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Industry leaders announce commitment to open mobile architecture enabling a non-fragmented global mobile services market

Posted by WDN, November 14, 2001


AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, MM02, NTT DoCoMo, Telefonica Moviles, Vodafone, Fujitsu, Matsushita, Mitsubishi Electric, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Samsung, Sharp, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Symbian to commit to products and services based on open mobile architecture enablers

A number of industry leaders have today announced a commitment to create a global and open mobile software and services market. The initiative, launched by AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, MM02, NTT DoCoMo, Telefonica Moviles, Vodafone, Fujitsu, Matsushita, Mitsubishi Electric, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Samsung, Sharp, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Symbian, marks an important milestone as industry stakeholders come together to boost the early introduction of new, interoperable mobile internet access and visual contents downloading services worldwide, utilizing the GSM/GPRS evolution and coming 3G mobile telecommunications networks adopting WCDMA technology. By following consistent global and open standards, these industry leaders will be able to provide consumers with a wide selection of different competitive, yet interoperable terminals and services, and hence promote significant industry growth, and also aim to ensure that economies of scale are enjoyed throughout the industry.

The companies will conduct mobile software development in full compliance with the specifications of the key industry standardization organizations such as the 3GPP and the WAP Forum. The companies supporting the initiative will continue to actively participate in these standards bodies to expedite the acceptance and deployment of these specifications to fuel further industry growth. The scope of this industry initiative encompasses terminal client software modules for mobile terminal vendors, and the corresponding server solutions for mobile operators.

Doing this will offer mobile operators, systems integrators, IT suppliers, terminal manufacturers, and application developers new avenues of growth and revenue by enabling a multi-vendor ecosystem, which is built on open industry standards such as WAP2.0/XHTML, MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), SyncML and other 3GPP compliant technologies. Additional important component examples of the initiative include JavaTM technology and the Symbian OS.

AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, MM02, NTT DoCoMo, Telefonica Moviles, Vodafone, Fujitsu, Matsushita, Mitsubishi Electric, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Samsung, Sharp, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Symbian commit to products and services based on these enablers. They will form the foundation for an open mobile services architecture, which will benefit the whole industry as the fastest route to true global mass markets, offering equal growth opportunities to all parties in the value chain.

For consumers, open standards ensure genuinely competitive products and true freedom of choice. They will also enable consumers to retain control of their own information and services usage. An additional benefit is the intuitive common usability of the mobile services.

"This initiative is all about making sure that we stretch the market potential of future mobile services to the maximum. By starting this initiative, the industry leaders are coming together to realize the growth opportunity of the decade. Our sole aim is to enable a global and open mobile services market, which will assist people in building their own mobile world and give them active control of their own lifestyles and preferences. The lessons of the past have taught us a lot about what people want and how important it is to respect individual choices. An open and global services platform is of paramount importance for the industry in order to meet the expectations of our highly demanding customers and to boost innovation through independent software developers. Nokia will contribute to the creation of the services market by offering its client and server software for licensing as source code, openly and on equal terms," said Mr. Jorma Ollila, Chairman and CEO, Nokia.

"As an industry, we need to work together to define and develop a platform that will allow us to quickly enhance the wireless features and services we provide our customers," said Mr. Rod Nelson, chief technology officer for AT&T Wireless. "The continued success and growth for global wireless services hinges on the ability for companies to work from similar blueprints."

"mmO2 is supportive of initiatives that encourage industry cooperation and that target the universal advancement of mobile services. The focus of this initiative is to improve our ability to deploy revenue generating services to a broader base of customers. Progress in solving fundamental compatibility issues helps to pave the way for our shared success and ultimately the satisfaction and benefit of our customers," noted Mr. Kent Thexton, President, Genie and Chief Data & Marketing Officer of mmO2.

"NTT DoCoMo has launched the fully commercialized 3G service as of 1st October 2001. In order to accelerate the introduction of mobile internet access, mobile visual communications and other services for 3G networks based on W-CDMA technology, NTT DoCoMo is eager to cooperate with other key players in the mobile communications industry to elaborate protocols and mark-up languages based on a standards-compliant, open architecture. Through these activities, we will achieve early development and deployment of mobile terminals, infrastructure solutions and server equipment, and also strengthen relationships with content providers and enhanced user experience, contributing to increased worldwide demands for mobile multimedia." Dr. Keiji Tachikawa, CEO, NTT DoCoMo.

"This is the most exciting era for this industry and for our customers worldwide. The starting point must be common standards, on which we can build differentiated multimedia messaging and other value added services. Vodafone is well prepared and ready to offer its customers the best in the world set of services," said Mr. Thomas Geitner, Chief Executive Group Products and Services, Vodafone.

"Along with providing infrastructure systems for NTT DoCoMo's world's first W-CDMA commercial service, launched October 1, Fujitsu has been developing terminals and UMTS systems, and we have been actively engaged in related standardization efforts. In this regard, we believe the open mobile architecture has an extremely important role to play in promoting W-CDMA on a global basis, and we will enthusiastically participate in this endeavor," noted Mr. Naoyuki Akikusa, President & CEO, Fujitsu Limited.

Commented Mr. Yasuo Katsura, President of Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd: "We are excited to support the open mobile architecture. I believe that, for a healthy expansion of the wireless communications industry which is heading for full scale multimedia applications, it is mandatory to lay a ground for ubiquitous and interoperable services for the benefit of end users. Furthermore, open standard platform will surely increase the productivity and efficiency of all the people inside the value chain."

"Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has been expanding its mobile handset business worldwide and is now entering the transition stage from 2G to 3G technology. The standardization and harmonization of fundamental system architecture is very important to the wireless communications industry as it will help encourage related technology development build up demand in the 3G market. We are glad to endorse Mr. Ollila’s announcement and look forward to the immediate benefits it will bring. We expect this initiative will accelerate the introduction of new technology, which will bring a wide choice of new services that users can soon enjoy," said Dr. Ichiro Taniguchi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.

"For seventy-five years, Motorola has participated in standards and viewed them as the strategic high-ground, the way forward for the industry and consumers. We have a clear focus on supporting our customers in the convergence of wireless, broadband and the Internet. Motorola has made significant investments in the next generation of wireless software and IP, and as the opportunities increase in the world of wireless data, we are committed to increasing our efforts in leading the industry into the next phase of evolution by supporting open standards. Motorola recently demonstrated its leadership role in open standards with the introduction of the first Java-enabled phones in North America. We will continue to enhance this position by licensing a variety of software, smart solutions and services to our customers and industry partners," said Mr. Chris Galvin, Chairman and CEO, Motorola, Inc.

"Open standard is the driving force to develop mobile business. This initiative will motivate all players in the industry to share and deploy the standard jointly set by key players. NEC welcome this first and epoch-making step to establish open mobile platform, which benefits both end users and the industry. By leveraging technology assets based on the standard, NEC will be able to offer attractive products to fulfill the end user's needs," said Mr. Koji Nishigaki, President of NEC Corporation.

"Samsung is well prepared to work across the industry in order to achieve interoperable client and server software solutions based on open standards. We are fully committed to provide products based on open standards that will include WAP2.0/XHTML, SyncML and Multimedia Messaging (MMS) in order to accelerate worldwide deployment of advanced mobile services and facilitate the presentation of a wide variety of rich content across 2.5G and 3G devices," said Mr. Byung Duck Cho, Senior Vice President, Wireless Handsets, Samsung.

"Sharp will proceed to co-operate with other companies in order to work out a protocol and mark-up language for open platform, which will realize the internet access service and the imaging communication service in mobile terminals such as cellular phone and PDA. Sharp also hopes to contribute to expansion of demand and industry’s prosperity through the early development and worldwide diffusion of mobile terminals which are based on 3G mobile telecommunications network adopting W-CDMA technology," said Mr. Katsuhiko Machida, President of Sharp Corporation.

“Siemens is highly committed to globally standardize the mobile services architecture. We are convinced that for the successful introduction of innovative wireless services and solutions it is vital to have a common technological base. The prospect of interoperability would certainly encourage the development of the best possible applications – to the benefit of the customers of our industry”, said Mr. Lothar Pauly, Boardmember of the Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group.

"Sony Ericsson and Ericsson will continue to supply mobile platform solutions supporting open standards. It is Sony Ericsson's strategy to support and drive open technologies, as they are key enablers for the new, exciting mobile services industry. For consumers, it means easy access to fun and useful applications and the possibility to create, share and download images and other content. Expanding the unified applications market and fostering interoperable mobile technologies will mean new revenues for operators. We strongly support the evolution of messaging technology towards Multimedia Messaging, MMS. Furthermore, Bluetooth is instrumental for connectivity and the solutions based upon it are vital for new mobile multimedia applications to take off," noted Mr. Katsumi Ihara, President of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications.

"As we enter into the era of Mobile Multimedia, development of software for mobile handsets must continue to make advances. In this respect, we appreciate the significance of formulating an open architecture that assures high quality, reliable mobile phones, and fully support the aim of this announcement. Toshiba looks forward to participating in this activity," said Mr. Tadashi Okamura, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toshiba.

In addition to the companies mentioned above, numerous influential enterprises who represent various related industries have applauded the open mobile architecture for enabling a balanced global mobile services market. These include Sony Corporation and Symbian.

"Sony warmly welcomes and fully supports the open mobile architecture because of its commitment to create an open global standard for the mobile communication domain," said President and COO, Mr. Kunitake Ando, Sony Corporation. “The initiative’s approach is in line with Sony's own vision of developing exciting new network services and applications through collaboration with leading industry players in order to maximize value for consumers through open technology standards and device interoperability.”

"This initiative aligns the leading mobile industry players to transition to the next generation of data capable mobile phones. This will accelerate the delivery of advanced data services to Symbian OS phones based on open standards and thus fuel the growth of 2.5G and 3G markets," said Mr. Colly Myers, CEO, Symbian.

Additional supporters and elements of the open mobile architecture will be unveiled during the next months. Any parties interested in driving the development and adoption of next generation mobile communications through open and standards-based platforms are welcome to join the industry effort.

About AT&T Wireless

AT&T Wireless (NYSE: AWE) is the largest independently traded wireless carrier in the United States, following our split from AT&T on July 9, 2001. AT&T Wireless operates one of the largest digital wireless networks in North America. With more than 17.1 million subscribers, and full-year 2000 revenues exceeding $10.4 billion, AT&T Wireless is committed to being among the first to deliver the next generation of wireless products and services. Today, AT&T Wireless offers customers high-quality wireless voice and data communications services in the U.S. and internationally. AT&T Wireless Customer Advantage is the company's commitment to ensure that customers have the right equipment, the right calling plan, and the right customer services options -- today and tomorrow. For more information, please visit us at www.attwireless.com.

About mmO2

Following the completion of the proposed demerger from BT, mmO2 will have wholly-owned operations in the UK (BT Cellnet), Germany (VIAG Interkom), The Netherlands (Telfort), the Republic of Ireland (Digifone) and the Isle of Man (Manx Telecom) as well as Genie, a leading mobile Internet portal. mmO2 owns third generation mobile licences to operate next generation services in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands – all territories where its operating companies have already introduced GPRS services. mmO2 expects its Irish subsidiary to apply for a 3G licence in Ireland when the application process commences. mmO2 is the holding company of the mmO2 group of companies and O2 will be the brand of the customer facing businesses of mmO2 plc.

About NTT DoCoMo

NTT DoCoMo is Japan’s largest mobile communications company. In August 2001, the number of PDC cellular phones subscriber exceeded 38 million. It had consolidated sales of 4.6 trillion yen in fiscal 2000 (ended March 31, 2001). NTT DoCoMo was formed in July 1992 to take over the mobile communications operations and sales of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT). NTT DoCoMo provides nationwide services, including cellular and PHS phone, paging, satellite mobile communications, and maritime and in-flight telephone service. The company also has subsidiaries in the United States, Europe, and Brazil. In February 1999, NTT DoCoMo launched its “i-mode” service, which provides continuous connection with the Internet via mobile phones. As of October 2001, the number of i-mode subscribers exceeded 28 million. On May 30, 2001, NTT DoCoMo launched its W-CDMA based third-generation wireless service, “FOMA*” on an introductory basis. Following the termination of the introductory phase, NTT DoCoMo launched its fully commercialized FOMA service on October 1, 2001. NTT DoCoMo is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

*FOMA (Freedom Of Mobile multimedia Access) is the name used in Japan for NTT DoCoMo’s 3G service.

About Telefonica Moviles

Telefónica Móviles is one of the world's leading mobile telephony companies, with 27.8 million customers at the end of September, 2001, operations in 14 countries and a potential market of 434 million inhabitants. The company, which aims to become one of the top five global operators, is already leader in the growing markets of Spain and Latin America and is expanding selectively in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. Telefónica Móviles' shares are traded on the Spanish and New York Stock Exchanges with the ticker TEM.

About Vodafone

Vodafone Group Plc is the world's largest mobile telecommunications company with interests in 28 countries across five continents and approximately 95.6 million proportionate customers and more than 210 million venture worldwide. www.vodafone.com

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is a leading provider of Internet-focused information technology solutions for the global marketplace. Its pace-setting technologies, best-in-class computing and telecommunications platforms, and worldwide corps of systems and services experts make it uniquely positioned to unleash the infinite possibilities of the Internet to help its customers succeed. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 5.48 trillion yen for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001. Internet: http://www.fujitsu.com/

About Matsushita Communication Industrial

Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd., best known for its Panasonic brand products, is a principal subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., (NYSE: MC) and specializes in mobile communications area. One of the world's first 3G handset manufacturers for commercial services in Japan, in fiscal year 2000-2001 the company recorded consolidated sales of 1,060 billion yen (US$8.56 billion). For more information, visit http://www.mci.panasonic.co.jp/english

About Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

With 80 years of experience in providing reliable, high-quality products to both corporate clients and general consumers all over the world, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (FTSE: 6503q.l) is a recognized world leader in the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation and construction. The company has operations in 34 countries and recorded consolidated group sales of over US$33BN in the year ended March 31, 2001. Additional information on Mitsubishi Electric is available at www.mitsubishielectric.com.

About Motorola

Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT - news) is a global leader in providing integrated communications solutions and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 2000 were $37.6 billion. For more information, please visit the Motorola Web site at: http://www.motorola.com.

About NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation (NASDAQ: NIPNY) (FTSE: 6701q.l) is a leading provider of Internet solutions, dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of its customers in the key computer, network and electron device fields through its three market-focused in-house companies: NEC Solutions, NEC Networks and NEC Electron Devices. NEC Corporation, with its in-house companies, employs approximately 150,000 people worldwide and saw net sales of 5,409 billion Yen (approx. US$43 billion) in fiscal year 2000-2001. For further information, please visit the NEC home page at: http://www.nec.com

About Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductors, the consumer electronics industry, and digital convergence technology. With year 2000 sales of US $27 billion, Samsung Electronics employs approximately 48,000 people in 46 countries. The company is the world's largest producer of memory chips, TFT-LCDs, CDMA mobile phones and monitors and the fifth-largest manufacturer of mobile phones. Samsung Electronics consists of four main business units: Digital Media, Semiconductor, Information & Communications, and Home Appliance Businesses. For more information, please visit http://samsungelectronics.com.

About Sharp

Sharp Corporation is a worldwide developer of innovative products and core technologies that play a key role in shaping the future of electronics. As a leader in liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and digital technologies , Sharp offers one of the broadest and most advanced lines of consumer electronics, information products and electronic components, while also creating new network businesses. Sharp currently employs about 59,800 people in the world and recorded consolidated annual sales of over 2,012.8 billion yen for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001. For more information, please visit Sharp’s Web site at http://sharp-world.com/index.html.

About Siemens

The Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group (IC Mobile) offers the complete range of mobile solutions including mobile devices, infrastructure and applications. Devices include mobile phones, wireless modules, mobile organizers and cordless phones as well as products for wireless home networks. The infrastructure portfolio includes the complete range of GSM, GPRS and UMTS mobile network technologies from base stations and switching systems to intelligent networks, e.g. for prepaid services. Applications cover mobile services for Unified Messaging, Location Based Services, and Mobile Payment. For the fiscal year 2000 (which ended September 30, 2000), IC Mobile recorded sales of EUR 9 billion and EBIT of EUR 758 million. You can access further information about Siemens IC Mobile on the Internet at www.siemens-mobile.com

About Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications offers mobile communications products for people who appreciate the possibilities of powerful technology. Established in 2001 by Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson and Sony Corporation, the joint venture continues to build on the success of its two innovative parent companies. Sony Ericsson creates value for its operator customers by bringing new ways of using multimedia communications while mobile. The company's management is based in London, and has 3,500 employees across the globe working on research, development, design, sales, marketing, distribution and support.

About Toshiba

Toshiba Corporation is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer products and power systems. The company’s integration of these wide-ranging capabilities assures its position as an innovator in advanced components, products and systems. Toshiba has 188,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of over US$47 billion. Visit Toshiba's website at: www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm

About Symbian

Symbian supplies an operating system to the world's leading mobile phone manufacturers enabling them to create mobile phones which combine voice communications, wireless Internet access and computing functionality. Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Psion are already shipping Symbian OS based devices. Other companies developing next generation mobile devices on the Symbian OS include Kenwood, Motorola, Panasonic, Sanyo and Siemens. Symbian's website can be found at www.symbian.com

About Nokia

Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications. Backed by its experience, innovation, user-friendliness and secure solutions, the company has become the leading supplier of mobile phones and a leading supplier of mobile, fixed broadband and IP networks. By adding mobility to the Internet Nokia creates new opportunities for companies and further enriches the daily lives of people. Nokia is a broadly held company with listings on six major exchanges. www.nokia.com

Contact:
Valerie Breslow
AxiCom US
Direct: 954 761 9777
Mobile 954 673 5720
Email: vbreslow@usaxicom.com
Web: www.axicom.com


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