Apple expands role with Bluetooth SIG, becomes Promoter member

It's not every day that an industry group can claim Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) as a member, but the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced that Apple has expanded its participation by becoming a Promoter member.

According to a press release, Promoter members are the sole voting class on Bluetooth SIG corporate matters and hold a continual seat on the SIG Board of Directors, meaning they have a greater opportunity to influence the direction of the technology.

Other current Promoter members include some familiar names: Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Toshiba.

"Apple has long been a key innovator in the Bluetooth ecosystem," said Toby Nixon, chairman of the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors, in the release. "Since 2011, the company has provided guidance and knowledge to the Bluetooth SIG through its participation as an Associate Board Member. We're excited to welcome Apple to its new role in the organization and on the SIG board."

Earlier this year, the Bluetooth SIG announced the appointment of Joakim Linde, a senior wireless architect at Apple, as secretary, along with Nixon as chairman and Magnus Olsson as vice chairman.

The Bluetooth SIG is composed of 10 board companies and more than 26,000 member companies.

Apple hasn't always participated directly in wireless industry standards efforts but last year, it announced its intention to play a leading role as the definitions and specifications for 5G emerge. It joined the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance, which at the time said Apple was among the companies "expected to significantly contribute to the upcoming work of the NGMN 5G Initiative."

The NGMN Alliance was founded in 2006 by network operators that wanted to ensure that next-generation mobile network infrastructure, service platforms and devices would meet their requirements. In February 2014, the NGNM board, then made up of CTOs from 19 network operators, decided to focus the NGMN's future work program on defining the end-to-end requirements for 5G.

For more:
- see this 9to5Mac article
- see the release

Related articles:
Bluetooth SIG, others dispute Globalstar's TLPS test results
Apple jumps into 5G development via NGMN
Apple's use of multipath TCP is only the beginning

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