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MOBILE COMPUTING NEWS
(December 1999 News Stories)

PRODUCTS/APPLICATIONS

Dec 27,  1999 - Go2 Gives Web Power to Mobile Phones (courtesy Internet Week)

Furthering the evolution of Web-enabled mobile phones, Go2 Systems Inc. said it has made more than 300 topic-specific Web sites available to users of any mobile phone with Internet capability. These sites enable users to turn to their phones or other wireless Web devices for information on local merchants,
including directions to stores, store hours, parking and sale specials.

Go2's services and information will be offered through mobile platform providers such as Phone.com, which makes software to translate Web pages into cell-phone screens. "Go2 has significantly increased the availability of location-based information to the mobile user," said Ben Linder, vice president of marketing of Phone.com.

The topic-specific Go2 Web sites, called Go2 NetGates, deliver listings, ranked by proximity to the user, of more than 11 million stores and destinations. The NetGates represent a large portion of the U.S. Web sites now available via wireless Internet access. Go2 said it plans to eventually develop as many as 2,000 additional topic-specific sites. The vendor's patented world geographic reference system technology is compatible with the wireless applications protocol (WAP), an open, global specification enabling access to information and services using wireless devices.

The sites are accessible by specific topics, such as Go2coffee.com, Go2hotels.com, Go2burgers.com or Go2banks.com. Real-time information is provided based on the user's precise location or intended destination.

The Go2 system is paid for by advertising. Companies pay for specialized listings, or for premium space on Go2's Web site.-Christine Zimmerman.

Go to http://www.internetwk.com/lead/lead122899.htm for further information.

MobileInfo Advisory: Location-specific content and related technology are hot horizontal applications that will see significant growth during 2000-2001. Back the right horse!

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December 13, 1999 Puma Technology Teams with Sterling Commerce’s Managed Systems Division to Provide Enterprise Management Tool For All Popular Handheld Platforms

December 13 – Puma Technology, Inc. a leading provider of mobile device management and synchronization software, and Sterling Commerce’s Managed Systems Division (MSD), a provider of remote systems management solutions, announced a strategic partnership to develop Enterprise Intellsync.

With Enterprise Intellsync, corporations will be able to integrate handheld devices (notebooks, smart phones, PDAs, etc.) into networks by centralizing the management of corporate data. Enterprise Intellsync will allow IT managers not only to view applications and data residing in a user’s mobile computing devices but also to install Puma Enterprise solutions from a centralized location. Enterprise Intellsync will enhance support, maintenance and security while saving the corporation time and money. Go to http://www.pumatech.com/121399.html for further information.

MobileInfo Advisory: Puma has become a recognized player for data synchronization between handheld devices and desktops. This step is a natural progression to the enterprise arena. Sterling will help Puma in the development of a server-based synchronization and associated management.  However, this is not an easy area to conquer.

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December 10, 1999 Ericsson – Microsoft joint venture to develop mobile Internet Appliance

December 10 – Two giants -- Ericsson Inc. and Microsoft announced in Stockholm an extensive partnership to develop mobile Internet solutions. The foundation for the partnership will be a jointly owned company, which will be involved in several areas.

The first application to be developed will allow users to send email using BlueTooth and WAP as well as further development of open industry standards for products based on BlueTooth, WAP and UpnP (Universal Plug –and-Play). By the beginning of 2001, Ericsson feature phones will use Microsoft’s Mobile Explorer that will use both HTML and WAP. In addition, the partnership will develop solutions for secure wireless e-commerce.

Some viewed this new partnership to be in conflict with Ericsson’s commitment to Symbian and the EPOC project, but an Ericsson representative reassured those present that " . . . Because EPOC is so flexible, it allows them to include other applications in their products."  Go to the following url for more:

http://www.ericsson.com/infocenter/news/Microsoft_Press_Conference.html

MobileInfo Advisory: Smart telephone based web appliance market is attracting large players.  It is a virgin territory but one with a lot of potential. Ericsson seems to be covering all its bases - a smart move in our view because PalmOS, EPOC and Windows CE are all, at the current moment, candidates for the underlying OS. However, Ericsson has not yet committed to Windows CE but to Mobile Explorer only. However, in our view, OS is far less important here in this space - it is the form factor, user interface experience, and cost of the device that will determine success and who wins the battle. 

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December 16, 1999 Siemens and Casio To Make Mobile Internet Terminals

December 16 – Siemens, a German technology and engineering group, and Casio Computer Co., a Japanese consumer electronic company, have agreed to coordinate their efforts to make sophisticated mobile data devices.

This partnership will allow them to develop, manufacture and market a new generation of Windows CE-based devices with multimedia, wireless Internet, mobile phone capabilities and hi-color touch screens.

Siemens-Casio will be showing a working prototype of a Palm-size PC at the CeBit Trade Show in Germany in February 2000. It will be the first wireless Internet device to connect wirelessly to Microsoft Exchange Server and any wireless terminal server. This device uses Windows CE operating system and in the future may use ER6 (latest version of EPOC), subject to licensing. The prototype will work on a GSM network and has the potential to use CSMA and GPRS and later IMIT-2000 and UMTS.

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December 13, 1999 New TRG Enterprise Development Software Permits Palm Developers a Good Night’s Rest

December 13 – TRG Products, Inc., designs, develops and delivers additional memory capacity and technology available for Palm platform products, announced its latest software product InstallPro Application Guard. This software product allows enterprises and developers to avoid disasters and protects their customers by automatically storing application programs and reference databases in non-volatile flash memory.

InstallPro requires no internal enterprising reengineering as it utilizes the standard PC developed by the corporation for program distribution, and Palm-type program installation on handheld devices uses the standard HotSync process. This software product can deploy enterprise applications on Palm OS handheld devices safely and minimize high-cost development support in the field. InstallPro supports IGR, Palm Symbol and IBM handheld devices.

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November 16, 1999 - RIM’s Agreement with Leading Law Firm To Supply Blackberry Wireless E-mail Solution

November 16 – Research In Motion Limited (RIM) announces that it has signed an agreement with Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher (GD&C), an international law, to supply Blackberry wireless email solution to 500 lawyers and administrators in the firm’s 10 American offices.

For GD&C responsiveness and security are critical. Clients expect easy and constant access to their lawyers. With Blackberry, even when lawyers are traveling or in depositions or courtrooms, where cell phones are not an option, they can stay in touch.

In most corporate environments, email security is a major priority. The Blackberry incorporates an advanced security model using Triple DES encryption technology. The security design is encrypted behind the company’s firewall before it is sent to the wireless handheld.

MobileInfo Advisory: RIM's Blackberry interactive wireless device continues to be a high-function wireless e-mail device that busy professionals find very attractive. Price is one of factors slowing its widespread adoption. We expect cheaper models of Blackberry soon - to a point where it may encroach on the territory of two-way pagers but with the distinct advantage of a keyboard. Can RIM pack the telephone in there? Go to the following url for more:

http://www.rmotion.on.ca/go/Press/PDynamic.html?name=pr-16_11_990

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TECHNOLOGY RELATED NEWS

December 3, 1999 New Ultra Wideband Wireless Technology could revolutionize wireless industry in future

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1004-200-1478585.html?tag=st.ne.1004-203-1478585.

December 3 – The patent dispute between Time Domain and Lawrence Livermore Labs over ownership of a technology called "ultra-wideband wireless" has finally been closed. This removes one more of the barrier towards the commercialization of this technology.

Ultra-wideband technology is quite new but, according to some analyst, has the potential to revolutionize the wireless system. This technology could be used for high-speed wireless data transmission. At present, the United States military is using it as a detecting device to track troops in the field, similar to Global Positioning System (GPS). It is also being tested as a radar system to allow firefighters to detect victims behind barriers, doors and walls.

In contrast to traditional wireless communications, ultra-wideband sends signals over a large swath of wireless frequency, like the light radiating from a bulb, rather than a focused laser bean. It sends data in tiny pulses which is more efficient than a constant stream of data transmitted from a traditional mobile phone.

At present, it is illegal to use this technology commercially. The Federal Communications Commission is concerned that its wireless spectrum could pose a potential security risk, as it interferes with the airwaves under federal regulation. The FCC’s report and decision should be release within a year, and if favorable, could have an impact on the wireless industry/market.

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December 1, 1999 Motorola and Cisco Announce the First Centre of Excellence For Wireless Internet Innovation; UK Centre to Drive Development of Anywhere, Anywhere Internet Access

http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker=mot&script=410&layout=7&item_id=63076

Motorola Inc., a leading provider of integrated communication solutions, and Cisco Systems, leader in networking equipment, announced the opening of the first centre of excellence "Invisix," a joint venture of the two companies. Invisix, based in London, is one of four centers designed to propel development of the wireless Internet.

The Centre will allow third party network operators, service providers and voice/data solution developers to test their products on the wireless industry’s first all IP-platform. This activity will drive the integration of market-leading applications into the wireless network and transform the market-place. Their initial projects will involve trials of e-commerce, location-based services and voice browsing of Internet content. The UK Centre will focus on the GSM digital standard for voice and data and the integration of cutting-edge applications for GPRS data network as well as the first test centre for 3G network services.

"Invisix is integrating the platform necessary to bring the creativity of the Internet to the huge market of wireless users," said the President of Invisix.

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November 15, 1999 Entrust Technology Mobile Strategy

http://www.nokia.com/corporate/wap/press_entrust.html

November 15 – Entrust Technology Inc., leader in e-commerce solutions, announced its comprehensive collection of solutions to deliver e-business transactions to the wireless Internet appliance market. By working with leaders of financial institutions and telecommunications equipment manufactures, carriers and service providers, Entrust will deliver secure e-business transactions to mobile Internet appliances from digital mobile phones to e-commerce servers. Initially, the company will be offering new products and services to the wireless digital phone market-place.

Entrust’s strategy focuses on extending its proven public-key infrastructure (PKI) security services and solutions into the wireless e-commerce market. PKI technology supports both Global System for Mobile (GSM) wireless platform and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP).

New Entrust/PKI!" and Entrust.net!" services will enable e-businesses and e-commerce sites to offer secure transactions to their e-business customers and partners over wireless networks and mobile phones. Customer trials are expected to begin in December 1999.

 

December 14, 1999 - What’s the Standard for the Wireless Web

December 14 – Wireless capability is the key component in making pervasive computing a reality – but what the standard will be for the Wireless Web is anyone’s guess.

It appears that the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), which incorporates the Wireless Markup Language, has extensive support. The WAP Forum, including Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola, will introduce version 1.2 of the technology in early 2000. However, some supporters of WAP are also supporting alternative technologies promising a single Internet language rather than backing the Wireless Markup Language – HTML combination. A single language would eliminate the need for additional infrastructure and would have the capacity to deliver desktop applications to the small screen without compromise. The recent Ericsson-Microsoft deal that will be in part looking at evolving WAP more in the Extensible Markup Language (XML) direction is evidence of such divided loyalties.

Then there is Citrix’s Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) Protocol, now used in Microsoft ‘s Windows Terminal software. Citrix claims that ICA provides the best solution for the small screen. Go to the following url for more on this story: http://www1.pcworld.com/pcwtoday/article/0,1510,14348,00.html

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December 13, 1999 WAP-on-a-SIM offers new service on old phones

December 13 – Mobile software house Across Wireless AB of Sweden has designed SIM cards incorporating a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) browser. This innovative use of SIM cards allows mobile users to access WAP services without having to purchase a new phone.

Both Norway’s Telenor Mobile and Singapore Telecom have deployed Across’ SIM cards. Even though SIM cards make access possible, its limited space means that graphics are not an option, for instance, the commands that appear on the screen and drive a WAP system can only be layered, a few levels deep. The system is designed to work with any phone compatible with the industry standard SIM Toolkit allowing onscreen menus that give access to services built over-the-air, rather than having to be hardwired into the handset.

The problems of implementing WAP 1.1 have delayed the rollout of handset by Ericsson and Nokia thus making the Across’ SIM implementation an attractive option, as it provides access to WAP independent of the network and the device.

MobileInfo Advisory: This is only an interim move with not much future in the North American context.

Click on http://www.totaltele.com/view.asp?ArticleID=25032&pub=CWI for more on the above story.

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December 9, 1999 DataLink.net to Develop Wireless Solutions for Linux Systems

December 9 – DataLink.net, Inc., a wireless service provider and leader in Web-to-Wireless convergence, announced that it is expanding Xpresslink Application Server technology to support the Linux operating system.

DataLink.net anticipates the growth of Linux as an enterprise operating system will create a new market segment for the Company. By developing on a Linux based platform, DataLink.net will be able to provide and support wireless solutions for the Linux customer.

MobileInfo Advisory: It was but natural that somebody will start developing Linux-based application server for wireless-to-web interface. Cost, open-ness and reliability of Linux should help in its adoption.  

Click on http://www.datalink.net/company/netd_news_item.asp?item=50 for more on the above story.

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December 1, 1999 IBM, Sprint to jointly develop wireless data services

December 1 -- IBM and Sprint announced their partnership to develop wireless data services. In support of IBM’s strategy of pervasive computing, the agreement addresses the need for clear, mobile access to any information, on any device, virtually anywhere, anytime.

The new services, planned for early next year, will allow businesses to use Sprint PCS Wireless Web to send and receive email and access other corporate applications. One of the key elements to the service is the delivery of "real time" data using Sprint PCS Internet-ready Phones. This means that data transactions will not suffer delays.

IBM will supply the hosting services. IBM stated "It will provide extensions to its existing corporate enterprise software products, including database, messaging and device management, enabling wireless networks to accommodate the delivery of mission-critical data and transactions to and from a variety of devices."

MobileInfo Advisory: Yet another move in the crowded wireless internet arena where everybody is covering its bases.   Go to http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-1475187.html for more info. 

ACQUISITIONS, MERGERS AND INVESTMENTS 

December 15, 1999 Palm IPO Plan Boosts Platform Support: Partners from IBM and Motorola to Nokia and Handspring plan Palm extensions

December 15 – Following on the heals of 3Com’s earlier announcement to spin out part of its Palm Computing subsidiary, the Company announced that it has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. This further adds to the enthusiasm for the spin-off from some of its large and new partners like American Online, Nokia and Motorola that have agreed to purchase up to 4.5 percent of Palm’s total stock, investing up to $225 million. All this suggests that Palm’s software platform may appear in a multitude of devices in the coming months.

MobileInfo Advisory: 3COM did the right thing in liberating Palm Computing. It is good for the user community, great for the Palm Computing shareholders and beneficial to the third-part application developers. Users should see many new enterprise applications based on PalmOS.

Click on http://www1.pcworld.com/pcwtoday/article/0,1510,14362,00.html for more info.

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December 8, 1999 Puma Technology to Acquire NetMind: The Pending Acquisition of NetMind Provides User-Driven Personalization Technology as Puma Positions Itself to be the Key Infrastructure Provider for Mobile E-Business

http://www.pumatech.com/120899.html

December 8 – Puma Technology, Inc., provider of mobile device management and synchronization software, announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire NetMind Technologies, a provider of Internet infrastructure software for personalization. Under terms of the agreement, Puma will exchange five million shares of Puma common stock for all of NetMind’s outstanding capital stock, warrants and options.

The merger furthers the companies’ goal of being the leading infrastructure provider for mobile, wireless and Internet appliance-based e-business. The combination of NetMind Web-tracking and alert software and Puma’s Web browsing and synchronization technology will greatly advance the Internet-connected mobile devices, including cellular and smart phones. The corporate user will be able to receive instant notification via Web-enabled mobile devices of changes to Web-content pertinent to the user or to their corporate Intranet.

November 9, 1999 Cisco to buy Aironet in Wireless network bid

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1004-200-1432954.html?tag=st.ne.1002.

November 9 – Cisco Systems, a global leader in networking equipment, announced that it will acquire Aironet Wireless Communications, a wireless product maker, for approximately $779 million. This latest acquisition will result in wireless technology that acts as an extension to existing wired local area networks (LANs) thus enhancing the Cisco’s position in the wireless market- place.

This furthers Cisco’s efforts in gathering support and a wide array of partners for a proposed technology standard for wireless networks.


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Page updated on March 2nd,  2000

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