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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Open Mobile Alliance?
A: The Open Mobile Alliance was formed in June 2002 by nearly 200 companies representing the world’s leading mobile operators, device & network suppliers, information technology companies and content providers.

Most significantly, the Open Mobile Alliance is designed to be the center of mobile service enabler specification work, helping the creation of interoperable services across countries, operators and mobile terminals that will meet the needs of the user. To grow the mobile market, the companies supporting the Open Mobile Alliance will work towards stimulating the fast and wide adoption of a variety of new, enhanced mobile information, communication and entertainment services.

The foundation of the Open Mobile Alliance was created by consolidating the efforts of the supporters of the Open Mobile Architecture initiative and the WAP Forum. In addition, the SyncML initiative, Location Interoperability Forum (LIF), MMS Interoperability Group (MMS-IOP), Wireless Village, Mobile Gaming Interoperability Forum (MGIF), and Mobile Wireless Internet Forum (MWIF) have consolidated into the Open Mobile Alliance.

By linking the activities of a number of organizations, the Open Mobile Alliance can address areas that previously fell outside the scope of any existing organizations, as well as streamline work that may have been previously duplicated by multiple organizations.

Q: Who are the members of the Open Mobile Alliance?
A: OMA member companies fall into 4 categories that define the various parts of the end-to-end value chain. They include:

  • Wireless Vendors
  • Information Technology Companies
  • Mobile Operators
  • Application & Content Providers

Q: What is the purpose of the Open Mobile Alliance?
A: The purpose of the Open Mobile Alliance is to grow the market for the entire mobile industry by removing barriers to interoperability, supporting a seamless and easy to use mobile experience for users and a market environment that encourages competition through innovation and differentiation.

Individual organizations often address standardization issues within one specific scope. By linking the activities of a number of organizations, the Open Mobile Alliance can address areas that previously fell outside the scope of any existing organizations, as well as streamline work that may have been previously duplicated by multiple organizations.

Most significantly, the Open Mobile Alliance is designed to be the center of all mobile application standardization work, enabling the creation of mobile services designed to meet the needs of the end-user. To grow the mobile market, the companies supporting the Open Mobile Alliance will work towards stimulating the fast and wide adoption of a variety of new, enhanced mobile information, communication and entertainment services. The implementation of OMA specifications results in benefits to the end-users, providing easy to use mobile services that are interoperable across countries, operators and mobile terminals.

Q: What are the benefits of the Open Mobile Alliance to the mobile industry?
A: The distinct benefit of the Open Mobile Alliance is a holistic approach to the value chain of mobile services and applications. This is reflected in the comprehensive inclusion of the specification work – no other industry organization has had such extensive participation from all parties involved in the entire mobile services value chain. The interoperability issues can be solved more quickly and efficiently when the industry specification forums consolidate under the same working process within the same organization. Another benefit is that the companies involved in the Open Mobile Alliance will not need to invest in several, but one substantial specification body.

Q: What are the benefits from the Open Mobile Alliance to different types of companies?
A: Solutions based on open standards will bring economies of scale benefits to all parties in the value chain:

IT Vendors

  • Leverage investment in applications and infrastructure by extending accessibility and reach to the mobile environment
  • Extend reach to a broader range of application developers by:
  • Shortening development cycle by providing open standards and uniforms API€™s that ensure interoperability
  • Leveraging their existing investment
  • Providing a framework for richer applications
  • Accelerate the delivery of products, services and technologies to all the members of the value chain
  • Build a bridge between Internet and mobile service domains

Wireless Vendors

  • Foster growth of mobile services market worldwide
  • Ensure interoperability with various terminals, networks and servers from different vendors
  • Utilise the widest variety of services, built upon open standards and enabling technologies
  • Differentiate on terminal design and features while maintaining a core set of interoperable applications
  • Reduce development costs

Mobile Operators

  • Increase ARPU, profit margin and data revenue by accelerating the uptake of services through ensuring user interoperability across terminals, markets and operators
  • Invest with confidence, knowing that services are based on open, interoperable standards
  • Provide consumers and business users with seamless interoperable services across mobile networks and Internet domains
  • Choose from a wide range of technology providers, with no need to rely on a single vendor
  • Collect market requirements as a base for the specification work

Content & Service Providers

  • Make use of universal mobile distribution formats
  • Drive the development and delivery of the attractive content to the global audience
  • Enjoy the financial effect of simplified application and content development
  • Benefits of a global and multi-vendor ecosystem

Q: What are the objectives of the Open Mobile Alliance?
A: The goals of the Open Mobile Alliance are to:

  • Deliver high quality, open technical specifications based upon market requirements that drive modularity, extensibility, and consistency amongst enablers to reduce industry implementation efforts.
  • Ensure OMA service enabler specifications provide interoperability across different devices, geographies, service providers, operators, and networks; facilitate interoperability of the resulting product implementations.
  • Be the catalyst for the consolidation of standards activity within the mobile data service industry; working in conjunction with other existing standards organizations and industry fora to improve interoperability and decrease operational costs for all involved.
  • Provide value and benefits to members in OMA from all parts of the value chain including content and service providers, information technology providers, mobile operators and wireless vendors such that they elect to actively participate in the organization

Q: What are the principles of the Open Mobile Alliance?
A: The principles of the Open Mobile Alliance are:

  • Products and services are based on open, global standards, protocols and interfaces and are not locked to proprietary technologies
  • The applications layer is bearer agnostic (examples: GSM, GPRS, EDGE, CDMA, UMTS)
  • The architecture framework and service enablers are independent of Operating Systems (OS)
  • Applications and platforms are interoperable, providing seamless geographic and inter-generational roaming

Q: What is the relationship and position of the Open Mobile Alliance to other standardization bodies?
A: The alliance will work with several existing fora and standardization bodies such as 3GPP, 3GPP2. The alliance is not competing with the existing standards but, rather, complementing them to focus on interoperability of services across markets, across terminals and across operators.

Q: Is the scope of the specification work done by Open Mobile Alliance targeted at corporate or consumer services?
A: Since the Open Mobile Alliance focuses on the implementation of open standards based technology enablers, both user groups will benefit from Open Mobile Alliance. Open Mobile Alliance defines the framework in which both user groups will have access to a wide range of interoperable mobile services implemented by the operators and network infrastructure and terminal vendors.