Telecommunications and PC Technology Leaders Join to Deliver Enhanced Wireless Communications Solutions
Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Toshiba Introduce Low Cost, Short-Range Radio Technology
LONDON, (May 20, 1998) - Industry leaders Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia and Toshiba today unveiled their vision to revolutionise wireless connectivity for personal and business mobile devices. Enabling seamless voice and data transmission via wireless, short-range radio, this new technology will allow users to connect a wide range of devices easily and quickly, without the need for cables, expanding communications capabilities for mobile computers, mobile phones and other mobile devices, both in and out of the office.
The open specification for this innovative technology, code-named "Bluetooth", is being developed through the combined contributions of the members of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). The SIG was formed in early 1998 as a result of the global commitment of the five founding companies to develop the concept towards a technology standard. Today, the SIG presents the technology at major venues in London, San Jose, Calif., and Tokyo.
By working together closely, the five companies have combined their individual specialist expertise to create "Bluetooth." Ericsson contributed the basic radio technology expertise; Toshiba and IBM are developing a common specification for integrating "Bluetooth" technology into mobile devices; Intel is contributing its advanced chip and software expertise and Nokia contributes expertise in radio technology and mobile handset software.
Other companies are being invited to support the core technology on a royalty-free basis to ensure that "Bluetooth" can be implemented in many different devices. Companies who have joined the Bluetooth program and committed to include the technology in products include Motorola, Qualcomm, 3COM Palm, VLSI and Lucent (see appendix I for additional company names).
"Bluetooth" utilises a short-range radio link to exchange information, enabling effortless wireless connectivity between mobile phones, mobile PCs, handheld computers and other peripherals. The radio will operate on the globally available 2.45GHz ISM 'free band', allowing international travellers to use "Bluetooth"-enabled equipment worldwide. The new initiative is modelled after other successful industry standards such as PCI and AGP to deliver products that inter-operate.
"Bluetooth" will eliminate the need for business travellers to purchase or carry numerous, often proprietary cables by allowing multiple devices to communicate with each other through a single port. Enabled devices will not need to remain within line-of-sight, and can maintain an uninterrupted connection when in motion, or even when placed in a pocket or briefcase.
"Bluetooth" technology will offer new ways in which a user can use personal mobile devices, both for professional and personal use:
"Bluetooth" technology adoption is expected to be widespread throughout the computer and telecommunications industry. The move to implement "Bluetooth" is expected to grow the market for personal mobile devices, and increase airtime usage for mobile data transfer.
Manufacturers will additionally benefit from the ability to replace multiple connection ports with a single "Bluetooth" port, gaining potential economies at production level. The group has defined favourable adoption terms, including royalty-free availability of the specification.
To promote open access to the "Bluetooth" concept and communicate news about its development in the future, the SIG today launched a website at www.Bluetooth.com
Ericsson's 100,000 employees are active in more than 130 countries. Their combined expertise in fixed and mobile networks, mobile phones and infocom systems makes Ericsson a world-leading supplier in telecommunications.
IBM, the world's largest computer manufacturer, is also the world's largest software company and the world's largest provider of information technology services. Additional information is available at www.ibm.com/.
Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom.
Headquartered in Finland, Nokia is a broad-scope telecommunications company supplying mobile phones, mobile and fixed telecommunications networks, data communications solutions, multimedia terminals and computer monitors. With sales in 130 countries, net sales totalled FIM 52.6 billion ($9.8 billion) in 1997. Nokia, listed on NYSE (NOK.A), employs more than 38,000 people worldwide.
With sales of $44 billion (sales for fiscal year ending March 31st, 1997), Toshiba is the world's sixth largest electronics and electrical equipment manufacturer. Toshiba Corporation is a world leader in high technology products with over 180,000 employees in more than 55 countries throughout the world. Founded in 1875, Toshiba has had a long history as technological innovator and invested more than $2.6 billion in R&D in 1997.
APPENDIX 1Companies Participating in "Bluetooth" SIG
3Com (Palm, Megahertz, 3com, USR)
Lucent Technologies UK Limited