Wireless standards groups join forces

Two groups that have already collaborated on developing wireless security standards are to merge.

Two groups that have already collaborated on developing wireless security standards are to merge.

By mid-June, the PAM Forum, a consortium working on presence and availability (P&A) security standards within the wireless industry, will become part of the Parlay Group, a multi-vendor industry consortium encouraging common standards across wireless and other networks.

The PAM Forum, created in early 2000, will become the presence and availability management (PAM) working group within the Parlay Group. Parlay members include Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, Lucent Technologies and NTT DoCoMo.

Guda Venkatesh, chief technology officer of Teltier Technologies, said the move made sense because it would cause less confusion about standards among wireless suppliers and operators.

Venkatesh, chairman of the previous P&A work group within the Parlay Group and the technical chair of the PAM Forum, said the two groups were already working together in an informal way, with the Parlay Group looking to the PAM Forum for P&A-related standards.

Presence and availability standards focus on security and privacy on wireless devices, including issues such as keeping unauthorised users off wireless networks. The PAM Forum has worked on a specification consisting of application programming interfaces designed to allow wireless networks to share information securely.

The Parlay Group also has a working relationship with the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), Venkatesh said, and the two groups are working together on wireless standards.

The PAM group in Parlay will continue to work on mapping of PAM specifications to protocols including OMA's Instant Messaging and Presence Services (Imps) and Session Initiation Protocol for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (Simple). The group will also address increasing requirements for privacy management of PAM data.

"A lot of the work within the Parlay group now is directed towards encouragement of the developer community to develop programs based on these specifications," Venkatesh said.

 "Towards this end, the PAM working group will be working with the Parlay X Working group that is developing a high-level set of interfaces to ease development efforts."

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