Telenor Mobil, Ericsson AS and Birdstep are set to develop technology that will enable extremely rapid downloading of large volumes of information to mobile terminals. Testing is due in the course of the year.
“Shopping centres, airports and exhibition halls are among the targets,” says Telenor Mobils Director of External Services, Lars Christian Iuel. “When, in a year, you enter a shopping centre, you will pass through a zone where your mobile phone will receive an outline of all the shops and all the bargains on offer in the centre. The information will be stored in the terminal, allowing you to place orders and reservations and to purchase goods with the aid of todays GSM/GPRS networks.”
For this purpose, the so-called Bluetooth technology will be utilized, but the solution may also make use of WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). Both technologies have a relatively limited radio range, but on the other hand, they offer a large capacity for the transmission of data. The plan is to develop base stations and information systems that are low in cost both when it comes to installation and operation. The system will be tested in the course of the year, with the aim to launch the service commercially as soon as the technology is ripe and the terminals are available on the market.
Todays mobile terminals are generally not Bluetooth equipped, but in the future, mobile devices will draw on a multitude of compatible access technology methods. The terminals will therefore be able to utilize the technology which, at any given time, offers the highest transmission speed and thus also the most advanced services.
The increased use of mobile terminals together with wireless technology such as Bluetooth and WLAN will pave the way for completely new services. “Mobile phones with restricted IP-functions will transform into mobile multimedia terminals,” says Haakon Bryhni, responsible for Birdsteps wireless technology.
There is no concern in Telenor Mobil that WLAN and Bluetooth will outwin GPRS and UMTS. Instead, the two technologies are considered to be complimentary assets to the 2,5G and 3G systems. However, the fact that both WLAN and Bluetooth use frequencies which are not restricted by licensing will prove a challenge for the telephone operators.
“It is still uncertain which technologies will be adopted for what purpose, and not least who will control the frequencies not bound by licensing. By focusing on the development of Bluetooth and WLAN now, we will be able to take the right steps in the future,” says Telenor Mobils Managing Director, Ingvild Myhre.
Ericsson likewise expects the new technologies to pose as a supplement, and not as a replacement for GPRS and UMTS. “We see WLAN and Bluetooth as technologies which will supplement the normal access to 3G/UMTS in restricted high traffic zones. The collaboration with Telenor Mobil and Birdstep should be seen in relation to this, and as a further strengthening of our activities in the Norwegian market,” says Mikael Kruhsberg, Vice President Ericsson Norway.
Who does what
Ericsson Norway, Birdstep and Telenor Mobil have entered into an agreement wherein the parties have committed themselves to take part in the process until defined milestones are reached. At each of these milestones the parties may decide to retract their involvement. Birdstep will supply software while Ericsson will supply Bloothooth base stations and handsets. Telenor Mobil will contribute with in-depth knowledge of the market as well as technical skill.
About Birdstep Technology ASA
Birdstep Technology ASA is the developer of Birdstep DataBase Engine, an award winning, Ultra Small Footprint data manipulation and storage engine for any kind of data structure. It runs on operating systems such as Win32, Windows CE, Pocket PC, Linux, VxWorks, Epoc, pSOS, QNX and Palm/OS. The Birdstep DataBase Engine is targeted at devices such as mobile phones, PDAs/PWAs and Embedded Systems.
In addition to database technology, the company also develops wireless technology infrastructure software such as Birdstep IP Zone Software and Birdstep Mobile IP Software. Birdstep was founded in August 1996 and has offices in Oslo, Norway and in San JosÃ©, California, USA.
Please visit us on the Internet: www.birdstep.com
Ericsson is the leading communications supplier, combining innovation in mobility and the Internet, creating a new era of mobile Internet. Ericsson provides total solutions covering everything from systems and applications to mobile phones and other communications tools. With more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for customers all over the world.
About Telenor Mobil
Telenor Mobil is a company within Telenor Mobile Communications (TMC) and is Norways largest mobile operator. TMC has a customer base of 2,3 million (31.12.2000), and a turnover of NOK 9,1 billion in Norway. Telenor Mobil has 1300 employees stationed in 20 different locations around the country. The companys aim is to be in the forefront when it comes to the development of new mobile communication services while remaining dedicated to the advancement of the mobile Internet through its portal, djuice.no.