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Press Releases - March 2005

GSMA Reflects Widespread Operator Discontent With MPEG LA Patent Portfolio License Scheme For Use of the OMA Digital Rights Management 1.0 Specification

London, UK, 31st March 2005: The Board of the GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade association for the world's GSM operator community that serves more than 1.3 billion mobile telecommunications users, has called for an immediate review of the current licensing program proposed by MPEG LA and the companies involved in this patent pool, for use of the Open Mobile Alliance's (OMA) Digital Rights Management (DRM) 1.0 standard.

Speaking on behalf of the GSMA's Board, CEO and Board Member Rob Conway stated that the GSMA's Board had recognized that there was significant discontent for the terms of the licensing scheme as proposed by MPEG LA - describing the regime as 'impractical, excessive and short-sighted'.

The GSMA believes that members not only view the 'per device' fee, as proposed by MPEG LA, as unreasonable and excessive but they also consider the 'per transaction' fee as unworkable in the market.

Mr. Conway noted the Board's concern as to the potential for fragmentation of services, additional cost, delay and a reduction in future innovation and growth as among the more serious implications of such a scheme for both the mobile and content industries and ultimately for customers.

"Based on frank responses from operators throughout the world, our Board understands that members are being 'forced away' from the OMA DRM standards by this unworkable licensing scheme," said Craig Ehrlich, Chairman of the GSM Association. "In order to provide the services and content which their customers desire, operators will have no option but to take their own routes toward implementing proprietary DRM solutions. These solutions may have lower licensing costs, but will ultimately introduce problems for customers when roaming, changing networks or exchanging content with other users."

Consequently the GSMA Board has instigated an immediate review of all credible alternative DRM solutions and their license conditions on the market today, so that a recommendation can be made to the Board and the membership as to those solutions that best meet the needs of the market, industry and consumers.

Because of the pressing market need, GSMA is therefore soliciting proposals from all DRM solution providers by 11 April 2005. Proposals will be evaluated and short-listed for presentation to the Board from which recommendations would be made to the GSMA membership.

DRM Solution providers who are interested in participating should register their interest with the GSMA at

Telecommunications industry launches eMobility Platform to boost Europe's leadership.

Date: Friday, March 18 2005 - In order to boost Europe's leadership in mobile and wireless communications and services, 15 telecommunications companies today launched the eMobility Technology Platform for mobile and wireless communications.

The Platform is designed to enhance cooperation amongst industry players, including the research community and public authorities, most notably the European Commission. The overall objective of the Platform is to drive future technology development in mobile and wireless communications in the way that best serves Europe's citizens and the European economy.

"Mobile and wireless communications have created unprecedented possibilities for people to communicate and have been instrumental in generating economic growth. Europe has been leading this development, based on the timely initiative of administrations, the scale of the EU market, a consistent regulatory approach, as well as considerable industrial and R&D investment," said Magnus Madfors, Chairman of the eMobility Steering Board.

"In order to maintain the position of Europe in the global market for mobile and wireless systems in the 2010 - 2020 time frame, it will be necessary to develop large-scale European approaches to system research and development as well as to wireless services and applications in the context of digital convergence. The eMobility Technology Platform will define and implement a comprehensive research agenda in the mobile and wireless sector to this end," he continued.

Fifteen telecom equipment vendors, component makers and operators -Alcatel, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, France Telecom, H3G, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nokia, Philips, Siemens, STMicroelectronics, Thales, TIM, Telefónica Móviles España, S.A.and Vodafone, in collaboration with leading European academics- have committed to create and maintain the required momentum for driving the activities forward.

The eMobility Technology Platform supports the renewed Lisbon Strategy for a competitive, knowledge-based society, and confirms the key role of scientific research and technological development for economic growth. It will provide input for the European R&D Framework Program 7, which will run from 2007 onwards.

The key objectives of the eMobility Technology Platform are:

  • Development of a common mid- to long-term vision to maximise the benefit of mobile and wireless communications, thus enabling economic and social advance in the EU
  • Formulation of the requirements and options for major leading-edge applications of common interest
  • Identification of a set of generic applications for 2010 - 2020
  • Formulation of an action plan and time-table for the key developments
  • Investment in technology including R&D and human resources
  • Evolution of a consistent policy, spectrum and regulatory framework facilitating the long-term investments required.

The resulting work will improve daily life of Europe's citizens and enterprise by overcoming technical challenges such as secured electronic payments, personal and business data access anywhere at anytime and seamless continuity of services between networks and devices.

The eMobility Technology Platform is open for all who share its views and are willing to contribute to the realisation of a common vision.

Today more than 100 organisations have subscribed to this initiative and have planned to attend the kick-off general meeting on the 5th of April in Brussels.

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