San Jose, Calif. (July 27, 1999) ¾ Phone.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: PHCM) today announced at the Unwired Universe Conference its Mobile Management Architecture (MMA) - an open, extensible architecture that provides wireless network operators with unprecedented control over the settings configuration and software of wireless handsets. Utilizing Internet and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) standards to provision both handsets and wireless network elements, MMA is designed to enable wireless network operators to remotely alter specific settings in handsets even after the handsets have been sold.
As WAP-based wireless Internet access services come to market, MMA will provide carriers with the software infrastructure needed to manage rapid evolution of their networks and handset capabilities. MMA will provide an interactive method for initial provisioning of wireless voice and data services. MMA will allow carriers to update wireless handset settings and software at anytime, even months or years after the handset was purchased. Authentication and encryption are provided through the use of Internet standards.
MMA is open, flexible, and extensible. MMA allows the provisioning of handsets and network elements for all airlink protocols, including CDMA, GSM, iDEN, PDC and TDMA. MMA's extensible design will allow carriers to enhance their provisioning systems over time with the addition of handset or application-specific features. As the wireless business becomes more complex and competitive, carriers need the security of architecture for provisioning which can expand to meet new carrier demands. MMA is infrastructure-vendor neutral, allowing multi-vendor networks to be managed with a common system.
"With the increasing sophistication of wireless handsets and the introduction of wireless data services, provisioning demands have exceeded the capabilities of most traditional over-the-air provisioning methods," said Ben Linder, vice president of marketing for Phone.com. "Unlike existing over-the-air provisioning systems, MMA addresses both the voice and data services provisioning while easily supporting multiple vendor's network and infrastructure elements."
The MMA architecture is designed to integrate tightly with a carrier's existing provisioning and network control systems. All interfaces to other network elements are flexible and easily modified so those products using MMA can be quickly adapted to the carrier's existing network provisioning infrastructure. In most cases, the existing systems will not need to be modified; MMA's flexibility allows the new provisioning server to adapt its interfaces to the existing systems' protocols. For example, in CDMA networks, MMA specifies adherence and interoperability using the IS-683a protocol, a standard that is already widely in use in these networks.
"Bell Atlantic Mobile and Phone.com are collaborating to develop the Mobile Management Architecture. Together we are driving the adoption of this technology by a subcommittee of the CDMA Development Group (CDG)," said Ted Hoffman vice president, technology development of Bell Atlantic Mobile. "Phone.com's MMA will allow us to improve the economics of our roaming arrangements by giving us greater control of the handset's roaming preferences in real time."
Future Phone.com products will incorporate MMA technology to provide carriers with solutions built on today's wireless and Internet standards that are ready for tomorrow's provisioning demands. Phone.com intends to incorporate MMA into its suite of products in Q4 of calendar 1999. Initial trials of MMA in carrier networks are scheduled to begin in Q4 of calendar 1999.
Applications of MMA Wireless handsets contain network-specific settings such as roaming lists, authentication keys, and phone numbers that are provisioned into the handset at the time of manufacturing or purchase. These settings have been difficult and sometimes impossible to change once the handset is in the field. By enabling wireless network operators to remotely alter specific parameters in handsets even after handsets have been sold, operators can switch roaming partners in specific markets depending on changing business conditions, perform area-code splits automatically, and re-program other handset settings. MMA brings a much higher degree of flexibility that is critical to a carrier's success in today's dynamic telecommunications markets. MMA will allow carriers to reduce operating costs and offer more innovative services to their subscribers.
MMA, in conjunction with WAP based application servers, will enable self-service retail provisioning of handsets. Subscribers will be prompted to enter their personal data right from the screen of the phone, and MMA capable network elements will initiate the required credit verification and account initialization transactions.
About Phone.com Phone.com, Inc. is a leading provider of software that enables the delivery of Internet-based services to mass-market wireless telephones. Using its software, wireless subscribers have access to Internet- and corporate intranet-based services, including Email, news, stocks, weather, travel and sports. In addition, subscribers have access via their wireless telephones to network operators' intranet-based telephony services, which may include over-the-air activation, call management, billing history information, pricing plan subscription and voice message management. Phone.com is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California and has regional offices in London and Tokyo. Visit http://www.phone.com for more information.
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, Phone.com's limited operating history, potential fluctuations in Phone.com's operating results, uncertainties related to the Phone.com's long sales cycle and reliance on a small number of customers, Phone.com's dependence on the acceptance of its products by network operators and wireless subscribers, Phone.com's ability to adequately address the rapidly-evolving market for delivery of Internet-based services through wireless telephones, the need to achieve widespread integration of Phone.com's browser in wireless telephones, competition from companies with substantially greater financial, technical, marketing and distribution resources and the ability of Phone.com to manage a complex set of engineering, marketing and distribution relationships. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Phone.com's prospectus dated June 10, 1999 and in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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