The right conditions for OTA

19 Sep 2006
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The Open Mobile Alliance held its first Interoperability Summit in Asia last month and used Asia as the platform to announce its FUMO release. Group editor Joseph Waring caught up with OMA chairman Jari Alvinen during his travels for an update on OMA's firmware release and what's top of its interoperability pipeline

Wireless Asia: What brings you to Asia this time‾

Alvinen: There are three things that bring me to the region. First, there's the release of FUMO [Firmware Update Management Object], which took me to Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing, because we decided to do this release from Asia. We also had a big OMA meeting in Beijing in August, where all the working groups get together and progress the specifications. We're also holding an IOP [Interoperability] Summit in Beijing, its first time in Asia. That's the event where we gather regional certification testing people together to talk about interoperability and how we can progress that together.

What has been the market reaction to the release of PoC 1.0 in June‾

We've had quite a lot of vendors come together to test the specifications, so the next step will actually happen in the marketplace, where the different operators and vendors start to plan their deployments of 1.0.

There has been a great commitment from the OMA community including those that have had proprietary systems that they will actually converge to PoC 1.0. Of course the global market pickup will follow because now you're getting away from the hurdles we had before that not all handsets had it, and if did have it they were not able to communicate with each other with different operators.

Are you optimistic that we'll see a revival of interest in PoC‾

I'm pretty optimistic, because if you look at the tremendous efforts the companies actually put into creating that open specification, they would not do it just for kicks. We have been hearing from the members of real commitments, like 'okay this year we'll start rolling out.' Of course it depends on when the operators start to buy the stuff and roll it out. Now it's up to the market.

Is there more interest in the enterprise space than in the consumer area‾

You can view them as two different kinds of business cases. But if I then turn to what OMA is doing, all the services and application space specifications we've created we foresee that they'll be picked up in the enterprise world, but they are also applicable in the consumer world as well. So from our perspective we don't really see much of a different. But what is important to realize is that when we create these specifications, it's very much market driven, so the OMA members have different business models in their minds when they bring in the requirements - like what we need to do, how do we do it. This enables them from a technology perspective to take into account the different business models needed for the consumer and enterprise markets.

Can you update us on OMA's work in the mobile broadcast area‾

We're working on the specifications.

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