Backers of the Symbian PDA operating system have pledged a further £20.75m to support the fight against Microsoft's Windows CE.
The cash, which builds on Symbian's existing surplus of nearly £17m, will go towards research and development into third generation (3G) technologies and 2.5G general packet radio services (GPRS).
Symbian spokesman Paul Cockerton said that the funding, which will come from the company's main backers including Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Ericsson and Psion, was an vital endorsement for the platform.
"This is an important injection at a time when we're launching our first GPRS handsets," he told vnunet.com.
Cockerton said that the first Symbian-based GPRS smart phone, the Nokia 7650, will be available in the first half of this year, including digital camera and multimedia facilities.
IDC analyst Andy Brown explained that the backing would reinforce Symbian in the new mobile platform battleground.
"It's a market that Microsoft doesn't have tied up yet despite having made inroads into Palm's market share," he said.
But Brown expressed concern that, when the Nokia 7650 is launched, GPRS networks will not be reliable. "Networks are getting better but it will be at least a year before they become truly reliable," he said.
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