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Mobile Wireless Internet Forum (MWIF) formed in Cannes
Posted: 03-Feb-2000 [Source: MWIF press release]

[Industry Leaders Create Mobile Wireless Internet Forum Service Providers and Suppliers Work Together to Unite Wireless and the Internet. This group is to develop specifications for the next generation of IP-based data, voice, video, and multimedia applications.]

Cannes -- The Mobile Wireless Internet Forum (MWIF), a forum focused on accelerating the deployment of open, Internet-based standards for mobile wireless networks announced its formation today. Its founding members are Alcatel, Bell Atlantic Mobile, Celletra, Cisco Systems, Compaq, Comverse Network Systems, DDI Corporation, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, Hyundai Electronics, IBM, IP Mobile, KPMG Consulting, LG Information and Communications Ltd., Lucent Technologies, Malibu Networks, Microsoft, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Nortel Networks, Orange, Portal Software, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Sharp Corporation, Siemens, SK Telecom, Solect, Sony, Sprint PCS, Sun Microsystems, Synacom Technology, Tekelec, Telcordia, TELOS Technology, Telstra, Telesystem International Wireless (TIW), Toshiba, 3Com,Vodafone AirTouch and WIND.

MWIF will provide a venue for service providers and suppliers to work together to identify and resolve issues surrounding the development of key specifications, and to enable early implementation of Internet Protocol (IP) wireless networks. These specifications will allow for common infrastructure and services independent of air interface, and will enable seamless integration between mobile telephony and non-traditional IP-based services such as data, voice, video and multimedia applications.

"We believe that IP is the answer for multiservice networks, and is capable of providing a unified technology for both voice and wireless Internet services of the future. The cost of using standard Internet elements is also dramatically less, and given the open standards and interfaces, service providers can greatly benefit from multi-vendor procurement," said Dean Sirovica, Interim Board President and Chair, MWIF (Vodafone AirTouch, Director of Global Technology) " The Mobile Wireless Internet Forum will allow operators to efficiently migrate geographically widespread networks to the New World. "

Specifications developed by MWIF will be available to traditional standards bodies and other industry groups. MWIF will also work to ensure that key regional and global standards groups address requirements that operators globally see as critical to early and economic deployment of IP mobile wireless networks.

"MWIF will promote a singular, unified approach across existing standards bodies such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the two Third Generation Partnership Projects (3GPP and 3GPP2)" said Professor Paul Reynolds, Interim Technical Committee Chair, MWIF (Orange PCS Ltd.). "MWIF will identify opportunities for early industry consensus, accelerating technology deployment, and preventing a proliferation of vendor-specific approaches that tend to slow the market."

The agreed upon activities and direction of MWIF will be determined by the full MWIF membership. Several areas that represent immediate opportunities to impact the evolution of mobile wireless networks include a reference architecture that supports open interfaces and achieves harmonization across access technologies by promoting a common IP core, and a distributed, peer-to-peer IP-based architecture for scalability with IP standard interfaces to billing and Customer Care.

"The world wireless market has exploded beyond expectation and the market is hungry for new and innovative services. In Japan for instance, e-mailing and database browsing from mobile phones have been rapidly penetrating the market and the number of such users has gone over 3.5 million. Introducing competitive services in the market apparently requires an infrastructure that easily extends from the wireless network to the Internet," said Hideo Okinaka, a member of the Interim MWIF Board (DDI Corporation, General Manager, Strategic Business Development). "MWIF represents a global voice of operators and service providers to enable this change."

"Sprint PCS has already embraced the concept of wireless Internet," said Dean Prochaska, Interim Board Vice-President and Chair, MWIF (Sprint PCS, Director of Wireless Industry Standards)." MWIF will allow its members to stay on the cutting-edge of wireless Internet development, and accelerate our time-to-market while generating additional revenues."

"The wireless industry is currently at a crossroad. The industry has begun to realize that the seamless alignment with the Internet is crucial. A key purpose of MWIF is to facilitate this alignment," said Bob Egan, Vice President Mobile and Wireless at The Gartner Group. "The wireless Internet opens new and exciting opportunities for incumbent suppliers, operators as well as recent entrants in the wireless market, like Cisco and Sun. The Mobile Wireless Internet Forum is a credible international consortium that is backed by industry powerhouses that fosters an environment to drive the evolution of how to exploit the instinctive merger of wireless access and Internet services, what new business models are needed, and how the subscriber experience can be maximized through new, pioneering and relevant services."

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