IBM, Motorola and Vodafone will collaborate on delivering improved mobile phone set-up and maintenance services to consumers.
The collaboration includes testing device management services on GPRS and third-generation (3G) devices and networks.
Device management services will allow service providers to configure mobile devices, monitor and troubleshoot service performance and install or upgrade software, the companies said.
Motorola is developing SyncML-based handsets and wireless platforms that will integrate device management capabilities. The company plans to demonstrate the new services with IBM and Vodafone at the SyncML Congress in Amsterdam on 29 and 30 January.
Big Blue is integrating device management technology from its Tivoli Systems subsidiary into the company's WebSphere Everyplace Server software. The company said that the management application software would run over its eServer pSeries.
Jon Prial, vice president of marketing for IBM's pervasive computing division, explained that one of the drawbacks today to the mass roll out of data services has been the lack of common standards for device management.
"With this in mind, it's crucial to the future success of the mobile industry that high-level standards are developed now," he said.
The three companies are members of the 3G Partnership Project, the Telemanagement Forum and the SyncML Initiative, which will publish a comprehensive set of mobile industry specifications for device management in the first quarter of 2002.
The trio said that moving to the standards-based approach to mobile device management is the next logical step in providing consumers with immediate access to their chosen services and upgrades, without having to physically visit a customer support centre.
GPRS and 3G wireless devices are so complex that standards must be agreed on to ensure consumers have their wireless mobile devices configured for them at the time of purchase, the companies said.
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