Nokia and Vodafone push for mobile Java standards

The world's largest mobile phone manufacturer and Europe's largest wireless operator have launched an initiative to simplify Java...

The world's largest mobile phone manufacturer and Europe's largest wireless operator have launched an initiative to simplify Java standards for mobile devices.

The move is aimed to help developers create software for multiple Java-enabled devices, therefore providing users with a wider choice of Java-based applications.

Under the initiative, Nokia and Vodafone hope to drive the development of specifications for an open standards-based mobile Java services architecture.

While the initiative does not plan to introduce any new API (application programming interface) specifications, it does intend to establish a number of new component Java Specification Requests and clarifications to existing specifications in a move to define a consistent Java API services architecture. This unified services architecture, the compnaies said, will enable Java-based applications to run on mobile devices from multiple suppliers.

The architecture will also include security enhancements for services such as the delivery and administration of software components to mobile devices over-the-air, resulting in cost savings for mobile software maintenance.

Moreover, the initiative seeks to harmonise Java licensing terms in conjunction with Sun Microsystems.

Several leading players in the global mobile phone industry have already signaled support for the initiative, including the mobile phone operators Orange and T-Mobile and handset manufacturers Siemens and Sony Ericsson.

The objectives and responsibilities of the unified mobile Java services architecture will be aligned and coordinated with several organisations, such as the OSGIi Alliance, the Open Mobile Alliance, the Open Mobile Terminal Platform and the World Wide Web Consortium.

All specifications achieved by the initiative will ensure backward compatibility with the MIDP (Mobile Information Device Profile) environment, according to Nokia and Vodafone.

John Blau writes for IDG News Service

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