Sun set to make wireless push

InfoWorld |  Networking

SUN MICROSYSTEMS ON Monday will detail the company's wireless strategy, which will focus on Java, iPlanet wireless software, and other products, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.

At the event, Ed Zander, the president and COO of Sun, along with officials from iPlanet, a network computing company formed in March 1999 by Sun and America Online, will spell out the details of Sun's wireless plans and offer a road map for Sun customers to transition their networks to take advantage of Sun's wireless strategy.

According to sources, the core of Sun's wireless strategy will be made up of a combination of Java-based technology, which Sun officials have said in the past is an ideal platform for next-generation wireless services, iPlanet wireless software, and Sun's Wireless Network Access Server, which provides wireless handheld computer connectivity to Unix hosts.

Announced at the beginning of the year, iPlanet's Wireless Server Software allows wireless carriers and Internet businesses to meld Internet and wireless communication and supports both WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) and HDML (Handheld Device Markup Language).

Sun's Wireless Network Access Server has the capability of integrating a number of wireless protocols into the Unix operating system as standard terminal types.

Sources also said to expect a number of new wireless partners to be introduced at the event. Much of the incentive for Sun's new wireless strategy is based on the company's belief that wireless services are becoming more important to ASPs (application service providers), sources said.

Although some Sun representatives said the company has no intention to become an ASP, the company does intend to restructure its entire organization to focus more sharply on wireless technologies.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sun will also unleash the company's iForce wireless product set as part of its wireless strategy. Announced in June, iForce assists third-party carriers in setting up wireless infrastructures.

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