Sun Plans for the Wireless Future

Like many other companies around the world realising that the wireless market will overshadow the Internet in the near future, Sun Microsystems has released its wireless strategy.

The company has detailed initiatives for wireless devices, applications and services, product announcements, partnerships and investments in the wireless space.

Highlights of the vendor's strategy include a dedicated business unit, Wireless Excellence Centre, more than 50 partner participants in the iForceSM Wireless initiative, $US100 million of venture funding in wireless companies and a new communications software platform.

Sun has also promoted Java as the wireless protocol best suited for future wireless applications.

Ed Zander, Sun's president and chief operating officer, said the company was focusing itself and its partners to bring "the openness and innovation behind Java technology and the Net to meet the challenges of our wireless customers.

"The Sun platform is the defacto standard for the wireless network, from the mobile device to the network and services platform infrastructure."

The iForce program, first announced in June, will be extended to cover a broader range of wireless concerns, Sun said. The iForce wireless initiatives will rely on the work of more than 50 software makers, ASPs (application service providers), content service providers and others to promote communication between different types of computer systems and to aid the development of wireless technologies through interoperable standards.

The company's new wireless organisation will host a global Wireless Excellence Centre in Stockholm, Sweden. Opening early next year, the centre will work with global carriers, network equipment providers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to architect, develop and port wireless solutions.

Venture capital funding over the next year will focus on companies creating innovative wireless technologies. Sun officials said that future investments may support companies exploring wireless technologies such as location services, streaming video to handheld devices, and security.

Also among future plans, the vendor is working on a carrier-grade wireless offering for the third-generation (3G) wireless spectrum. The aim is to make wireless services as reliable and available as landlines.

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