by January 5, 2004 0 comments

Imagine if you could use your mobile phone to chat with others, either on their cell phones or even computers. Sounds interesting? Enter the wireless village. 

The wireless village is a part of the Mobile IMPS (instant messaging and presence services) initiative formed by Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia in 2001. 

There are four key features of wireless village: presence, IM (instant messaging), groups or chat, and shared content.
Presence is an extension to IMs. It will include your status (online/offline/on a call/in a meeting), device capabilities (GPRS, text, voice, multimedia), device availability (is the phone or mobile device on/off), and your mood and hobby information. 
IM will be essentially the same as today, with interoperability between desktops and mobile devices.It will allow you to create and manage chat groups. These groups can be taken a step ahead by having an online storage for this content. 

It will also include access control features to enable or disable the above-mentioned services. 

Interoperability Framework and Architecture
The specification defines how wireless village communicates with the existing wireless infrastructure, and how it provides an open interface to the existing IM communities like Yahoo and MSN on the Internet.

The wireless village works on a client server model. The servers are the wireless village servers while the clients are mobile devices, other servers or simple PCs. Also, the client can either be an embedded client or a CLI(command line interface) client. 

Its framework includes the system architecture and an open protocol suite at the IMPS application level. The protocol mostly makes use of the existing Web technologies such as

It consists of a Client Server Protocol (CSP) to give you access to the server; CLP(command line protocol) to provide the interface to the CLI client; and SSP(server-to-server protocol) to provide interaction between wireless village servers and SSP gateways. SSP also allows you to interact with proprietary IM networks using a SSP gateway.

When do we see it?
Mobile manufacturers have started building support for wireless village in their upcoming models. Starting 2004, you will be able to see it in the features list of the new models, the prominent ones being Nokia 6230 and Sony Ericsson T630. Now the big question is, will it be popular? 

We saw a big hype over WAP but it eventually bombed. The same hype went up for GPRS, but we do not see much action happening on that front also, except on MMS and gaming. 

While the browsing technologies did not do well, the messaging and gaming counterparts are quite popular. 

So lets wait and see if the wired city becomes a wireless village!

Geetaj Channana

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