Ericsson, Delphi Drive Plug'n'Play for Cars

STOCKHOLM (04/12/2000) - L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. and Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. have teamed up to drive the development of plug-and-play mobile Internet technology for cars, the companies announced yesterday.

The strategic partnership between the two companies aims to define new standards for communications systems in cars that will allow easy upgrades to systems through plug-and-play functionality. Upgradability is particularly important for automotive owners since the ownership cycle for cars is on average much longer than the development cycle for telecommunications products, Ericsson and Delphi said in a statement.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

By joining forces, Ericsson and Delphi aim to bring new wireless technologies and products to consumers, including emerging technologies such as the Bluetooth wireless communications specification, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)-based Internet surfing and packet-switched data transmissions.

The two partners also plan to offer products based on forthcoming third-generation wireless technologies, which also will be made available through plug-and-play upgrade offerings, Ericsson and Delphi said.

In addition, Delphi in the statement also named Ericsson as one of its key suppliers for standard wireless communications modules.

Troy, Michigan-based Delphi is a major supplier of components and systems for the automotive industry. The company was spun off last year from General Motors Corp.

Ericsson, one of the world's leading suppliers of mobile phones and network equipment, has recently joined several projects focused on bringing the Internet and other wireless communications to vehicles.

In February, Ericsson teamed with two other major Swedish companies, Telia AB and Volvo AB, to form a jointly-owned company called WirelessCar Corp. The joint venture plans to deliver advanced wireless communications products and services to global vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators. [See "Ericsson, Telia, Volvo Form WirelessCar JV," Feb. 29.]Ericsson, in Stockholm, can be reached at +46-8-719-0000, or via the Web at http://www.ericsson.com/. Delphi Automotive Systems, in Troy, Michigan, is at +1-248-813-2000, or at http://www.delphiauto.com/.

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