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Wireless Village Successfully Tests...Again

The Wireless Village industry initiative, which has successfully consolidated into the Open Mobile Alliance, said several of its member companies have successfully tested interoperability of enhanced features in version 1.1 of the group's specifications.

The Wireless Village initiative was founded to define and promote a set of universal specifications for mobile instant messaging and presence services (IMPS). The new set of specifications are to ensure interoperability of mobile instant messaging and presence -- the ability to tell if another user is online, and giving that user the ability to "announce" their electronic existence to authorized recipients.

The most recent round of testing, completed at the end of last month, focused on four primary features: presence, instant messaging, groups and shared content. The newest feature tested was the Group Management service element. Group or "chat" functionality lets both operators and end-users create and manage groups. Users can invite their friends and family to chat simultaneously in group discussions, while operators can build common interest groups where end-users in the mobile domain can meet each other online.

Specifically tested were login/logout, adding and deleting names from contact lists, confirming presence is properly indicated, sending and receiving messages and other group-related functions.

The interoperability testing was conducted between various mobile device clients and servers developed by several Wireless Village supporters. Participant companies included Comverse, Critical Path, Ecrio, Ericsson AB, Followap, Logica, magic4, MessageVine, Motorola, Nokia, Openwave, OZ Communications Inc., Peramon, Siemens, Sony Ericsson Communications AB, Webmessenger and Wiral Ltd. This represents a significant increase in the number of participant companies as compared to the last testing event, officials said. The successful testing focused on required features like login/logout, adding and deleting names from contact lists, confirming presence is indicated properly, sending and receiving messages and group related functions.

Besides the mandatory functionality, optional functions like support for 4-way login transaction and Presence Service Element functionality, as well as updating presence transactions and managing contact list transactions were tested.

Network support for the late September testing event was provided by Cingular Wireless, a Wireless Village Supporter.

Wireless Village's 1.0 specifications are now being used for exchanging messages and presence information among mobile devices, mobile services and Internet-based instant messaging services.

Wireless Village, meantime, has completed its goal of integrating into the OMA, which was first announced last June. The Wireless Village initiative's goals will continue to be carried out through the OMA's IMPS working group, officials said.

The OMA intends to create a single source for mobile Web service applications, and itself the result of a consolidation of the Open Mobile Architecture initiative and the WAP (wireless-application protocol) Forum. Also merging with the forum are the Location Interoperability Forum (LIF),the MMS Interoperability Group (MMS-IOP) and the SyncML Initiative.

The new consortium will pool resources from all of the older wireless groups to create universal mobile application programming interfaces (APIs) on the Java framework.

The Wireless Village initiative was founded in April 2001 by Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia.

Bob Woods is the managing editor of InstantMessagingPlanet.