Palm, Symbian and others join in GPRS push

A gaggle of companies are cooperating to promote the next generation of mobile communications applications based on new mobile packet-switching technology.

Palm Computing, Symbian, IBM, Lotus Development, Oracle, and L.M Ericsson Telephone will work together to foster the new technology, called GPRS (General Packet Radio Services), the companies said in a statement on Friday.

Named the GPRS Applications Alliance, it is open to any organisation with an interest in mobile communications.

The alliance is aimed at promoting the mobile Internet communications market by fostering development of open standards for applications and services, Per Nordlof, Ericsson general manager for packet-switching systems, said in a statement.

The alliance will give mobile Internet applications vendors, consultants and other interested parties access to services, including training, product verification, consulting and other information. As part of the initiative, Ericsson will set up GPRS applications testing centres in Menlo Park, California, and near Stockholm, Sweden.

In a related announcement earlier this week, Palm, which makes handheld computers, and Symbian, the developer of software for wireless information devices, announced an agreement to cooperate and possibly license each other's technology.

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