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NTT DoCoMo, Access Team on Mobile Linux

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2007
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  • Author: pradhana

Japanese operator giant NTT DoCoMo signed a memorandum of understanding with mobile software provider Access Co Ltd. and Esteemo (the mobile platform joint venture pairing NEC and Panasonic Mobile Communications) to develop a shared mobile Linux platform.

Under the terms of the MoU, Access will explore converging DoCoMo's existing Linux platform, MOAP (Mobile Oriented Application Platform based on Linux), with its own Access Linux Platform, spearheading a shared software platform based on specifications issued by the industry nonprofit LiMo Foundation. Access will target fiscal 2009 to launch commercial products based on the initiative.

"DoCoMo has been looking for a way to decrease its ever-growing cost of ownership of MOAP and provide its OEM partners with a software platform which can be used as a basis for handsets that can be marketed outside of Japan," market analysis firm Ovum said in response to the news.

"Economically it is challenging for Japanese OEMs to deliver handsets that meet DoCoMo's high specifications with the volumes achievable within the Japanese market. Japanese OEMs need to leverage the investment in software by re-using it in devices outside of Japan. Access' non-trivial technical challenge is to show that ALP can provide a credible migration path from MOAP and provide compatibility with the emerging Linux standards bodies."

As a free OS, Linux doesn't get much mainstream press. But this belies a steady growth in popularity over the last few years. A Diffusion Group report found that in 2005 Linux was the second most popular mobile phone OS, with twice the market share it had in 2004. [FierceDeveloper]

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