RealTime IT News

Wireless Groups Consolidate Under One Umbrella

In a shrinking of wireless standards bodies, the Mobile Wireless Internet Forum Monday said it has fused its organization with the recently formed Open Mobile Alliance (OMA).

OMA is an extension of the open mobile architecture initiative supported by key industry segments, such as mobile operators, wireless vendors, IT vendors and content providers.

By contributing their efforts, the 26 member companies of MWIF (such as Sprint PCS, Vodafone, KDDI and Orange) say they will help the OMA move towards "a common goal of developing a universal services layer," to make sure wireless services and applications work together.

"The MWIF was very successful in its original mission of influencing the core network standards development organizations and educating the mobile Internet industry about the benefits of an open, Internet-style core network infrastructure," Dean Sirovica, Managing Director of Strategic Technologies at Vodafone R&D and President of MWIF told internetnews.com. "Once that part of our mission was complete, we turned to the development of mobile Internet services and application architecture as a way to make IP-based wireless networks commercially availabile. With OMA taking the initiative to consolidate the industries energies in the mobile application space, it made perfect sense to contribute our efforts."

Since January of 2000, Fremont, Calif.-based MWIF has established and maintained operator requirements; developed a loosely coupled distributed reference architecture; published six technical reports; facilitated a harmonization meeting between 3GPP and 3GPP2; and initiated various programs to educate the industry about the benefits of an Internet-style mobile Internet infrastructure.

MWIF's most recent achievement was working with Telcordia and Toshiba to demonstrate how new services can be delivered over an IP-based, loosely coupled, mobile Internet infrastructure.

The OMA consists of more than 200 vendors, software developers, content companies and telecoms, including America Online , AT&T Wireless , Bell Canada , Deutsche Telekom Mobilnet , Documentum , Hewlett-Packard , IBM , Microsoft and QUALCOMM

The group is working primarily on Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS), Java and WAP 2.0/XHTML browsing. OMA is also focused on other technologies driving the mobile services market including service enablers such as Digital Rights Management (DRM), authentication, location and presence identification and device management.

The OMA also pools resources from groups like the SynchML Initiative and the Location Interoperability Forum (LIF) to create universal mobile application programming interfaces (APIs) on the Java framework.

"MWIF's technical background and deep understanding of mobile and Internet applications will be a significant addition to the OMA," said interim OMA chairman Jerry Upton.