Symbian to cut wires

Symbian expands short range communications capabilities for Wireless Information Devices - joins Bluetooth consortium to continue driving open standards for Wireless Information Devices

LONDON, United Kingdom - July 24th, 1998 - Symbian Ltd, the joint initiative between Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, and Psion which licenses, develops and supports the EPOC operating system, has joined with IBM, Intel, Toshiba and 14 other companies to support the Bluetooth wireless connectivity initiative.

Enabling seamless voice and data transmission via wireless, short-range radio, Bluetooth technology will allow users to connect a wide range of devices easily and quickly, without the need for cables, expanding communications capabilities for Wireless Information Devices and other mobile devices, both in and out of the office.

"Bluetooth is no less than a revolution in device connectivity and inter-operability. Capitalising on our extensive experience in providing robust operating systems for Wireless Information Devices, Symbian has long been committed to short range wireless technology." Says Juha Christensen, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Symbian. "Seamless connectivity between mobile devices and all other computing devices has always been at the core of our strategy, and the wireless connectivity that Bluetooth provides will dramatically change the way Wireless Information Devices and other computing devices communicate with each other. EPOC will be the first mobile operating system to support Bluetooth"

Symbian is actively working to support the core technology on a royalty-free basis together with the five companies that combined their individual specialist expertise to create this innovative technology. Key members of Bluetooth include Ericsson, who have contributed the basic radio technology expertise; Toshiba and IBM who are developing a common specification for integrating Bluetooth technology into mobile devices; Intel who are contributing their advanced chip and software expertise and Nokia, who contribute their expertise in radio technology and mobile handset software. Symbian is providing operating system and applications integration expertise.

"We are delighted to welcome Symbian to the Bluetooth initiative, which has garnered enormous interest since its launch," said Simon Ellis, Communications Marketing Manager, Intel. "Together our technology will replace the need for business travelers to purchase or carry multiple, often proprietary, cables by allowing devices to communicate with each other through a single port."

With Bluetooth, devices will not need to remain in line-of-sight, and can remain connected even when placed in a pocket or briefcase. The industry will gain added benefits from the ability to replace multiple connection ports with a single Bluetooth port, gaining potential economies at production level. Bluetooth uses a short-range radio link to exchange information, enabling effortless wireless connectivity between mobile phones, Wireless Information Devices, laptop 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.

"Ericsson is delighted that Symbian has decided to join the Bluetooth consortium," says Johan Siberg, President of Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. "It further demonstrates the importance of an initiative which brings together industry leaders to develop the best use of technology. In this fast moving industry, communications and computing industries must continue to work together," he adds.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group previously presented the technology at venues in London, San Jose, California and Tokyo. 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 initiative and have committed to include the technology in products include Motorola, Qualcomm, 3COM Palm, VLSI and Lucent.

Bluetooth benefits for the user:

Usage scenario:

A mobile user attending an internal product demonstration meeting, takes notes with a Communicator, and snaps a photo with a digital camera. Standing up to do a presentation to his colleagues, he puts his Communicator in his pocket. In the middle of the presentation he receives a short message on his Communicator. He is immediately alerted to this message as his Bluetooth enabled watch beeps. The display on his watch reads "Executive board need an immediate report on meeting progress, Jane." He ends his presentation. Using Bluetooth he transfers the picture from the digital camera to the Communicator, collates the notes and photo, generates an email to the executive board and prints a hard copy at a local printer - all without leaving the room, all without wires.

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About Symbian

Symbian licenses, develops and supports the EPOC operating system - providing leading software, user interfaces, application frameworks and development tools for Wireless Information Devices such as Communicators and Smartphones. Symbian aims to promote standards for the interoperation of Wireless Information Devices with wireless networks, content services, messaging and enterprise wide solutions. With headquarters in London, and offices in Kanazawa, Japan and the San Francisco Bay Area, USA, Symbian is owned by Ericsson, Nokia and Psion. Symbian's website can be found at