Position Paper for W3C/WAP Workshop on the Multimodal Web

Adrian Lincoln, Chris Bryant & Charlie Debney, Vodafone

Vodafone is a global network operator that aims to benefit from the global nature of its operation. To perform this task effectively we, our partners and suppliers may gain benefit from using common standards based solutions.

In relation to the forthcoming workshop our position is driven by the desire that we can all benefit from standards that fully compass the rapidly expanding delivery mechanisms for information services and applications.


Mobile communications has come a long way in recent years but the rate of change is increasing. The change from deploying and managing a few voice and data services to emerging opportunities that include mixing voice and a vast range of data services is enormous.

This transition is not easy; it is fraught with difficulties that could impact the ability for co-operation between organisations and individuals wishing to take advantage of the solutions the technology could offer. The costs involved are large and mistakes along the way can be costly and potential damaging to parties involved.

Wherever possible it makes sense to adopt and adhere to industry standards when they form a practical solution to the commercial business we operate. All parties benefit, we have a clear structure in which to operate, the costs to our supplies can be amortised across multiple customers, which in the end enhances the service we can offer our customers.

We have participated with many standards bodies, particularly those involved with our key telecommunications activities. Our presence at the multimodal web workshop relates to our interest to understand the issues being considered by the organisations who have an interest in setting the standards for emerging technologies.

Key Issues and vision

There are key issues that we have identified with the delivery of mobile services, and in particular the ability to develop and deploy systems rapidly. These include:

Points of interest

In attending this workshop we are interested in understanding those issues that each party considers important both in terms of short-term implementation and longer-term direction. For example, some of the questions we would ask include:

What parties should be involved in developing standards?

What are the key issues for each of the following:

Content & applications

In terms of content & applications we wish to understand the envelope in which developers and providers wish to operate and those elements that they believe influences there approach in producing solutions. For example,

Development environments

There are commercial pressures to delivery solutions more quickly. The ability to meet these objects requires us to think smarter rather than expend enormous amounts of energy trying to get the job done. With this in mind, the way in which we develop systems and the steps taken to ensure the suitability and quality of deployed systems become important.

Network issues

The questions posed are in no way exhaustive but are an illustration of the broad nature of our interest and concerns relating to the development of key standards.

Contact Information

Vodafone Multimedia