Mformation Preps for LTE Device Onslaught

Mobile device management (MDM) vendor Mformation Technologies Inc. announced Tuesday it will support any and all mobile broadband devices that traverse wireless networks. That's a tall order given the number of devices riding on 3G networks today, but it'll get even more formidable as Long Term Evolution (LTE) begins to take off.

Mformation has been managing over 5,000 different smart-phone and feature-phone models for enterprises and operators like Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), as well as a WiMax-specific solution for Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR). However, Tuesday's announcement extends its potential device base to form factors such as tablets, notebooks, USB and MiFis.

The updated Mformation platform adds in security layers for devices and their data, and support for Wi-Fi offload, as well as traditional features like remote disablement, policy enforcement, inventory tracking, service assurance, performance monitoring and the ability to update firmware and software remotely.

It works across operating systems with a number of clients that come preloaded in the devices, including Mformation's own standards-based OpenDM client, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s native client for iOS4 on the iPad and any other standardized device-management clients.

Why this matters
Mformation isn't the only one targeting MDM-over-LTE. That's because the need is quite enormous and the stakes are high for the nascent network. LTE has more than 40 RF bands in addition to bands for Wi-Fi, GPS and 2G/3G fallback, so not only are the device options more plentiful, so are the device innards. And, with data-only devices, wireless operators can't identify each user with a phone number, making tracking the devices trickier. (See LTE Devices: Where's the Lust? and G&D Intros LTE Device Management.)

"For MDM providers like us, there is a whole bunch of additional lifting to do to support a full service set as more and more devices and services roll out over LTE," says Rowan Scranage, SVP of global business development and corporate strategy at Mformation. But, he adds, it's also a good opportunity for the MDM vendors, because wireless operators need their support more than ever.

For more
For more on managing mobile devices across 3G and 4G networks, check out the following stories:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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