Vodafone and Nokia in Java software pact


26 Aug 2004

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Nokia and Vodafone have joined forced to form a mobile service architecture initiative to simplify Java standards by defining the next generation, open standards-based mobile Java services architecture.

By using the specifications, developers can create software that is easily portable from one Java-enabled mobile device to another. This will ultimately provide mobile customers with a wide choice of feature rich Java-based applications.

It is envisaged that the initiative will serve and represent the mobile value chain, including other leading mobile device manufacturers, mobile operators and IT companies.

The management framework of the mobile Java services architecture also includes security enhancements. It will support advanced remote platform and application management for enterprises and service providers by enabling delivery and management of software components to mobile devices over-the-air. This is expected to result in cost savings for mobile software maintenance.

Furthermore, it will offer business users and consumers an easy way to have the latest applications and services available on their mobile devices. The application platforms built on these specifications will enable new business opportunities for operators, enterprises, service providers, and device manufacturers.

The initiative will function and create its specifications within the Java Community Process (JCP). Earlier this month, the J2ME Executive Committee approved the first Java Specification Requests (JSRs) from this initiative. These JSRs, 248 and 249, will not introduce any new API specifications but will include a number of new component JSRs and clarifications to existing specifications to define a consistent Java API services architecture. This will enable application compatibility across multi-vendor mobile devices.

The initiative will further seek to harmonise the licensing terms of the component JSRs to be open, fair and predictable. As specifications leads Nokia and Vodafone, in conjunction with Sun Microsystems, will define the licensing framework of the initiative, while the role of creating and licensing the Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs) for JSR 248 and 249 will be undertaken by Sun Microsystems.

The initiative has received widespread support from leading representatives of the mobile industry, including Orange, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, Sun Microsystems and T-Mobile International. It is expected that a number of these companies will join Nokia and Vodafone to become members of the Expert Group for the specifications created by this initiative.

By John Kennedy