Mobile phone makers Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia yesterday announced the creation of Wireless Village, a project to set universal specifications for mobile instant messaging.

The so-called IMPS (initiative for messaging and presence servicing) will provide worldwide standards for exchanging text messages and using systems for sharing personal information, known as 'presence services'.

"Messaging and presence services are key applications for the mobile internet," said Frank Dawson Director of Nokia and chairman of the Wireless Village. "Creating the wireless initiative is an important step in building a user-friendly mobile internet experience."

Wireless Village expects to publish specifications by the end of the year. These will apply not only to existing 2G (second-generation) services but also to 2.5G and forthcoming 3G services.

The specification will be based on current standards, such as SMS (short message service), MMS (multimedia message service) and WAP.

"Ericsson strongly believes that the Wireless Village initiative is a major step towards being able to provide a truly global instant messaging solution," said Jan Svensson, vice president of Ericsson.