As U.S. wireless users continue their slow but steady march toward 3G wireless acceptance, several companies are working on making such services easier to deploy in terms of billing and applications.
Companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co., Openwave Systems Inc., IPWireless Inc. and Emblaze Semiconductor Ltd. are trying to take advantage of third-generation network expansion, which has taken place over the past year, by simplifying deployment of complicated applications on the client and the server.
HP this week will announce HP MSDP (Mobile Service Delivery Platform), a set of new and existing software, hardware and integration services designed to let carriers try out new services without having to devote massive management resources to each one—thus keeping customer costs down.
On the carrier side, MSDP will eliminate the need to customize a network for each service it deploys, officials said.
"People have been setting up whole subsystems to try something out, and if it doesnt work, they have to tear it down and try something else," said Maurice Marks, chief technology officer of HPs network and service provider business, in Plano, Texas. "Weve pulled together a number of technologies to provide a framework so they can mix and match without having to take big risks."
The MSDP platform is based on standard Web services protocols such as Simple Object Access Protocol, Universal Description, Discovery and Integration, and Web Services Description Language and is designed to work with Java 2 Enterprise Edition and .Net environments, officials said. It incorporates HPs OpenCall Service Controller, OpenView Web Services Management Engine and HP Mobile Portal Solution, in addition to new software components. It also includes an application server from BEA Systems Inc.
HP officials said several major carriers are testing MSDP but declined to name them. The company will show the platform at 3GSM World Congress, a key wireless industry trade show in Cannes, France, next week.
Application developers said integrating Java into the browser should reduce costs and time to market.
EGGING ON 3G SERVICES
And through a partnership with Transat Technologies Inc., the company will demonstrate software that enables a wireless operator to use its existing General Packet Radio Service WAN infrastructure to support WLAN (wireless LAN) hot-spot services.
Meanwhile, on the client side, Openwave at 3GSM will introduce Version 7.0 of its mobile client, said officials at the Redwood City, Calif., company. Past products from the company have supported browser, messaging and Java separately. Version 7.0—dubbed Mobile Client rather than Mobile Browser—allows device manufacturers to integrate all three applications with a single port.
"There has definitely been a push to try to push Java to phones," said Andrew Robertson, director of technology at Arcstream Solutions Inc., a wireless systems integrator in Watertown, Mass., which builds mobile enterprise applications for vertical markets. "The problem is that for a lot of the [Java 2 Micro Edition] applications they tend to be tuned to a specific device. Putting it in the browser will be a big help with cross-platform development."
In addition at 3GSM, mobile broadband company IPWireless, of San Bruno, Calif., will announce a deal with Alcatel S.A. that will let companies buy its services directly through Alcatel.
Meanwhile, Emblaze Semiconductor, of Raanana, Israel, will unveil the ER4521, the latest of the companys multimedia cell phone processors.