Telecom will be able to create new combinations targeting specific customer segments. France Telecom will be able to develop differentiated offerings that will attract new subscribers, build customer loyalty, and importantly, drive new revenue streams.

The second strategic initiative is a joint collaboration bringing many countries a series of feature-rich, easy-to-use voice-over-IP (VoIP) phones developed by France Telecom and based on Microsoft software:

  • LivePhone - the first WiFi broadband Smartphone developed by France Telecom for its Home segment - will be connected to the France Telecom home gateway (LiveBox) and services.

  • Homezone - developed by France Telecom - is a seamless service for communications on the move and at home, using a dual-radio GSM / WiFi mobile Voice Over IP device which will evolve to become a Smartphone based on the Windows Mobile platform.

As part of the partnership, France Telecom and Microsoft will develop new advanced features and applications, enabling mobile information workers and consumers to access a broad variety of applications and services on the go as well as at home. Both mobile voice-over-IP phones will be built using industry standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). Homezone will be compatible with Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA), technology promoted by France Telecom.

Didier Lombard, Chairman and CEO France Telecom today says: "With the NExT program and the ambition it defines, France Telecom aims to build the future of telecom services and to become the preferred telecom services provider, by harnessing the potential of information technologies on integrated fixed, mobile and internet networks. The partnership between the world's leading software company and France Telecom promises customers a New Experience of Telecommunications, with services that enhance their everyday life. "

Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft Corporation, today says: "This partnership demonstrates the commitment of both our companies to innovating and delivering the best services to customers. This is about accelerating convergence to provide consumers and enterprises with much richer and simpler experiences. Innovating together, we will deliver new digital devices and better integrated, end-to-end services that combine Microsoft's expertise in software with France Telecom's expertise in broadband and mobile networks."

France Telecom SA

Microsoft Corp.

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