Feeds

Nokia bends to operators

New phones, new voice services, and a lock down OS.

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

3GSM Nokia made a number of small concessions to network operators across the board at the phone industry's annual get together today. It also announced two new phone models, although for the first time a "model" in conventional parlance becomes a "range".

For the first time, the phone giant will produce custom models for specific operators, with a new clamshell, the 6102 cited as the first example. China's largest operator, CMC, will get its very own model number, although beyond that, it's simply a custom case color and theme.

Nokia's Symbian-based high-end smart phone platform Series 60 is beginning to look like a broad umbrella indeed, now that it's swallowed the short-lived communicator platform, Series 90. Nokia announced Version 3.0 at 3GSM today, even though devices based on last summer's Version 2.0 are still scarce. Again Nokia promoted operator customization, with different flavors pushed at different kinds of devices. So a standard MP3 player goes into all devices, but media phone OEMs will be able to license a fancier MP3 player.

"Series 60 stretched further than we originally anticipated," Niklaus Savander, Nokia VP for enterprise told us an interview.

The company was clearly chuffed with its new Series 60 3G phone, the 6880, the first Nokia phone to get serious about voice calling. First impressions of the device are that it's conservatively styled - unlike several of its predecessors - is snappy and in the best Nokia tradition, has a fine screen. (262k colours).

But the most controversial aspect of Series 60 v3 has clearly been introduced at the request of nervous operators: certification. Applications without certification won't be able to reach into the address book or use connectivity facilities.

Forum Nokia VP Lee Epting described signing as an "orchestration around how things are written on our platform". However, the scale of these API changes has yet to sink in. Epting said that "50 per cent of APIs are not changing" - but it's the 50 per cent of APIs that are that will cause third party developers a headache.

Signing, after all, doesn't prevent malware from doing its worst - it simply provides an audit trail after the damage has been done, and that's what is supposed to discourage malevolent software pranksters from doing their worst.

In its way, the brewing dispute over code-signing will dictate what future wireless networks look like. Nokia, and the operators, have many good reasons for not wanting these to look like the Internet: where the openness has spawned a toxic wasteland of spam, malware and noise. On this basis, a rational case can be made that every open network will succumb to this tragedy of the commons: computer networks are anything but self-correcting.

But it's going to be hard to maintain the case that "open is good", when Nokia, Symbian and the operators define what open really means.

The most interesting innovation that Nokia touted today has very little to do with 3G, mobile data or 'convergence'. It's audio messaging and your reporter's first impression after a demonstration was: "isn't that a fussy way to do PTT (push to talk)?" But there's more to it than that. It's another subtle voice service, which is what Nokia's good at; and experience has taught us these are far more valuable in the real world than the data gimmicks. Details to follow. ®

3GSM 2005

All the Reg stories from this year’s conference

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.