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MontaVista powers three more Linux phones

Nov 19, 2004 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive

MontaVista says it supplied the embedded Linux operating system for a 3G mobile phone software platform jointly developed by NEC and Panasonic. The platform has already appeared in one phone shipping in Japan, with two more Japanese phones expected soon. The platform will be marketed globally.

NEC and Panasonic announced their Linux 3G mobile phone software platform yesterday, describing it as the first result of a multi-year collaboration. The companies said the first three phones based on the platform will be NEC's N900iL, NEC's N901iC, and Panasonic's P901i.

Of the three, only NEC's N900iL (pictured at right) is currently shipping. The N900iL supports W-CDMA, the 3G technology supported on NTT DoCoMo's FOMA, or “Freedom of Mobile-multimedia Access” network. The phone can be also be used as a VoIP (voice over IP) terminal that connects through corporate 802.11b networks. Additionally, it includes VPN (virtual private network) capabilities, enabling it to tunnel through corporate firewalls to access enterprise applications remotely.

The forthcoming NEC N901iC and Panasonic P901i handsets are expected to feature 3D audio and other multimedia enhancements, improved security, and the capability of transferring files as large as 500KB, according to MontaVista.

NEC and Panasonic say they will market their Linux-based 3G mobile phone platform globabally to phone manufacturers and application developers. Thus, the platform could appear in additional products available both inside and outside of Japan.

MontaVista's embedded Linux operating system is also used in mobile phones from Motorola, such as the A760, A768, A780, and E680. Motorola expects to ship a Linux phone based on MontaVista Linux in the US before the 2004 holiday season.

MontaVista CEO Jim Ready said, “Handset manufacturers, such as NEC and Panasonic, are embracing Linux for phone development because of its flexibility, control, and opportunities for innovation.”

MontaVista showed off the new Linux phones at the Embedded Technology Show this week in Yokahama, Japan.

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