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Motorola Snags 4thpass

Motorola acquired Seattle's 4thpass a maker of smart provisioning software for wireless platforms. Motorola plans to bundle 4thpass' Mobile Application System (MAS) into its J2ME technology product portfolio.

MAS from 4thpass is aready commercially deployed today around the globe, with such operators as Telefonica Moviles (Spain), Nextel, and LG Telecom (Korea). 4thpass MAS is also resold through value added resellers, which include Ericsson and Siemens.

The software is comprised of a Java download server -- a smart provisioning system to ensure the right applications are delivered to the right devices. J2ME technology was developed for low powered devices and enables users to add new applications to their devices. Since J2ME is an industry standard, the same software and applications can work on a variety of different devices.

MAS also gives operators multiple ways to bill for content, and advanced technology to validate applications and control how they behave on devices and on the operator's network. MAS manages and delivers J2ME applications and other mobile content over-the-air from operator networks to mobile handsets, allowing the mobile user to continually upgrade and personalize the applications, like wireless games, on their mobile device.

"By integrating 4thpass's proven download, billing, and provisioning technology into its portfolio, Motorola will extend its strategy to assist operators in deploying applications that measurably grow average revenue per user (ARPU)," said Scott Durchslag, Motorola's corporate vice-president for strategy and business development. "This deal illustrates how we are executing a three horizon growth strategy that invests internally and externally in capabilities that (1) strengthen our core handset business; (2) extend our core business into software and solutions; and (3) create growth options in emerging but strategically related spaces."

4thpass will operate as part of Motorola's Personal Communications Sector with major offices in Seattle.

The sale, which is subject to closing conditions, is expected to be completed in September. The acquisition follows a Motorola investment in 4thpass last year, made by Motorola Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of the global communications company. Other 4thpass investors include Investcorp, OVP Venture Partners and Nextel.

Matthew Peretz is managing editor of internetnews.com sister site allNetDevices.