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First Japanese-based Bluetooth Qualification Organization Announced
Posted: 26-Dec-2000 [Source: Toshiba press release]

[New effort expected to shorten time for Japan-based manufacturing to bring BluetoothTM enabled products to market.]

Tokyo -- Toshiba Corporation, Taiyo Yuden Co., Ltd. and IBM Japan, Ltd. today announced that they will establish a joint venture company that will authorize use of the BluetoothTM logo. The logo is mandatory for all products that claim to meet the BluetoothTM standard and will assure consumers that products they purchase are fully BluetoothTM compliant.

BluetoothTM technology enables users to connect mobile computers, digital cellular phones, handheld devices, network access points and other mobile devices via wireless links, unimpeded by line-of-sight restrictions. It eliminates the need for proprietary cables to connect devices, greatly increases the ease and breadth of wireless connectivity, and is expected to become a core feature of a wide range of mobile equipment. Market research firm Brain-Child recently estimated that there will be approximately 700 million consumer-use BluetoothTM-enabled devices worldwide by 2005.

The burgeoning market for BluetoothTM-enabled devices has brought with it a growing need for a Japan-based BluetoothTM qualification organization. The new company is expected to make it much quicker and more convenient for Japan-based manufacturers to obtain qualification of BluetoothTM enabled products, and is also expected to contribute to shorter development terms and lower associated costs. A locally based qualifying organization is also expected to speed the diffusion of BluetoothTM products in the domestic market.

The new joint venture has Japan's only BluetoothTM Qualification Body (BQB), a person authorized by the BluetoothTM Qualification Review Board (BQRB) to organize and oversee provision of support to manufacturers seeking BluetoothTM product qualification. The company will also operate Japan's sole BluetoothTM Qualification Test Facility (BQTF), which has the BQRB accreditation required to offer qualification testing.

In addition, since Toshiba and IBM are founding members of the BluetoothTM Special Interest Group (SIG), which they established in May 1998 with Ericsson, Intel Corporation and Nokia, the new joint venture is able to provide third parties with the latest information on Bluetooth technology.

The new joint venture will be incorporated in February 2001 and start operation in April. It anticipates sales of more than 1 billion yen in the fiscal year 2005.

Outline of Business

BluetoothTM logo qualification Official qualification organization for the BluetoothTM logo that is mandatory for BluetoothTM-enabled devices.

Consultation on BluetoothTM qualification procedures. Support during preparation for the qualification test, covering development of device interfaces, and the filing of product test scheme and documentation required for approval applications.

An agent for the BQTF test required to obtain BluetoothTM logo qualification.

An agent for applications to the Telecom Engineering Center (TELEC) and Japan Approvals Institute for Telecommunications.

Outline of Joint Venture Company Name To be decided Headquarters Tokyo Capital 40 million yen Shareholding Toshiba 80.5%; Taiyo Yuden 10%; IBM Japan 9.5% Executives President & CEO: appointed by Toshiba Employees Six qualification consultants: 1 BQB; 1 sales person; 2 engineers ; 2 staff (rising to 15 employees in fiscal year 2005) Incorporation February 2001 (Operation will start April 1, 2001)

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