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Created: July 30, 2004.
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W3C and Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Cooperate on Mobile Web Specifications.

A joint announcement from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) describes approval of a formalized relationship that "will enable both organizations to collaborate on specifications for mobile access to the Web."

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlines how the two organizations may "collaboratively engage in exchange of technical information and contributions. The result will benefit developers, product and service providers and others, by providing standardized technology at their disposal to accelerate the development and deployment of new mobile applications and services."

The MOU is motivated by a goal of rapidly developing the Mobile Web Access infrastructure and providing for interoperability as a key feature of future mobile applications. The agreement "will further solidify the foundation for faster development, adoption, and standardization of new features and functions for mobile devices that connect to the Web."

The W3C-OMA agreement establishes specific guidelines regarding the sharing of documents and the participation by observers in designated meetings. Observers are those persons "representing their respective parties from either the Open Mobile Alliance or W3C, who may attend the other party's meetings. Observers may only act as liaison officers and may not bind either the host organization or any other member organization. An observer may be permitted to attend and participate in the other party's relevant specification/expert groups, technical body or relevant subordinate technical groups/bodies," subject to applicable terms.

From the Announcement

"The W3C's formal relationship with the OMA brings us one step closer to achieving our vision of universal access to one Web, for anyone, anywhere, anytime, using any device," said Dr. Philipp Hoschka, Interaction Domain Leader at the W3C. "Together, W3C and OMA are well positioned to lead development toward technological compatibility and the ease of repurposing Web content, known as single Web authoring."

"OMA is pleased by this new working relationship with the W3C and believes it will be well received by the mobile industry. By working collaboratively with the W3C, OMA seeks to capitalize on the synergies between each organization to address the market requirements for interoperability. Together we can improve the quality of the end user's experience, and facilitate the development and adoption of new, enhanced mobile information, communication, and entertainment services," stated Mark Cataldo, Chair of the Technical Plenary at OMA.

OMA, an industry organization made up of over 350 global companies, develops interoperable mobile data service enablers that work across devices, service providers, operators, networks, and geographies.

W3C develops Recommendations in widespread use in the mobile industry today, including XHTML Basic, SMIL, and mobile SVG. W3C's activities in the area of Device Independence and Multimodal Interaction are of high relevance to the mobile industry.

Related News: OMA-IETF Standardization Collaboration

An OMA-IETF Standardization Collaboration was published by the Internet Architecture Board on August 10, 2004. It is edited by Geoff Huston (Internet Architecture Board) and Ileana Leuca (Open Mobile Alliance):

This document contains a set of principles and guidelines that serves as the basis for establishing a cooperation framework between the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), with the objective of securing timely development of technical specification that facilitate maximum interoperability with existing (fixed and mobile) Internet systems, devices, and protocols.

Within the OMA, specific activities are undertaken through OMA Working Groups, each with their area of responsibilities. These activities are authorized, and their output is approved by, the OMA Technical Plenary. The list of OMA Working Groups, OMA Specifications for public comment, the OMA work program and publicly available working group drafts can be found at the OMA web site...

Within the IETF activities are undertaken within a framework of Areas, with specific activities being undertaken by Working Groups that are chartered within each Area. Working Group outputs are reviewed by the Internet Engineering Steering Group and published by the RFC-Editor. IETF activities are based on a principle of open contribution and participation by any interested party. Information on IETF Working Groups, current work item drafts, meeting schedules, and mailing lists are published on the IETF web site...

The IETF and the OMA are cooperating with a mutual desire to support the integrity of specifications and standards developed by each body. The preferred approach is that the OMA uses the Internet standards unchanged, if feasible, and communicate requirements for change into IETF as needed. The parties intend to work together in an effort to avoid duplication of work....

The areas of common interest between the IETF and the OMA include: Instant Messaging based on SIP/SIMPLE; Presence and availability; Privacy; SIP Event Notification; Location services, such as geographic location; Device management; Multimedia messaging, including email interconnectivity and mapping; Group management; Telephone number mapping (ENUM)..."

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