HP's new wireless push in Asia

Hewlett-Packard Co today unveiled three new mobile e-services initiatives for its Mobile e-Services Bazaar (MEB) in Asia.

SINGAPORE--Hewlett-Packard Co today unveiled three new mobile e-services initiatives for its Mobile e-Services Bazaar (MEB) in Asia.

MEB is said to be a community of partners, including wireless developers, technology providers and systems integrators, that incubate and bring to market new wireless technologies and solutions.

HP's first initiative is to set up a 2.5G/GPRS testing and certification facility that will allow companies participating in MEB to test their 2.5G (2.5 Generation) or GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), 3G (Third Generation), i-mode and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) mobile applications.

According to HP Asia Pacific MEB director Kelvin Tan, HP would be working with locally-based wireless product company AirGateway Pte Ltd to carry out the implementation and system integration of the testing facility here.

As its second initiative, the computer maker is also planning to set up a local wireless multimedia development lab with US-based PacketVideo, which develops and deploys wireless video.

The lab, expected to be operational in the third quarter of this year, would allow MEB members to test and integrate "rich media capabilities" into their wireless applications in a real wireless network environment, he explained.

PacketVideo would be providing the software solutions that enable the delivery management and viewing of video, audio and multimedia applications while HP would provide the end-to-end solutions that would help its bazaar partners bring to market products in the 2.5G/3G space.

As its third initiative, HP has introduced location-based services for the HP Jornada. Users can now use their Jornada with bluetooth-enabled technology to access location-based information such as flight details, foreign exchange rates and to access their emails.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows users to connect to a wide range of computing and telecommunications devices without the need to buy, carry, or connect cables.

Sweden-based mobile Internet consultancy AU-Systems and network appliance solutions developer Axis Communications, and Singapore's SPH AsiaOne provided the architecture, software applications, access points and content for the location-based services, the statement said.

Tan declined to say how much HP had invested in the three initiatives, but noted that the company had put in US$50,000 to start incubation activities for the 2.5G/GPRS testing and certification facility.

He was speaking in an interview after the pre-launch of CommunicAsia 2001 today.

Organized by Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd, CommunicAsia 2001--one of Asia's premier telecommunications and IT events--runs from June 19 to 22 at the Singapore Expo.