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Mobile Data Initiative is launched
Posted: 11-Sep-2000 [Source: Intel press release]

[Interoperability is the goal of this 10 member industry initiative including: BT Cellnet, Dell Computer, France Telecom, Fujitsu, Siemens Computers, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Motorola, Siemens Mobile, Sonera, and Toshiba. ]

Munich -- Intel Corporation along with nine other companies today announced a broad industry initiative to make wireless Internet access as simple and pervasive as accessing data over fixed wires. The Mobile Data Initiative Next Generation (MDI-ng) will focus on developing standards and specifications designed to accelerate the creation and adoption of wireless Internet technologies.

Backed by companies spanning telephony, computing hardware and Internet connectivity, the MDI-ng is dedicated to identifying and removing common technical and market barriers that currently limit wireless Internet connectivity and performance for mobile users. The MDI-ng member companies are BT Cellnet, Dell Computer, France Telecom, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Motorola, Siemens Mobile, Sonera and Toshiba.

The new group will work closely with wireless standards bodies to address wireless solutions for mobile Internet-capable devices with specific focus on the needs of the business professional. Standards compatibility, application scalability between devices, security, reliability and ease of use will also be addressed by the group.

"Intel, working with other industry leaders, is committed to supporting the growing range of wireless devices from handsets to computers, so they all work together effortlessly, run applications that scale seamlessly, and use services that automatically fit to any type of user and their chosen technology," said Rob Eckelmann, vice president and general manager of Intel Europe Middle East and Africa. "This founding group brings together the leaders from all of the key areas - equipment, content, networks and services - to turn this vision of a truly sweeping wireless revolution into reality."

The Europe-based Global System for Mobile (GSM) Association also supports the launch of the group. Mike Short, chairman of the GSM Association's data task force, said, "We see the interaction between vendors, application developers and operators as being critical to deliver the mobile information age around GSM based packet services. We are sure that this initiative will increase the variety of services available to customers and will give us all a genuine experience of the progression toward third generation services."

The MDI-ng will set up wireless industry meetings and workshops where service providers and suppliers will meet to discuss interoperability issues. Interoperability tests and technology overviews will be carried out to help guide the efforts of participating companies, industry standards bodies and the broader mobile services sector.

The objective of this effort is for business and consumer users to benefit, more quickly than ever before, from tested and proven wireless Internet solutions that are simpler to use and more reliable. The MDI-ng will primarily address wireless access by different mobile devices to cellular phone systems; the group will also focus on complementary wireless technologies such as Bluetooth* and wireless local area networks.

MDI-ng Technology Focus Additionally, the MDI-ng initiative will focus on packet switched wireless networks. Packet switched services will have a tremendous impact on wireless Internet subscriber usage because they allow users to always be online and not have to wait for a modem connection, similar to digital subscriber line (DSL) service. General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) users in Europe only have to pay for actual transferred data/information/content, which should bring down costs dramatically. Tariff models can be based on pay-per-bit actually used, instead of pay-per-minute - a boon to mobile Internet users. In addition, GPRS permits much higher bandwidth for subscribers than current GSM-technologies, achieving performance comparable to fixed wire connections.

Relationship to the MDI The MDI-ng continues and expands the work initiated in the original Mobile Data Initiative (MDI), started in 1996 with Intel, Ericsson, IBM, Toshiba, Nokia and others as founding members. The original MDI was also primarily focused on mobile computing using cellular phone systems, but only addressed GSM 900 and 1800 MHz technologies and the American PCS 1900 MHz. Now, the MDI-ng effort takes on the packet switched network technologies of today and tomorrow, and across the full range of handheld devices, from the most compact phones to mobile PCs.


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