A new initiative to standardise mobile software and services has been given a boost with the support of major IT infrastructure vendors.
BEA Systems, Borland, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Oracle and Sun Microsystems have added their backing to an open standards-based mobile architecture which they claim will drive the adoption of mobile software and services.
The companies plan to work together with the mobile communications industry to leverage web applications and bring mobile extensions to the fixed internet infrastructure.
Scott Dietzen, chief technical officer at BEA Systems, said: "This initiative is well designed to help apply the 'web effect' to the wireless marketplace which, in turn, will make it easier for our customers to build multi-channel applications for pervasive clients."
The group will develop software which will be compliant with specifications such as Wap, the Third Generation Partnership Project, Multimedia Messaging Service and Java.
It will also integrate a mobile extension for Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE)-based application servers, which will lead to developing uniform mobile application programming interfaces.
Sun spokesman Russell Castronovo explained that J2EE is a key part of the initiative since almost all application servers are J2EE compliant. J2EE is the server software platform based on the Java programming language.
Castronovo said that the companies are in a "pre-timeframe" mode right now and that the next step is developing the timeframe for the standard. The companies have agreed to jointly prepare the specification proposals before submitting them to the Java Community Process.
Nokia chief executive Jorma Ollila last month announced the initiative during his keynote at the Comdex trade show. He said at the time: "We are supporting an open, non-fragmented architecture. This is how we stimulate innovation and competition."
AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Siemens, Sharp, Samsung, NEC and Matsushita announced their support for the move at the show.
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