Getting the Message

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-05-07

Ericsson, Nokia and Motorolas Wireless Village project may demystify wireless instant messaging between all devices and over all networks. But developers already working on wireless text and multimedia messaging technology are baffled that they werent asked to participate at the outset and worry that the handset makers may be duplicating their work.

The Wireless Village aims to create standards that will allow users of any device — handset to personal computer — to message across any wireless or wireline network.

If the work is successful, third-party developers will be able to more easily obtain presence and availability information about users. Developers and users want to know how much data a phone can handle, if it is on or off, or if the user is on a call.

Invertix, Openwave Systems and TeleCommunications Systems, companies which already offer platforms that help collect and distribute wireless presence and availability information, agree a standard is a good idea. "Its positive for the industry if its open and inclusive and results in an open [Internet Protocol] standard," says Mark Taguchi, director of strategic marketing at Openwave.

TCS is a member of the Presence and Availability Management Forum, which has been setting standards for collecting presence information for wireless instant messaging and other apps. "Were supportive of the effort, but in a broader approach like PAM is taking," says Tim Zenk, vice president of corporate communications.

The Mobile Village founders may be eager to try to control wireless instant messaging before PC instant messaging leaders invade the space. "Its reasonable to assume that the fact that [America Online] is expanding into mobile is on the minds of these folks," says Edward Bursk, chief marketing officer at Invertix.

Rocket Fuel