Backed by companies spanning telephony and computing hardware and Internet connectivity - Toshiba, Intel, BT Cellnet, Dell Computer, France Telecom, Fujitsu, Siemens, HP, Motorola and Sonera - the mission of the MDI-ng is to identify and remove common technical and market barriers that currently limit wireless connectivity and performance for mobile users.
This group will define usage models, create forums for interoperability tests and roll out bundled solutions. The initiative addresses standards compatibility, application scalability between devices, security, reliability and ease of use.
"This initiative brings together industry leaders from key areas - appliances, content, networks and services - to ensure that today's and tomorrow's wireless products and services can work together effortlessly and seamlessly in the future, " said Masahiko Fukakushi, Vice President, Toshiba Europe. " We want to ensure that wireless internet/intranet access with mobile devices becomes as easy and as ubiquitous as over fixed wires is today. Toshiba has always believed that mobility is a decisive competitive advantage in today's business environment. The data stored on a notebook is mission critical, but so too is the ability to communicate effectively with business partners. Toshiba will be a very strategic driver of the MDI-ng initiative and intends to play a major role in promoting wireless solutions across Europe."
The MDI-ng will facilitate wireless industry meetings and workshops where service providers and suppliers will meet and discuss interoperability issues. Interoperability tests and technology overviews will be carried out to help guide the efforts of companies involved, industry standard bodies, as well as the broader mobile services sector. MDI-ng activities will be ongoing, with regular sessions to address issues driving mobile development - ranging from m-commerce to applications design.
Businesspeople and consumers will benefit, more quickly than ever before, from tested and proven solutions that are easy to use and more reliable. The MDI-ng primarily addresses wireless access by different mobile devices to cellular phone systems, the group will also put considerable effort into complementary wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and wireless LAN.
MDI-ng Technology focus
The MDI-ng initiative will focus on packet switched wireless networks. Packet switched services will have a tremendous impact on regular wireless Internet subscriber usage. Packet switched network subscribers are always online, and subscribers do not have to wait for a modem to establish a connection. This will be a giant leap forward from standard analogue lines. In addition, GPRS users only have to pay for actual transferred data/information/content, which should reduce costs dramatically. Tariff models can be based on pay-per-bit actually used, instead of pay-per-minute-a boon to mobile Internet users. Finally, GPRS permits much higher bandwidth for subscribers than current GSM-technologies, achieving performance comparable to fixed wire connections.
The MDI-ng will then carry on to address 3G cellular technology, the continuation after GPRS within Europe. There are various 3G technologies defined today, such as WCDMA (Wide-band Code-Division Multiple Access), EDGE Enhanced Data GSM Environment) and CDMA2000. They all offer packet-switched, higher bandwidth services, with WCDMA becoming the long-term global cellular standard.