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Sprint's Xohm Taps Mformation for Remote Device Management

  • Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Mobile WiMAX, WiMax

By Lynnette Luna

Sprint's WiMAX division announced a deal with device management software company Mformation Technologies to deliver device management capabilities for new Xohm-branded WiMAX-enabled mobile devices. Sprint plans to use Mformation's software to remotely manage the WiMAX devices on its network. The operator is commercially launching WiMAX in Baltimore in September.

Device management will be critical for Sprint, and likewise Clearwire, which is merging with Sprint later this year, to enable a number of devices to come onto the WiMAX network, regardless of whether they were purchased via Sprint or an external retailer that has no affiliation with the operator. Sprint's goal is to allow a plethora of devices--ranging from Internet tablets to telematics consoles--to operate on the network in an open access manner.

Still, device management software is not fully optimized for WiMAX-only devices, noted Matt Bancroft, chief marketing officer with Mformation. Since most of the devices running on Sprint's network will be dual-mode CDMA/WiMAX devices, Mformation is conducting the remote device management capabilities via the CDMA connection, which has been fully established.

"WiMAX is more challenging because of the way the technology is architected," said Bancroft. "It's an all-IP technology, which means that the architecture doesn't support SMS technology that is commonly used today to initiate a device-management session. There are well-defined standards in cellular that makes it straightforward to understand what device a users is using. With WiMAX, users will be connecting in a multiple mac address environment. So there are a bunch of new challenges that have to be overcome."

Bancroft added that the wave of devices that come to market next year will require additional device management capabilities that aren't available today, but that device management capabilities will catch up.

In June, Mformation and Bridgewater Systems announced their intention to integrate Bridgewater's service control and subscriber data management solution with Mformation's service manager to enable WiMAX operators to automatically detect, provision and manage WiMAX devices over the air using industry-standard IP and OMA DM protocols. [FierceWireless]

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