With mobile phones now outnumbering traditional land-line telephones, IBM said June 17 it plans to invest $100 million over the next five years in research relating to advanced mobile services for businesses and consumers. IBM said its objective is to bring simple, easy-to-use services to the millions of people who have bypassed using the personal computer as their primary method of accessing the Internet.
The three focus areas for IBM's research investment are mobile enterprises, emerging market mobility and enterprise end-user mobile experiences. Analytics, security, privacy, user interface and navigation will be concentrated on across the research effort.
"Mobile devices are gradually becoming ubiquitous and helping us transcend many boundaries-geographical, economic and social, among others," Guruduth Banavar, IBM's global leader of the mobile communications focus and director of IBM Research-India, said in a statement. "With high penetration, simple user interface and significant cost advantage for end users, mobile telephony holds the future of communication and exchange of information for the enterprise."
According to IBM's Institute for Business Value, the number of mobile users will grow by 191 percent from 2006 to 2011 to approximately 1 billion users. IBM said low-cost, high-bandwidth wireless access and PC-like information processing power are accelerating the promise of the mobile phone as a compelling platform for accessing information services.
"Mobility and the associated analytics will change virtually every enterprise business process," said Paul Bloom, chief technologist for IBM Telecom Research. "It will change the relationship between enterprises and their customers, their employees, and their partners, enabling them to do business in more intelligent, efficient ways."