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Wednesday, 16 November 2005 08:35

LiPS aims to make Linux phones talk better

A number of carriers and manufacturers, lead by France Telecom, have launched Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum to "promote development and deployment of applications and services on Linux phones through standardisation."

The Forum has been set up to "accelerate the adoption of Linux in fixed, mobile and converged devices by standardising Linux-based services and APIs that most directly influence the development, deployment and interoperability of applications and user-level services."

The founding members are ARM, Cellon, Esmertec, France Telecom/Orange, FSM Labs, Huawei, Jaluna, MIZI Research, Montavista Software, Open-Plug and PalmSource.

The Forum's president is Haila Wang, CTO of France Telecom's Beijing R&D lab. According to Wang, "Linux offers an increasingly attractive alternative to proprietary operating systems. By standardising the Linux-based system services and application programming interfaces (APIs), we will help to simplify the creation of fully functional Linux phones, ensuring they match the requirements of operators and increasing their appeal to consumers."

LiPS will support the deployment of applications and revenue generating services on Linux phones through three deliverables:
- Standardised application programming interfaces (APIs) that define the Linux-based system services that support the development and the deployment of applications and user-level services that run on phones.
- Standards for extensions to the software development kits (SDKs) that allow developers to easily take advantage of LiPS APIs to develop their products.
- A testing methodology that will be used to certify LiPS-compliant implementations.

LiPS will define profiles corresponding to the most prevalent categories of telephony devices (eg. smartphones, feature phones, fixed line or converged devices). It aims to promote "standardisation without fragmentation" by working closely with existing groups to incorporate existing standards on developing new standards in areas not currently addressed.

LiPS says it will support requirements defined by the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP), an association of mobile operators worldwide focussed on defining the functional requirements of mobile phones. For other classes of devices such as converged devices, the LiPS Forum will seek input from its member operators and other industry bodies.

Other organisations are invited to join. https://www.lipsforum.org.

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