Tuesday, March 23, 2004


Telecommunications – Market

Nokia Pushes Off
Nokia Corporation has caused a stir at the opening day of Europe’s monster trade fair by reneging on a partnership agreement to develop push-to-talk (PTT) technology.
Last August, Nokia, LM Ericsson, Siemens AG and Motorola Inc. announced the completion of a “jointly developed” PTT over cellular (POC) specification, designed to enable interoperability among carriers and handset vendors. PTT-type technology allows people to use their phones as walkie-talkies, merely pushing a button to talk to another user or group of users. The companies submitted this specification to the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) standards body in an effort to promote it as the de facto standard for POC.

Six months later, and an apparent split in the partnership has emerged. Nokia has this week announced plans to push its own pre-standard protocol, leaving the remaining trio to test their own version. Nokia is pushing its own completely proprietary solution that hasn't yet been proven to be interoperable, in order to gain lead-time in the market. It is not playing by the rules.
The Finnish renegade has already struck a deal with handset vendor Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., to supply the Korean company with its PTT technology within the next twelve months.

The Finnish corporate say in August the first version was submitted to OMA, but when took a closer look at that specification realized some things were missing and that we couldn’t satisfy existing demand for PTT with that spec. Nokia’s claims offering will be fully compliant with the OMA standard once it is finalized at the end of the year, and will also support “the alternative pre-standard protocol suggested by the other members. The split will do little to placate industry fears that interoperability issues are the biggest stumbling block to PTT growth.

While it is interesting that Nokia appears to promise that it will share details of its proprietary pre-standard protocol, few details of how and when are provided. Industry fragmentation hurt the MMS rollouts - now it looks like fragmentation might cripple the POC rollouts. When will the vendors and operators learn?

Internet - e-Business

12 reasons Andreessen is hot on open source
At the Open Source in Government conference, Marc Andreessen highlighted 12 reasons why "open source will grow in importance over the next five to ten years." According to Andreessen, the Internet is responsible for much of the success of the open source software movement ("The Internet is powered by open source," "The Internet is the carrier for open source," "The Internet is also the platform through which open source is developed"). In addition, Andreessen touches on geopolitical trends ("open source benefits from anti-American sentiments") while making the business case for open source software. Perhaps the most important factor: "It’s free. Enough said."
Source;News.Com, March 04

Internet – Game online

Sun makes server for online gaming
A possible cure for Sun’s financial woes? Sun is developing a new server based on its existing Sun Fire Blade server that can be used by companies such as Sony and Electronic Arts to host sophisticated online games with hundreds of thousands of players. Currently, online gaming companies must divide games into separate playing areas, due to the limitations and constraints of business servers. Also noted: IBM is also attempting to create better "gaming servers."
Source; Mercury News, March 04


Internet – Music Industry

Music Group Sues Another Batch
The music industry sues another 500 people, bringing the total number of people it is pursuing to almost 2,000. This time, 89 of the defendants are likely to be students.
Source; Wired, March 04

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