Feeds

World+dog join mobile standards army

Too many, too soon?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The Open Mobile Alliance kicked off yesterday with 200 members drawn from the great, the good and the occasional evil empire.

The OMA is intended to harmonise a barrage of mobile industry standards for 3G, hitherto a barrier to creating a seamless mobile Internet, and it replaces the work earlier bodies such as The Open Mobile Architecture Initiative, the WAP Forum, Wireless Village and the Location Interoperability Forum.

On the agenda are synchronisation, location-based services, and messaging, all to be worked into a end-to-end mobile data platform. This is good for apps developers and it's good for manufacturers - one set of standards mean economies of scale, and reduction of time to market.

Pick a big tech company with an interest in the mobile sector and it's almost certainly a member: Nokia, Motorola, Intel, Microsoft, Vodafone etc.

Microsoft's membership is instructive: it shows how keen it is to participate in the 3G world, even though there is potential conflict over the proprietary operating system it wants handset operators to adopt. Nokia, the driving force behind the creation of the OMA (an independent body), is by contrast, is a recent convert, to 'open' systems for handsets. How will the OMA resolve the competing claims of these two giants? Maybe it doesn't have to - the OMA is a Broad Church, and there's nothing wrong with that, surely?

Well actually, there is according to Michelle de Lussanet, an analyst at Forrester Research. OMA is taking the right approach and this will work well in the long term. But right now, the OMA's broad support will be its own worst enemy - "this many competitors won't agree on anything quickly" - she says.

Here are two problems that Forrester foresees:

  • But wide participation will slow OMA and put global standards out of reach. Let's face it: The more players that get involved, the more time it will take for them to agree on anything at all -- and many will participate only to slow down development and control the market. Further, regional squabbling means that even universal standards won't be implemented
    globally in the same way -- if the equally well-supported 3GPP body can't establish a global air interface, how can OMA drive universally compatible
    sync, IM, and location-sensing?


  • A European "sub-OMA" will emerge. While global politicking slows OMA down, Pan-European operators like Orange and mmO2 will have a vested interest in driving regional agreement. As a result, Forrester expects that a cluster of European operators and vendors will create an informal sub-group within OMA. This way, regional interests will be fast-tracked
    even while global standards drag.
  • ®

Related story

Microsoft to go 3G?

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.