Wayland, MA, USA, September 7, 2001 – The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) along with Sponsors Hutchison 3G UK, Sun Microsystems, Oracle with Webraska, ESRI with SignalSoft, and In-Q-Tel, as well as 22 other participant organizations will work together in the Open Location Services (OpenLS) Testbed. This testbed aims to develop an Open Location Services Platform with fundamental interfaces and services to allow a wide variety of location-based solutions to interoperate between infrastructure platforms and wireless devices. The use of open platforms in the fast growing location services sector will be a key market enabler, and will help increase the ability of companies offering location based services to compete across the various networks and platforms that characterize the global location services market. The Testbed will begin on September 13, 2001 with completion anticipated by early 2002.Harry Niedzwiadek, OpenLS Architect said, “Location Services are not a complete reality today. The market will not reach its full potential until industry connects this emerging technology area with existing open platform frameworks. We believe open platforms are key market enablers.”The OpenLS Testbed uses principles of previous successful OGC testbeds where technology developers collaborate to create software interface specifications that support interoperability. The defined specifications encourage new, interoperable location-based products and services that can be developed and implemented in the broad marketplace.Location services are becoming invaluable additions to emergency response, public safety, disaster management and dozens of other business and consumer applications that require information about geographic position. Achieving the full value for location services depends on consistent communication across different regions, technology platforms, networks, application domains, and classes of products. Each of the OpenLS Sponsors and Participants believes that a truly interoperable Open Location Services Platform is essential for long-term success in this market.OpenLS Testbed Sponsors include:Hutchison 3G, a mobile multi-media company, will be providing requirements, engineering and other technical expertise as part of the testbed.Sun Microsystems, a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that power the Internet, will be providing technology as well as engineering expertise as part of the testbed.Oracle Corporation, a leading supplier of software for information management, and the world's second largest independent software company joins partner Webraska, a worldwide provider of wireless navigation, mapping and technologies for telecom operators and car manufacturers in providing initial candidate interfaces for services as well as engineering, technology and content information for the testbed.ESRI, a leading developer of geographic information system (GIS) software products used daily by organizations and people around the world, joins business partner SignalSoft, a provider of location services to wireless operators in providing location gateway technology, application technology, engineering and content information for the testbed.In-Q-Tel, a private, not-for-profit company contracted by the CIA to identify and deliver the next generation of information technologies to support the CIA's critical Intelligence missions, and is a longtime supporter of OGC programs to accelerate delivery of interoperable geospatial services.Joining the Sponsors are 22 participating companies and organizations including, BigTribe, Compaq, Cquay, Galdos Systems, Inc., Hitachi Ltd., IBM, Intergraph (Intelliwhere), Ionic Software, Laser-Scan, LocatioNet, MapInfo, Navigation Technologies, NTT Data, MobileGIS, Opt[e]way, SICAD Geomatics, a Siemens Company, Syncline, Tata Infotech, TCS, the University of Illinois, Vodafone, and Yeoman Group. Together, the Sponsors and Participants will develop candidate interface specifications across multiple platforms in the location services universe.Organizations interested in discussing their involvement in this Testbed, or future location services initiatives, should contact Louis Hecht, Vice President Business Development at lhecht@opengeospatial.org or +1 301 320 5760.OGC is an international industry consortium of over 220 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications. OpenGIS Specifications support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web and mainstream IT, and empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications. Visit the OGC website at www.opengeospatial.org and the OpenLS website at www.openls.org .– end –“