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Two Suppliers Cozy Up to Sprint

Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) and Openwave Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OPWV) have both leapt to lay claim as suppliers of Sprint PCS's (NYSE: PCS) new PCS Vision network

Both issued press releases today claiming to "power" the 2.5G network with their infrastructure software (see Sun Powers PCS Vision and Openwave Powers PCS Vision). We at Unstrung naturally wondered: How can two companies provide the same services to the same network at the same time? [Ed. note: This, of course, would violate Pauli's Exclusion Principle.]

In case anyone else was confused about the roles of the two companies, we've sorted it all out:

Sun has provided Sprint with Sun servers, directory lookup, authentication, DNS name resolution, and packet data service node management software for its CDMA 1xRTT network. It's also provided the software that connects the radio and wired networks for call completion.

On the mobile Java side of things, Sun is providing messaging, J2ME, and Webservers. Sprint is using a Java application server from BEA Systems. This is very important for us," David Harrah, a software manager at Sun told Unstrung. "It’s the largest deployment to date in the U.S. of these kinds of [mobile Java] services."

Meanwhile, Openwave is providing Sprint with an updated version of its microbrowser, "push" technology derived from its mobile access gateway, and the "download manager" -- a Java "vending machine" that allows the phone user to download games, screensavers, and ringtones, according to Openwave.

Openwave hasn't supplied Sprint with a whole new messaging system for the new network; it's just made enhancements to the 2G Openwave software Sprint already had. This software stores messages, handles intercarrier traffic and connects to other messaging systems. Did Sun and Openwave compete to supply lucrative pieces of the infrastructure jigsaw puzzle? "Generally, we are complementary," says Ketan Kippur, product marketing manager at Openwave.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
http://www.unstrung.com
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