October 19, 2006

Funambol Announces Phone Sniper Community Program

Sharon Smith writes "Funambol Launches Industry’s First Open Source Community-Based Phone Certification Program to Accelerate Mass Adoption of Mobile Services

Tens of Thousands of Funambol Community Members in 212 Countries Get Paid and Recognized for Certifying Wireless Devices

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., October 18, 2006 – Funambol, the mobile open source software company, today announced the Phone Sniper community program. By providing incentives and recognition to community members for testing cell phones’ ability to receive wireless data, the program will increase device compatibility and adoption of consumer mobile services such as phone backup (PIM synch) and mobile email. Funambol’s extensive community of open source developers around the world puts the company in a natural position to lead this effort.

“A major obstacle to mass adoption of wireless services such as mobile email is that carriers struggle to support the large variety of devices used by their subscribers,” said Fabrizio Capobianco, CEO of Funambol. “Phone Sniper will drastically improve the breadth and depth of device compatibility, giving carriers the confidence to aggressively deploy new mobile services that increase revenue and reduce customer churn.”

Phone Sniper provides $25 for each phone that is fully tested. There are four steps for testing a phone that take a total of 30 - 60 minutes: Apply, Test, Report and Reward. Funambol will publish on its website the devices that are certified to be Funambol compatible, as well as device configuration steps, and contributor recognition. Details are at http://www.funambol.com/opensource/phonesniperprog ram.html.

Initially, Phone Sniper covers phone testing; however, the program will mature over the coming months to reward developers who write “Synclets” (small pieces of XML code) that enable phones that previously were incompatible to seamlessly work with the SyncML-based open source Funambol mobile application server.

“Supporting commodity handsets for mobile services is a huge endeavor. To accomplish this, proprietary vendors would need to restructure their software, hire an army of QA people and developers all over the world, and radically reduce their cost structure,” said Hal Steger, Funambol VP Marketing. “Phone Sniper is designed to enable mobile services to be deployed to the 99% of cell phone users that don't use a smartphone."

Phone Sniper is the second community incentive initiative launched by the company this fall. Funambol Code Sniper, announced in September 2006, pays cash to open source community members who develop connectors and plug-ins that extend the functionality and reach of the world's most downloaded mobile open source software. These programs are expected to accelerate the growth of mobile services such as mobile email by mass market consumers.

About Funambol
Funambol is the mobile open source company. Funambol's Mobile Application Server offers "push" email, multimaster PIM synchronization, and management facilities for mobile devices. Funambol (formerly known as Sync4j) is an open source development platform for mobile applications that has been downloaded more than any other wireless middleware product – more than 700,000 times. The commercial version has been deployed at wireless carriers, Fortune 100 enterprises, hardware OEMs/ODMs and ISVs including customers such as Computer Associates. Funambol is headquartered in Redwood City, California with a development center in Italy. See http://www.funambol.com./"

Link: funambol.com

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