Nextel Communications Inc. and Motorola Inc. today unveiled breakthrough technologies and programs that enable Nextel subscribers to easily purchase, manage and wirelessly download powerful applications to their Java(TM)technology-enabled handsets by Motorola.
Nextel and Motorola have developed over-the-air application downloading, network-aware application capabilities and a certification program for Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME(TM)) applications.
These initiatives enable small, medium and large companies to realize the benefits of wirelessly enabling their businesses, as well as provide the developer community with the commerce and distribution solutions needed to drive developer revenues.
“We have seen a tremendous response from customers and developers in Java-based application development in the six months since we first introduced our Java-based phones,” said Greg Santoro, vice president of Internet and Wireless Services at Nextel. “These new capabilities will accelerate the momentum behind Java-based wireless applications, matching exciting, new applications with an easy, secure, over-the-air access solution.”
“Adding over-the-air download and network-aware application support dramatically improves the user experience and expands the potential of the wireless phone,” said Peter Aloumanis, vice president of Motorola and director of U.S. Market Operations for the company’s iDEN(R) Subscriber Group. “Together, Motorola and Nextel are driving next-generation wireless solutions that address critical business requirements for improving customer service and revenue generation by enabling information access on the go.”
Over-the-air application downloading (OAD) simplifies the way applications are delivered to customers. The capability enables subscribers with Nextel Wireless Web service plans to personalize their phones by downloading Java applications without wires or additional hardware.
OAD will accelerate user adoption of wireless applications by greatly increasing accessibility and simplifying the downloading of new applications.
A history of downloaded applications remains available at any time from the Nextel network, allowing subscribers to rotate and use applications as needed. Since Nextel uses a packet-based data network to deliver applications, a typical application takes just minutes to download and a subscriber never need worry about using up voice minutes downloading applications.
All Nextel Java technology-enabled phones developed by Motorola are equipped with this capability, starting with those manufactured in August 2001. Java technology-enabled phones purchased prior to this date can be enhanced with a simple, free phone software upgrade that is available through www.nextel.com/idenupdate.
By enabling network-aware applications, developers are now able to combine the power of Java with the Nextel nationwide, packet data network to provide secure end-to-end connections between Internet-ready phones and the corporate enterprise.
For example, a sales professional at a customer site can enter an order into a centralized, corporate order management system that then queries the database for inventory availability and instantly returns stock availability information to the sales professional’s handset. The Motorola i85s and i50sx handsets are the first in a series of application upgradeable devices and were introduced earlier this year.
“Network-aware application capabilities really open the floodgates for developers to take advantage of J2ME in wireless environments,” said Matthew Curinga, chief technology officer at Crisp Wireless, a New York-based technology and strategy services firm for the mobile content industry. “Java applications that can leverage the power of the Nextel wireless data network to interact behind the firewall of enterprise and public servers are very exciting for developers. They promise to be a very strong driver for bringing new, profitable applications to market.”
Network-aware applications will enable subscribers to wirelessly access information from both enterprise and public servers. In addition to standard Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the handset’s Java environment supports Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) using standard secure socket layer (SSL) to enable an encrypted, secure connection.
The over-the-air download solution uses HTTPS to ensure secure, transfer of applications to handsets.
Network-aware applications can still operate even when outside of the coverage of the Nextel network. Since Java allows developers to take advantage of persistent memory, data entered while out of coverage can be stored in the handset until the network is reencountered.
Nextel/Motorola Wireless Certification Program
Nextel and Motorola now offer a certification program for J2ME wireless data applications. The program demonstrates the companies’ commitment to providing developers with open tools, flexible services and strong channels for the creation and distribution of wireless applications.
The certification program allows developers to submit J2ME applications for fast, objective testing performed by Nextel and Quality Partners, an independent third party.
Those developers whose applications meet testing standards will be able to take advantage of additional technical and business development opportunities. Once an application passes certification testing, it is eligible for distribution through an application download website (http://nextel.com/idenupdate), which is available to all Nextel users with Java technology-enabled phones.
Developers will also be able to use the “Nextel Compatible Product Logo” and the “Motorola Compatible Logo.”
PowerApp Service Plan
To support network-aware Java applications, Nextel offers PowerApp service plans that provide a range of pricing options based on the amount of data transferred per month using the applications. Consult with local Nextel wireless data sales representatives for pricing packages.