In a move that signals broader acceptance of Bluetooth wireless technology as a global standard, three Japanese companies – Toshiba Corp., Taiyo Yunden Co and IBM Japan, Ltd. – jointly announced last week the formation of a separate company that will be the authorization authority for manufacture of Bluetooth-capable devices in Japan.

Officials said the new, yet-to-be-named joint venture will be located in Tokyo and is scheduled to be incorporated in February and begin operations in April.

According to sources, the company will consult on Bluetooth qualification procedures, act as the agent for conducting Bluetooth qualification tests and be the sole Bluetooth logo certification entity in Japan.

Bluetooth technology is an emerging standard pioneered by Ericsson in Brussels that facilitates wireless connection of notebook computers, digital cell phones and handheld devices to network access points and to peripherals such as printers.