Bitfone Corp. of the United States is negotiating with several major Japanese phone makers to sell them its wireless software-repair program, Bitfone Chairman Gene Wang said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.
Wang said the company’s mProve Agent software would free mobile phone makers from the need to recall mobile handsets and spare users from having to visit service centers.
He said the system would enable mobile phone makers to slash expenses involved in recalling and repairing handsets when the software powering them is found to be defective.
“The Bitfone solution is a very easy way to improve the quality of the mobile phone over the air in a very convenient way,” Wang said.
Sources at KDDI Corp., the provider of the au mobile phone service, said that in view of the Bitfone offer, it is considering introducing a wireless system to fix defects in the operating system and other software powering its handsets.
KDDI currently uses a cable-based system to fix or update defective software and users must take their handsets to its service and retail outlets.
Whether KDDI adopts Bitfone’s technology remains to be seen.
The mProve Agency software can fix a wide range of application software, including e-mail and Internet-browsing programs, in addition to the operating system, the chairman of the California-based software maker said.
If the user switches a handset off or removes the batteries while defective software is being updated, the mProve Agent is able to continue the repair work where it left off once the handset is switched back on, Wang said.
He said increasingly intense competition among mobile handset makers has created a situation in which it is hard to release defect-free products within shortened development cycles.
Bitfone survey has found that some 10 percent of new mobile phone handsets put on the global market have some sort of software problem and that 58 percent of products have to be replaced with compensatory new products.
The company said introducing the mProve Agent software would spare the global mobile industry repair and replacement expenses totaling $8 billion a year.