Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Google Talk, XMPP and Mobile IM...

Google Talk is an interesting development. The instant messaging component is based on XMPP (aka “Jabber”). In a way, this seems a “natural” choice for Google, given their strong interest in XML-based technologies for all kinds of services. XMPP uses XML-streaming. You can think of this as an open (editable) XML document to which the client and server append chunks of XML (“Stanzas”) for the purposes of exchanging messages and presence information.

In the mobile world, XMPP competes with other IM standards, notably SIMPLE and IMPS, of which only IMPS (formerly Wireless Village) was written from scratch for the mobile environment. However, it seems that IMPS will fade away and be replaced by SIMPLE, at least as far as the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) is concerned. The rationale for this evolution is that, being SIP based, SIMPLE fits in nicely with the overall services architecture for next generation mobile (and fixed) networks, which will be based on 3GPP’s IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS).

However, does that mean that XMPP has no place in the mobile environment? Far from it. Firstly, XMPP and SIMPLE are interoperable, at least for basic IM functionality, so XMPP can still be used within an IMS environment. XMPP has a strong following already, including France Telecom (which includes Orange and Wanadoo). XMPP also has a strong presence in the Enterprise IM market. Now that Google has adopted XMPP, along with a stated intention to federate with other XMPP services, there is clearly a renewed gravitational pull towards XMPP.

However, I think that there are other ways that XMPP could prove useful specifically in the mobile arena. I will post on this later.

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sun on IMS...

I thought that this article "IMS Q&A with Greg Papadapolous, CTO and Executive VP for Sun" had some interesting slants on IMS, at least showing how Sun sees it anyway.

A couple of interesting points:

One about the billing, that IMS allows a greater degree of understanding how the wireless link is being used, which means more options for billing.

The other is about JXTA, the Java peer-to-peer technology promoted by Sun. SIP is inherently P2P with all the intelligence at the edge of the network. Theoretically, there's an obvious and possibly attractive link to something like JXTA, but the devil will be in the details (like with a lot of IMS stuff).

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A break from having ideas and comments...

Apologies to those waiting for the 100 ideas e-book. I know it's slow coming and the blog has slowed right down (which happens to my blogging about once or twice a year). I've been busy with projects and found that I simply didn't have time to blog this past month. Moreover, I just haven't been in the "ideas mood". I've taken a kind of holiday from thinking of ideas, mostly because of the summer holidays. Instead, I've been doing a lot of reading (besides working, of course).

I just found out that one of my colleagues has been a contractor for 30 years. We don't know anyone else who's been contracting for that long. With a record like that, I suggested he ought to write a book. Of course, it would need a suitable title. We came up with "How to Survive the Outsource Jungle". A survival guide has a suitable scare-mongering feel, which, judging by UK media, is a good way to sell words. (At the right moment, I will launch my other e-book - "How to Survive Avian Flu when (not IF) it comes.")

Writing is the topic of the week. I've just completed an invited paper about IMS, to be distributed via Wiley at a forthcoming conference. I am also in discussion with a publisher about my next book. I have written most of the book that inspired the name for this blog - "Wireless Wonders" and I'm looking forward to finishing it and getting it published. My current book is selling very well according to Wiley and I'm in discussion with them to write a book about IMS. "Oh no! Not another book about IMS" I hear you say. Well, yes. But, this one will be more "big picture" stuff, presenting the grand idea of IMS rather than all the nuts and bolts of the protocols (although it will have some of that too).

Which brings me to my last point for now. I intend to distribute the invited paper to all those who have patiently subscribed to my email list for the 100-Ideas book, just to keep you going (some late Summer reading) and by way of compensation for taking so long with the ideas stuff. It should be ready for distribution in the next couple of weeks. Happy reading!

I expect to pick up on the ideas blogging in the next few weeks too, so keep checking your feeds for any updates...

Bye for now...

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