LONDON, March 10, 2004 — Leading companies from the mobile industry have signed a memorandum of understanding to apply for a mobile Top Level Domain (“mobile TLD”) from the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) during the current application round, which closes March 15. If the application is successful and the mobile TLD is granted by ICANN, the industry leaders have agreed to form a new joint venture to manage the mobile TLD. A mobile TLD would be a key step in bridging the world of mobility and the Internet to the benefit of customers and the entire mobile industry.
A mobile TLD on the Internet creates the opportunity to streamline the deployment of new Internet sites optimized for mobile usage. This effort is driven by the aim of simplifying the Internet experience for mobile subscribers and increasing the ease of use and speed of delivery of mobile Internet services.
The participating companies are Microsoft Corp., Nokia, Vodafone, 3, GSM Association, HP, Orange, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Sun Microsystems. These companies and others that will join over the coming months represent software developers, device manufacturers, network operators, infrastructure providers and content providers. The mobile TLD brings together mobile-industry-leading companies to catalyze business opportunities for companies servicing mobile customers with compelling new mobile services and applications.
Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, the companies intend to form a registry company to manage the distribution of the new mobile TLD names. The mobile TLD would be designed to enable efficient application and network services and reliability for mobile customers and service providers.
The registry company will seek participation of additional, members to ensure broad customer and industry input.
“Microsoft is proud to partner with luminaries from across industries on creating a mobile Top Level Domain to the benefit of the entire value chain, and most important, mobile customers,” said Brian Arbogast, corporate vice president of the MSN Communications Platform at Microsoft. “We expect that by leveraging the technologies of the Internet, appropriately scaled for mobile scenarios, this initiative will provide the ease of use and efficiency that will significantly fuel mobile Internet usage.”
“The creation of a mobile Top Level Domain would allow consumers to access the Internet in very different mobility scenarios, whether the access is provided by mobile operator, Internet service provider or various gateway devices at home or enterprise,” said Pertti Korhonen, senior vice president and CTO of Nokia. “The wide industry participation highlights the shared objective of offering seamless global access and interoperability of mobile services and applications.”
Alan Harper, group strategy director at Vodafone, said, “Establishing a mobile TLD is an exciting development for the entire mobile industry. The aim of the initiative is to accelerate the rollout of Internet products and services specifically designed for mobile devices as well as to ensure far greater operating simplicity for mobile subscribers across the globe. This venture should build on the considerable trust that exists in the mobile community between subscribers and operators.”
3 delivers third-generation mobile multimedia and communications services, offering a convergence of media, information and telephony to enable live video calls, multimedia content and entertainment while on the move.
3 services are available from in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Sweden and UK. 3 also holds UMTS licences in Ireland, Israel and Norway.
For further information, please visit: www.three.com
About the GSM Association
The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association that exists to promote, protect and enhance the interests of 620 GSM mobile operators from more than 200 countries of the world. The Association’s members provide mobile services to more than 1 Billion customers throughout the world today. The GSMA aims to accelerate the implementation of collectively identified, commercially prioritised operator requirements and to take leadership in representing the global GSM mobile operator community with one voice on a wide variety of issues nationally, regionally and globally.
The GSM family of wireless communications platforms, including GSM, GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) and EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution) and 3GSM (W CDMA) account for 73 percent of the total digital wireless market today. The GSM Association is a unique organisation, with truly global reach, offering a full range of business, technical and public policy services to its members. For more information, visit the website at www.gsmworld.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia is dedicated to enhancing people’s lives and productivity by providing easy-to-use and secure products like mobile phones, and solutions for imaging, games, media, mobile network operators and businesses. Nokia is a broadly held company with listings on five major exchanges.
Orange and wirefree are trademarks of Orange PCS. The Orange group is one of the world’s largest mobile communications companies, with operations in 19 countries across Europe and beyond. It provides a broad range of personal communications services, including Orange GSM1800 services and other digital cellular telephone services. The Orange brand operates in the UK, France, Switzerland, Romania, Denmark, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Thailand, the Ivory Coast, the Dominican Republic, Cameroon, the Netherlands, Botswana and Madagascar. The Orange group also has controlled operations in Belgium (Mobistar). The Orange group has a joint controlling interest in Egypt (MobiNil) and minority interests in Portugal (Optimus), Austria (One) and Mumbai/India (BPL Mobile). As at the end of December 2003, Orange was the largest mobile operator in both the UK with 13.6 million active customers, and France with over 20 million registered customers. As at the end of December 2003, Orange controlled companies had over 49 million customers worldwide.
About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunications, flat panel display and digital convergence technology. Samsung Electronics employs approximately 75,000 people in 89 offices across 47 countries. The company is the world’s largest producer of CDMA mobile phones, memory chips, TFT-LCDs, monitors and VCRs. Samsung Electronics consists of six main business units: Corporate Technology Operations, Digital Media Business, Telecommunication Network Business, Digital Appliance Business, Semiconductor Business and LCD Business.
About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer” — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://sun.com
Vodafone provides a full range of mobile telecommunications services, including voice and data communications. Vodafone has equity interests in 26 countries and Partner Networks in a further 13 countries, with a proportionate customer base of over 130 million.
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Vodafone and the Vodafone logos are trademarks of the Vodafone Group.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.