Ericsson, IBM, Lotus, Oracle, Palm Computing and Symbian in joint initiative to foster Mobile Internet applications

GENEVA - Telecom 99- Oct 15, 1999 - Ericsson and fellow industry leaders IBM, Lotus, Oracle, Palm Computing and Symbian are joining forces in the GPRS Applications Alliance (GAA), a cross-industry initiative designed to serve as a catalyst in the advancement of applications based on the new mobile packet switching technology, GPRS.

GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) introduces packet data to mobile networks and is a first, vital step for GSM and TDMA operators in the evolution to 3G (third generation) mobile networks, enabling a range of new and enhanced services in a mobile environment.

The GAA was established in June with an open invitation to the industry, and has already performed valuable evaluations on a number of applications.

Ericsson is today announcing IBM, Lotus, Oracle, Palm Computing and Symbian as the initial participants in the GAA. This alliance is open to any organization interested in mobile communications, such as software developers, systems integrators, network operators and other infrastructure vendors as well as device manufacturers.

Ericsson is initially establishing two application centers; one in Silicon Valley, California, US and one in 'Mobile Valley', Kista near Stockholm, Sweden. The new centers provide a unique environment for end-to-end testing of GPRS applications.

"The commitment by these major players in the industry will certainly add value and help the rapid take-off of the Mobile Internet applications market," said Per Nordlöf, General Manager, Packet Switching Systems at Ericsson Network Operators. "GAA participants are able to test and verify end-to-end their Mobile Internet solutions and will be in a strong position to guide the further development of open standards for applications and services. Ericsson is involved from the infrastructure side and with its WAP-capable devices, Symbian's EPOC-based devices and other WAP phones and wireless information devices."

"IBM and Lotus are committed to extend our applications and services beyond the PC to a new generation of pervasive devices," said Mark Bregman, General Manager of IBM's Pervasive Computing Division. "GPRS is an important standard in the evolution of this process of freeing people from their desktops and allowing them to access their data anytime, anywhere. By allowing mobile users to be 'always connected' to the network at speeds they are accustomed to in the office or at home on a PC, GRPS will make using a wireless device for traditional data services, like e-mail and eCommerce, a more enjoyable and productive experience."

"Oracle is leading the way with innovative applications for mobile sales and field service, and we believe that GPRS will be a key enabler for future wireless solutions," said Mark Barrenechea, Senior Vice President, Oracle Customer Relationship Management Products. "Through our collaboration with Ericsson, Oracle is developing solutions that will enable mobile professionals to have access to customer information any time and anywhere. Critical data can be available, at their fingertips, through our applications that run on hand-held devices such as smart phones. This unlimited access to information is a key competitive advantage for today's e-businesses."

"Joining the GPRS Applications Alliance increases our global competitive advantage by ensuring that the Palm Computing* platform, including licensees and developers, can leverage a cross-industry wireless standard," said Mark Bercow, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Platform Development for Palm Computing, Inc. "GPRS fits into Palm Computing's focus on simplicity, connectivity and portability, while incorporating wireless capabilities for high speed networks."

"This alliance demonstrates growing evidence of consolidation in the wireless computing industry. As the leading wireless platform provider, Symbian provides licensees with a robust yet flexible solution allowing customization of user interfaces and applications," said Juha Christensen, Executive Vice President, Symbian. "Symbian provides, adopts and initiates standards that will drive the wireless data industry. This further enables the mobile user with compelling services and information, designed for the new, wireless network economy."

The GAA provides the Mobile Internet applications industry easy access to a range of services, including training, product verification, consulting and other information. All of these services will make operators, consultants and other relevant parties more competitive in the mobile data environment.

Visitors to the GAA home page, at have access to a content-rich directory of applications. Interested parties can register to participate in the GAA through on-line registration.

Ericsson is the leading provider in the new telecoms world, with communications solutions that combine telecom and datacom technologies with freedom of mobility for the user. With more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for its customers - network operators, service providers, enterprises and consumers - the world over.

Please visit Ericcson's press room at

Please also see the Symbian GAA feature.

About IBM
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM's Pervasive Computing unit has responsibility for creating e-business solutions that leverage the new class of connected client devices such as handheld Internet appliances and screenphones. A key part of the team's mission is furthering the adoption of open industry standards for pervasive computing to help customers easily access and act on information whenever and wherever they may be. IBM Sweden has 2 500 employees and a turnover 1998 of 7.8 billion SEK. IBM can be found on the Web at

About Lotus
Lotus Development Corporation, founded in 1982, is a subsidiary of IBM Corporation. Lotus sets the standard for truly innovative software products and services that reflect the company's unique understanding of the new ways in which individuals and businesses must work together to achieve success. Lotus is redefining the concept of conducting business through practical knowledge management, e-business and other ground-breaking ways of connecting the world's ideas, thinkers, buyers, sellers and communities via the Internet. Lotus markets its products in more than 80 countries worldwide through direct and extensive Business Partner channels. The company also provides numerous professional consulting, support and education services through the Lotus Professional Services organization.

About Oracle
Oracle Corporation is the world's leading supplier of software for information management, and the world's second largest software company. With annual revenues of more than $9.1 billion, the company offers its database, application server, tools and application products, along with related consulting, education, and support services, in more than 145 countries around the world. For more information about Oracle, please call 650/506-7000. Oracle's World Wide Web address is

About Palm Computing, Inc
Palm Computing, Inc., a 3Com company, is the leading provider of handheld information management solutions, including the best-selling Palm III™, Palm V™ and Palm VII™ series of connected organizers. The Palm Computing® platform is the industry standard for information management and is the foundation for the market-leading connected organizers from Palm Computing as well as products from Palm Computing's strategic partners such as IBM, QUALCOMM, Franklin Covey and Symbol Technologies. Palm Computing products let people carry their most critical personal and business information in their pockets, and access it at any time, anywhere. For more information, please visit

About Symbian
Symbian owns, licenses, develops and supports 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 interoperability of Wireless Information Devices with wireless networks, content services, and messaging and enterprise wide solutions. With headquarters in London, Symbian has offices in Tokyo and Kanazawa, Japan; Ronneby, Sweden; Cambridge, UK and San Francisco Bay Area, USA. Symbian is owned by Ericsson, Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia and Psion. Symbian's web site can be found at