Red Bend Software Enables Customization with vRapid Mobile

Red Bend Software, the market leader in Mobile Software Management and Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) updating solutions for mobile devices, unveiled its new product suite, vRapid Mobile, which revolutionizes the way that manufacturers and platform providers bring mobile phones to market, and how operators and independent software vendors (ISVs) deliver mobile services.

vRapid Mobile provides the first comprehensive approach to customizing software on mobile phones and delivering targeted mobile services for different consumer segments. Building on Red Bend’s patented FOTA software, which updates the entire firmware image as one monolith, vRapid Mobile is the first Mobile Software Management solution that can update, add and remove individual embedded software components on any mobile phone. It creates new revenue opportunities for the entire mobile value chain to deliver software features, applications and services easily and securely over-the-air to feature phones and smartphones already in the hands of consumers:

  • Operators and Service Providers: Increase ARPU by launching new mobile services independent of hardware release schedules.
  • Manufacturers: Achieve faster time-to-market for mobile devices by delivering new software components over-the-air after phones ship.
  • Platform Providers: Deliver platforms that enable operators to customize software assets at point of sale or post-sale for different market segments.
  • ISVs: Update or add software to devices already in the hands of consumers, increasing competitiveness and time-to-market.
  • Consumers: Enjoy new mobile applications and services, at the press of a key, for a more personalized mobile user experience.

“There is growing market demand for customized mobile phones and services targeted to different consumer segments, from sports fans to music lovers to traveling professionals. To match the service requirements of operators and the unique lifestyles of consumers, the industry needs a new approach to customization that doesn’t create a bottleneck at the factory,” said Yoram Salinger, CEO of Red Bend Software. “vRapid Mobile bends industry conventions by extending the reach of customization deeper inside the software architecture of mobile phones, across any mobile software platform, and at any time in a device’s lifecycle.”

Real-life use-cases for vRapid Mobile include:

  • Adding push-mail capabilities via a messaging client update
  • Upgrading the phone’s media player to support a new streaming video service
  • Installing a new audio codec to support richer music downloads
  • Enhancing an operator’s custom application suite with location/navigation services
  • Updating the IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) middleware on a mobile phone to efficiently support service providers deploying quadruple play IP-based networks

“Ovum continues to believe that FOTA is an important tool for mobile operators and handset manufacturers who wish to improve the quality of software on mobile phones, whether by fixing bugs or delivering new features,” said Jessica Figueras, Practice Leader, Service Infrastructure, at Ovum. “By bringing certain customisation processes out of the factory, it creates exciting new possibilities for collaboration between operators and manufacturers. A growing number of operators are trialing or deploying FOTA, along with other device management applications, and this has initiated the development of important new collaborative working practices.”

vRapid Mobile Product Suite
Building upon standards enablers from the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), vRapid Mobile provides unprecedented control over the software assets of mobile phones via an extensive suite of tools for deploying, managing and maintaining a limitless number of software versions.

For manufacturers:

  • Client Suite:
    • Update Installer: Innovative client software for mobile phones, based on Red Bend’s vCurrent(R) Mobile, extended to support component updating, addition and removal on a diverse range of embedded handset platform architectures.
    • Software Management Extension: Device Management (DM) Client extension for ongoing validation and updating of handset component configuration data. Interoperable with standard OMA DM clients and supports the emerging OMA Software Component Management Object (SCOMO) enabler.
  • Component Management Suite: Enables manufacturers to define, describe, organize and store components of a handset software release, and then to add new component versions, generate updates and package updates with management metadata for upload to the server. Functions can be provided to third parties, such as ISVs and operators, authorized to manage a phone’s software.

With vRapid Mobile, Red Bend has expanded its Mobile Software Management portfolio to include a management application for mobile operators and service providers, designed to ease administration and quicken time-to-market in delivering mobile services across a diverse base of handset platforms.

For operators and service providers:
Software Management Server Application: Analyzes and manages component configuration data retrieved from the handset to support highly scaleable component deployment scenarios required by the operator or service provider.

Availability & Implementation
vRapid Mobile with support for Linux and select feature phone platforms will be available in Q2 2007. Support for Symbian will be available in Q3 2007. Through its successful field experience in testing and piloting vRapid Mobile in 2006, Red Bend is offering manufacturers and operators a comprehensive implementation process and methodology that guides product integration and deployment.

About Red Bend Software
Red Bend Software helps mobile phone manufacturers and network operators to accelerate the adoption of new services and features, respond rapidly to customer needs, and reduce support costs through mobile software management solutions. LG Electronics, BenQ Mobile, NEC, Sharp, Sony Ericsson, and other large handset manufacturers use Red Bend’s firmware over-the-air (FOTA) mobile client software to quickly and reliably deliver compact firmware updates to more than 80 million mobile phones already in the hands of consumers. Founded in 1999, Red Bend Software is a privately held, venture capital-financed company with offices in China, Israel, Japan, Korea, the U.K and the U.S.