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Ericsson Deploys First Wireless Village IM Service

Ericsson said an unnamed mobile operator is now using its Wireless Village-based Instant Messaging and Presence Services (IMPS) solution -- the world's first commercial deployment, according to the mobile handset and technology developer.

An Ericsson spokesperson said the company is keeping the European operator's name confidential until it begins its marketing campaign, which is expected in the upcoming weeks. The European wireless provider operates second-generation (2G). 2.5G and third-generation (3G) networks, Ericsson also said.

Ericsson's IMPS 2.0 service is based on the open standards of Wireless Village. It lets users view other users' presence, send and receive instant messages and join community chats on their mobile handset. The solution also enables users to start their own wireless communities, regardless of device or network.

By deploying Ericsson's IMPS solution based on open standards, mobile operators can resolve the interoperability issue of today's proprietary instant messaging systems. Ericsson IMPS allows mobile operators to offer advanced instant messaging and presence services across handsets, mobile devices and desktop clients -- independent of device manufacturer.

Ericsson said it has already seen strong operator demand for advanced messaging and presence enabled services. The IMPS service includes advanced handsets with both downloadable and embedded clients for improved user experience.

"Our commitment to IMPS solutions further strengthens our leadership position in multimedia messaging, where Ericsson is the clear leader with more than 30 commercial agreements and more than 90 MMS trials at operators' sites worldwide," says Jan Lindgren, Vice President, Mobile Internet Solutions, Ericsson. "Integration of IMPS and MMS is an important part of Ericsson's messaging strategy."

The IMPS 2.0 includes not only embedded and downloadable clients, but support for legacy clients as well -- to let wireless carriers deploy the solution in existing networks and to existing subscribers.

The Wireless Village Initiative was formed last April by Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia to define and promote a set of universal specifications for mobile instant messaging and presence services. The group, which is merging into the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), said last July that its new version 1.1 specification includes four primary features: presence, instant messaging, groups and shared content.

Bob Woods is the managing editor of InstantMessagingPlanet.