Orange sings Opera's praises

Opera's use of open Web standards has proved attractive to Orange as it examines ways of pushing Web content to users

Browser company Opera is working with mobile operator Orange on technology that pushes Web content to mobile phone users.

Opera announced on Tuesday that Orange is researching and developing the use of its new mobile browser technology, the Opera Platform. As reported on Monday, Opera Platform can be used by operators to create a branded front page that includes Web information such as news headlines and email alerts, as well as information from the handset such as battery power and missed calls. Users only need to click once to follow links that go directly to the Web, rather than needing to separately access 3G services.

Eric Dufresne, head of Orange's research and development centre in Boston, said the operator was attracted by Opera's standards-based approach as it allows them to improve the user experience across multiple platforms. Open standards also offer the advantage that anyone can develop for the platform, unlike proprietary standards which restrict development opportunities, according to Rolf Assev, a vice-president at Orange.

"The Opera Platform opens up possibilities for the entire Internet's content developer community to bring innovative and exciting services to millions of mobile users," said Assev in a statement. "That's the beauty of using open standards. Orange is the first operator to step away from the existing world of proprietary solutions that offer less dynamic user experiences with smaller development communities."

Access Systems Europe, one of Opera's competitors in the mobile browser space, said it has already developed a similar technology, but Opera claims that its platform is different from existing and competing products as it is completely based on open Web standards.

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