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Industry Leaders Form Wireless Village Initiative

SINGAPORE -- Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia have established Wireless Village, the Mobile Instant Messaging and Presence (IMPS) initiative, to define and promote a set of universal specifications for mobile instant messaging and presence services, as well as create a community of supporters for the Wireless Village.

A program of the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (IEEE-ISTO), Wireless Village is open to participation from industry supporters interested in providing early comments on and building interoperable implementations of these specifications.

The specifications will be used for exchanging messages and presence information between mobile devices and services, and Internet-based instant messaging services. The protocol will be optimized for the requirements of mobile devices and wireless networks.

In a joint statement, the founding members of the Wireless Village observed that instant messaging is rapidly evolving to include rich multimedia content, such as audio and video clips, and images with traditional text messaging.

Presence services enable users to subscribe to "buddy lists" and participate in private or public chat rooms with search capabilities. Network operators will also be able to provide meeting and conferencing services with shared content.

The Wireless Village initiative will deliver an architectural specification, protocol specifications, and test specifications and tools for mobile IMPS. It will also define procedures and tools for testing conformance and interoperability of mobile instant messaging and presence services.

The instant messaging specification will be based on prevalent bearer protocols and other standards such as SMS, MMS (multimedia messaging services), WAP, and XML. This service will include security capabilities for user authentication, secure message transfer and access control. These specifications will be applicable to existing 2G, new 2.5G (such as GPRS) and emerging 3G wireless network technologies.

According to the founding members, the Wireless Village initiative intends to publish the specifications by the end of the year. In addition, the initiative intends to sponsor interoperability demonstrations of mobile devices and wireless services that support the specifications. Other industry leaders can join as supporters of the Wireless Village initiative. More information is available at www.wireless-village.org.