Red Bend Debuts MAST Linux Mobile Phone with Over the Air Customization

Red Bend Software, the market leader in Mobile Software Management, unveiled the industry’s first Linux mobile phone with software that can be fully customized over the air. Red Bend has partnered with industry-leading companies—including Digital Airways, Opera, Synchronica, Trolltech and Zi—to showcase a new concept in customizing mobile software where features, applications and services can be deployed and updated easily and securely over the air on consumers’ handsets using Red Bend’s vRapid Mobile(tm).

The concept phone is called MAST, an abbreviation for Master Key, to symbolize a new milestone in Open Access, where any software on any mobile device can be customized at any time during the device lifecycle. Red Bend will demonstrate MAST live during Mobile World Congress 2008, February 11-14 in Barcelona, in the Red Bend business suite 4.3HS50 in Hall 4 and the Trolltech stand #2C72 in Hall 2.

“Until now, the entire mobile value chain has struggled to find a solution to enable post-sale, over-the-air customization of mobile software, especially for feature phones where core applications and services are embedded in ROM,” said Yoram Salinger, CEO of Red Bend Software. “vRapid Mobile solves this need today, and we have joined efforts with major players in the industry to show how new revenue streams can be realized through mobile software management.”

MAST is based on the Trolltech® Qtopia® application platform for Linux and is implemented on Trolltech’s Qtopia Greenphone(tm). The Synchronica Device Management Server provides the device management server connection from which software is provisioned in a secure and reliable manner using the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Device Management protocol.

Several companies have joined forces with Red Bend to show how their core applications and embedded software can be customized over the air, creating new revenue opportunities by delivering enhanced services and features to consumers, such as:

  • Updating the Opera mobile browser without needing to update the entire firmware image. More mobile services now depend on features supported by the browser. For example, operator portals may depend on SVG and Flash support built into the browser. vRapid Mobile enables the built-in browser to be enhanced so that operators can evolve their services independently of the handset release cycle.
  • Deploying a customized operator-branded user interface, powered by Digital Airways’ Kaleido, to existing subscribers who insert their SIM in a new mobile phone. With vRapid Mobile, operators can customize a generic handset and then promote their services via the Kaleido user interface while building brand loyalty.
  • Adding new languages dynamically and enabling dual-language messaging to a subscriber’s phone using Zi’s eZiText® solution for predictive text entry. Not all language databases can be supported at time of shipment. vRapid Mobile offers the flexibility to enhance language support either at point of sale or post-sale, potentially increasing text messaging volumes.

Red Bend’s vRapid Mobile offers unmatched capabilities to enhance and customize the growing amount of software in mobile devices. With support for the emerging SCOMO enabler from the Open Mobile Alliance, vRapid Mobile provides a standards-based, cross-platform approach to updating, adding, configuring and removing individual software components over the air (SCOTA) on any feature phone, smartphone or embedded wireless device so that:

  • Operators can instantly deliver new revenue-generating services to their entire subscriber base, without being constrained by the software capabilities of existing handsets or waiting for new handsets to become available
  • Device manufacturers can improve the flexibility and efficiency of their software maintenance processes, and can provide consumers with the ability to personalize the core functions of their phones to match their lifestyles
  • ISVs can dramatically reduce time-to-market for deploying new features and versions of their applications, as well as expand the addressable market for their products

About Digital Airways
Digital Airways is a leading provider of world-class user interface solutions and services for the mobile telecommunications market. Digital Airways’ products enable handsets manufacturers and ODMs to easily create customizable mobile experiences with short time-to-market and low integration costs.

About Opera Software ASA
Opera Software ASA has redefined Web browsing for PCs, mobile phones and other networked devices. Opera’s cross-platform Web browser technology is renowned for its performance, standards compliance and small size, while giving users a faster, safer and more dynamic online experience. Opera Software is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with offices around the world. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol OPERA.

About Synchronica
Synchronica plc develops and markets synchronization and device management solutions for mobile operators, device manufacturers, and enterprises. Its product portfolio ranges from data synchronization (DS) to device management (DM) and firmware updates over the air (FOTA). Products include the mobile device management product set Mobile Manager Suite and the push email and synchronization solution Mobile Gateway. Headquartered in the U.K., with a development center in Germany and offices in the USA, Hong Kong, and Dubai, Synchronica plc is a public company traded on the AIM list of the London Stock Exchange (SYNC.LN).

About Trolltech
Trolltech® creates cross-platform application development platforms for desktop and mobile device innovation. Trolltech’s software increases the appeal of our customer’s desktop applications and devices while reducing their risks and software development costs. Trolltech’s technologies accelerate the evolution of software by unleashing the creative power of the developer. Trolltech software is the foundation for thousands of leading products worldwide, many from Global 2000 companies. Trolltech is a second-generation open source company, with a dual licensing business model that supports open source values and methodology in a profitable, sustainable business. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TROLL.

About Zi Corporation
Zi Corporation is a technology company that delivers intelligent interface solutions to enhance the user experience of wireless and consumer technologies. The company provides device manufacturers and network operators with a full range of intuitive and easy-to-use input solutions, including: eZiType for keyboard prediction with auto-correction; eZiText for predictive text entry; Decuma for predictive pen-input handwriting recognition; and Qix search and service discovery engine to enhance the user experience and drive service usage and adoption. The Zi product portfolio dramatically improves the usability of mobile phones, PDAs, gaming consoles and television set-top boxes and the applications on them including SMS, MMS, email and Web browsing. Zi supports its strategic partners and customers from offices in Asia, Europe and North America. A publicly traded company, Zi Corporation is listed on Nasdaq (ZICA) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (ZIC).

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, Motorola, 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 255 million mobile phones 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.