Mobile phone makers embrace wireless Net standard

The GSM Association, a representative body of mobile telephone network operators announced on Wednesday a new wireless industry standard, the Mobile Services Initiative (M-Services), in an attempt to avoid past industry mistakes concerning the mobile Internet, most notably WAP (Wireless Application Protocol).

The aim of the M-Services is to set out clear and open guidelines for services based on GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), the GSM said in a statement.

Whereas WAP was quickly and widely adapted by the mobile phone industry, it was quickly rejected by consumers mainly due to its lack of speed and its cumbersome implementation. For example, in May, market research and consulting company Meta Group conducted 15 informal surveys of between 50 and 100 users of WAP-enabled phones, discovering that 80 percent to 90 percent of corporate users surveyed quit using the data capabilities, and use the phones for voice communications only.

The GSM is hoping that by setting the standards, the industry as a whole will be able to bring GPRS users consistently available services services, such as graphics, music, video and games, that are readily available and easy to use, the association said.

Companies that have already come out in support of the M-Services initiative include France Télécom SA, L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co., BT Wireless, Nokia, Motorola, Sagem SA, Samsung and Siemens AG, GSM said.

The M-Services initiative is similar in idea to the Wireless Village initiative, created in April by Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola as a joint project to define and promote a set of universal specifications for mobile instant messaging and presence services.

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More about BT AustralasiaBT WirelessEricsson AustraliaGSM AssociationMeta GroupMotorolaNokiaSagemSamsungSiemens

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