RealTime IT News

Ericsson, Microsoft Launch Mobile Internet Venture

[London, ENGLAND] Ericsson and Microsoft officially launched Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB on Monday, a new mobile Internet company headquartered in Sweden with regional centers around the world.

Ericsson owns 70 percent of the new venture; Microsoft 30 percent. Its formation has already been cleared by the European Commission, enabling it to begin operations immediately.

Headed by Ericsson's Ulf Avrin, Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture will develop solutions allowing mobile operators to offer mobile e-mail, calendar, and personal information management services to both corporate and consumer markets.

"Mobile e-mail should be as easy as talking on a mobile phone, which is basically what we will help the mobile operators deliver to their customers," said Avrin.

Avrin added that there is broad recognition that mobile e-mail is one of the key applications needed to create a mobile Internet mass market. He said the new venture was already in discussions with leading operators who were showing a strong interest in the types of solution under development.

Speaking on behalf of Microsoft, Paul H. Gross, senior vice president of the software giant's mobility division, said the vision was to work with mobile operators to provide knowledge workers and consumers faster and easier access to mobile e-mail and other mobile data services.

Lars Boman, Ericsson's vice president and general manager of Internet applications, said the venture was clear proof of the marriage between mobility and the Internet that is taking us into the new era of mobile Internet.

However, despite all the hype and the upbeat announcements, the era of the mobile Internet is still some way off, according to most independent observers. WAP has largely flopped while third generation technology has yet to be implemented. When it is, Microsoft and Ericsson are likely to be two of the very largest players.

The two companies say they will work jointly to support open standards and technologies such as Bluetooth, WAP and Universal Plug & Play (UpnP).

Further information about the new venture can be found at www.em-mobileventure.com.