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Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson, Siemens Support XHTML for Mobile Services

In an important step forward in combining all competing markup languages in a common standard, Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson, Siemens and other industry leaders have today announced their support for the XHTML markup language (Extensible Hyper Text Markup Language) as the format for mobile Internet services.

The support for XHTML has the promise of narrowing the gap between wired and wireless content as well as a vehicle to speed up the creation of new applications and services.

"By bringing together all the necessary components to provide top-notch solutions for our customers via XHTML, we'll be able to merge the best of the Internet and mobile worlds," said Leif Soderberg, senior vice president and head of strategy, Motorola's Personal Communications Sector. "XHTML will provide new opportunities for all of us to provide a robust environment for application service creation while allowing for a graceful technology evolution for Motorola, our customers and our partners."

As a natural evolution of the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), XHTML can bring the WAP- and fixed Internet (WWW) worlds together.

"With XHTML, we now have a unique opportunity to start creating and implementing visually appealing, yet backward WAP-compatible services that will satisfy the requirements of the future as well as ensure a smooth evolution path for current services," said Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Nokia.

XHTML's cascading style sheets will give the ability to easily tailor content for different handsets and offer many of the elements necessary to create a GUI for services. They also provide the means of bringing to the mobile Internet the vast amount of content presently available on the "fixed" WWW.

"XHTML will give us the opportunity to merge content from the fixed internet world with the mobile phone world in an easy way," said Trond Wiborg, Vice President of Telenor Mobil, Norway. "The challenge, based on use of standard style sheets, will be to tailor content specifically for different handsets from the huge amount of content from the fixed Internet.

In addition to handset manufacturers and mobile phone operators, a number of other companies have announced plans to launch XHTML services, application technology and content creation tools. Accenture, Adobe, AOL, CNN, Macromedia, Sabre, Sun Microsystems, Vodafone Group, Orange, Radiolinja, Sonera, DNA, Telenor, Netcom, T-Mobil, TIM (Telecom Italia Group), RadioMobil and EuroTel Praha are expected to support XHTML with their products and services.

"We commend these industry leaders for making this commitment to XHTML, which is the next step in making the broader web available wirelessly," said Richard Siber, Accenture, partner, Communications & High Tech. "In order for the wireless industry to realize the true benefits of content, the entire power of the Web needs to be unleashed to the developer community. Ultimately, this platform begins to eliminate the challenges that the burgeoning mobile data industry has experienced to date."