Sun reveals Java work with Nokia, Vodafone

Sun Microsystems will leverage Java for more advanced mobile phone applications through deals announced Monday with Nokia and Vodafone Group.

Nokia's Snap Mobile development platform for multiplayer games will be integrated with the J2ME (Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition) Wireless Toolkit as well as the Java System Content Delivery Server and the Java Enterprise System, the companies announced Monday at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco. They intend to pave the way for development and delivery of more mobile multiplayer games, according to Juan Dewar, senior director of product marketing in the consumer and mobile systems group of Sun.

The combination of Nokia's and Sun's technologies will provide a Solaris-based platform for mobile operators to deliver multiplayer games to their customers and create and support communities of game players, the companies said in a statement. The features from Espoo, Finland-based Nokia will be incorporated into the J2ME Wireless Toolkit later this year and operator pilots of SNAP Mobile games are expected to begin late in the year, the companies said.

Also at JavaOne, Sega.com's Sega Mobile division is demonstrating two casual, multiplayer Java-based games, Reversi and Blackjack, developed on the Snap Mobile platform, according to a Sun statement.

Sun also is helping European mobile operator Vodafone create a new platform for 3G (third-generation) mobile data services. The platform, called Vodafone VFX, will form the basis of Vodafone Live services on 3G phones. Vodafone Live services are now offered on GSM/GPRS (Global System for Mobile communications/General Packet Radio Service), Dewar said. Work is already under way between Sun and Newbury, U.K.-based Vodafone, he said, but he would not provide any roll-out dates for the technology.

Vodafone VFX will be based on the JTWI (Java Technology for the Wireless Industry) specification, and Sun will help Vodafone create a platform that includes some Vodafone innovations to support capabilities specific to its user environment, Dewar said. At a later time, those innovations could be integrated into JTWI, he added.

In addition to jointly developing the platform, the companies will provide a wireless tool-kit to third parties to simplify application development and a Java device test suite for handset suppliers, he said. Giving guidelines to handset makers could help to minimize variations in the user experience between one type of handset and the next, Dewar said.

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Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service

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