Friday, December 29, 2006

HP Brings Mobile Device Management to Enterprise Customers with Acquisition of Bitfone Corp

Hewlett-Packard has announced plans to acquire firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) technology developer Bitfone for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will strengthen HP's enterprise offerings with mobile device management, which highlights the increasing importance of mobile devices in the core IT infrastructure of the enterprise. HP says Bitfone's technology will help its enterprise clients reduce device support costs and smooth device deployments, migration and replacement. Bitfone will be integrated into the Handheld Business Unit of HP's Personal Systems Group.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Viacom's MTV targets mobile phone content

In a move that proves MTV is increasingly slow in responding to the kinds of youth culture phenomena it once ignited, the Viacom-owned cable network announced the launch of its Mobile Media Group division, which will develop MTV content and brands for wireless games, ringtones and video clips. The group will administrate mobile activities within MTV Networks' various cable channels (e.g. Nickelodeon, VH1 and Comedy Central) and among its domestic and foreign operations. Among its responsibilities: Mobile Junk 2.0, a new user-generated content service launching in conjunction with Sprint Nextel.

"Connecting with our consumers on every platform they love is at the heart of our digital strategy," MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath said in a prepared statement.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

BT to re-enter mobile market with license bid - report

BT is ready to re-enter the UK mobile market five years after it hived off its O2 wireless unit, according to a report in the Independent.

The former monopoly operator is expected to bid in a forthcoming spectrum auction, details of which were announced yesterday by telecoms industry watchdog Ofcom.

It will be the largest ever sale of spectrum in the UK, although the UK government is unlikely to generate anything near the 23 bln stg it earned from the 2000 3G auction.


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Friday, December 08, 2006

China to issue phone charger standard

According to a report in the People's Daily Online, China is developing a national standard for mobile phone chargers "to avoid waste and lower costs for users." The standard should be approved before year-end. The standard expects all mobile phones, regardless of brand, to provide a USB access port for a universal charger, which will also allow for charging via laptops. The report claims the standard will not be compulsory, but the director of a lab in charge of the program, He Guili said, "We believe that the home-brands makers will give positive response to it." He said the standard may take effect during the first half of 2007.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

EU: Let consumers pick telecom standards

The EU's commissioner for information society and media, Vivian Reding, said regulators should not be the main force in charge of mandating standards: "I think it should be left to businesses to find the business models that attract consumers to opt for the services they like (most)... The GSM standard was a landmark decision... today the picture is more complex. For governments to make a viable case for choosing any standard is much more difficult." Reding also added that for WiMAX to be successful, a new degree of flexibility must be introduced to regulation: "We are a long way off this, however ...barriers are bureaucratic, not technical. It is governments' duty to get it right."

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wireless: The battle of the standards

The International Herald Tribune has an article on the GSM vs CDMA battle, although at the end it concludes that they’re basically equivalent.

Most cellphone users do not know what kind of network their service provider runs, nor whether it is 2G or 3G. Yet behind the scenes, industry lobbies and makers of network equipment and cellphone chips jockey for position as they struggle to make their technology dominant.

Though the front line of the battle is shifting to 3G - or so-called third- generation - technologies, which offer more capacity on their networks and faster data transmission speeds, the previous generation of networks may ultimately determine who comes out on top, because service providers tend to use the same family of technology when they migrate to faster networks.

GSM, the global system for mobile communications, is the dominant mobile phone standard in the world, with a market share of 83 percent. But GSM networks have been slow to move to 3G, allowing CDMA, which is widely used in North and South America, a window that it has quickly exploited.

"It's probably too early to call the death of CDMA," said Martin Garner, the director of Wireless Intelligence.

While the growth of CDMA will not match that of GSM, Wireless Intelligence is forecasting that there will be nearly 500 million people using CDMA technologies by 2010, compared with 340 million today. Those using the 2G and 3G GSM networks are forecast to increase to 3.5 billion in 2010 from 2.1 billion today.

"CDMA is certainly going to remain small when compared to GSM," Garner said, "but they have a decent chunk of the market, a reasonable niche that they will be able to defend."

While companies have staked their future on the continued success of one technology versus another, for people who just want to use their cellphone to make a call, send e-mail or browse the Internet, it may all be academic.

"People make outlandish claims about what one cellular technology is capable of compared with another, but they offer broadly similar performances," Garner said. "One of the technologies will make a move before the other and then have an advantage for a while, but they are basically moving in the same direction at the same speed."

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fully Ad-supported Free Mobile Phone Service to Launch in '07

Blyk, is an advertising-funded mobile phone service scheduled to launch in the United Kingdom in mid-2007, followed by other markets, the company said Thursday. The service will be aimed at consumers between the ages 16 and 24. The company hopes to go live in the U.K. by next year. Whether it actually makes this goal remains to be seen.
Blyk isn’t the first company to offer free mobile service in exchange for advertising rights, Harris said. Similar advertising-supported services were launched a few years ago for fixed-line phones, but "you really don’t hear anything about them anymore," Harris said.
Spotcast Communications launched an advertising-supported service in Hong Kong in 1999 but shut it down a year later.

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YouTube wants to go mobile

YouTube founder and CEO Chad Hurley told attendees at an advertising conference that it is planning a mobile version of the site for next year.
Currently, YouTube members can upload videos to the video-sharing site from their mobile phones. The new service would allow them to browse and view videos from the site as well.
Already many of the clips seen on YouTube are captured by users with their cellphones. A new mobile service could enable users to share videos with others in the YouTube community directly via their phones.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Location, not TV, tops mobile content wish lists

According to an In-Stat study, mobile users are more interested in getting directions and location-based information on their mobile phones than they are receiving mobile TV. A survey of 1,000 mobile early adopters and businessmen, only 15 percent expressed a strong interest in mobile video, while local directions and navigation services garnered 53 percent. Third-generation networks, the study found, are enhancing the utility of existing mobile Web services by making them faster to load, rather than generating interest in multimedia services.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

TV still best place for viewing video

A study commissioned by the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau found that-- surprise!--people still like watching TV. The report found that 60 percent of the population prefer watching TV on the TV over on the Internet and mobile phones. Yet 26 percent say the Internet has affected how they watch TV and that mobile devices simply expand viewing options.

Of course the cable industry is fighting to keep ad dollars on the TV so they won't lose them to mobile phones or the Internet. The study pointed out that respondents say they will tolerate ads 10 seconds or less and only with the promise of free content. Keep the source of the study in mind, of course. The Internet and mobile won't replace watching the good ol' Tube, but traffic on both is increasing. And where there is traffic, ad dollars will follow.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

US, UK Team on Mobile Research

The United States and the United Kingdom today announced the formation of the International Technology Alliance (ITA) in Network and Information Sciences, a team of 25 high-profile vendors and universities that will study new capabilities in wireless technology. The alliance will be headed by IBM and given $135.8 million during the next 10 years to develop long- and short-range battlefield communications.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

The Orange 3G/ HSDPA data card

Data cards that let laptop users connect to the internet over the mobile network have been one of the quiet successes of 3G, with business people being able to work from almost anywhere there is a mobile signal.

Orange's latest data card brings the added promise of connections that, at up to 1.8mbps, approach the speed of fixed broadband, using a technology known as HSDPA. Just as importantly for UK-based mobile workers, the card also supports the Edge network. This is not quite 3G, with a maximum speed of around 0.2mbps, but it is significantly faster than conventional 2.5G or GPRS data.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Reality check on mobile search

Despite recent data suggesting mobile search is taking off, the current reality is less-than-thrilling, says AdAge. Citing Forrester Research, the article points out that 80 percent of marketers say they either use or plan to employ Internet-based search marketing, yet less than one-third of retail marketers and one-half of consumer goods marketers expect to use mobile search as part of that plan. The reason? Traffic. Only about 5 percent of the nation's 190 million mobile phone subscribers have ever used mobile search, according to M:Metrics. The reason: (wait for it….) bad user experience.

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Yahoo expands mobile apps to Windows phones

Yahoo has made its Yahoo Go for Mobile service available as a download for Windows Mobile powered phones worldwide. Yahoo Go for Mobile includes Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Search and Yahoo Photos, among other services. It also is working to strike deals with manufacturers to embed the service suite in new phones still in development.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Wi-Fi Cards Expose Laptops to Hackers

Security researchers say they have found a flaw in WiFi drivers that could give hackers access to passwords, bank accounts and other sensitive information when the system isn't even connected to the Internet. David Maynor, senior researcher at network security firm SecureWorks, and fellow researcher Jon "Johnny Cache" Ellch said the problem is with the software built into wireless-networking hardware that allows it to communicate with a computer's operating system.

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Ofcom Publishes 3G Measurement Plans..

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has published the methodology that it proposes to use to determine the extent to which the 3G mobile network licensees - O2,Vodafone, Hutchison 3G, T-Mobile and Orange - have complied with their obligation to roll out services. Under the terms of their licences, each is required to cover 80% of the UK population by 31 December 2007.
Ofcom's proposed approach is intended to measure the availability of each licensee's service which should, under normal circumstances, be able to provide a range of applications such as voice, text, video and multimedia services.
Ofcom's methodology, which is subject to consultation, is as follows:
Ofcom will assess coverage on the basis of data about base stations supplied by the licensees and population data from the 2001 Census. It will use planning tools to perform an engineering analysis of the signal strength receivable at outdoor locations. This will be supported by sample measurements around to the UKto verify the results.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

3G Subscribers Download Average of 4 Music Tracks Per Month

Twenty-seven percent of UK 3G mobile subscribers download full track music on their mobile phones, according to Telephia. The latest research from Telephia shows that full track music download penetration is more than 11 percentage points higher among 3G subscribers, as compared to non-3G subscribers at 16 percent. On average, 3G subscribers in the UK download 4.1 music tracks per month and spend an average of 8.3 hours per month listening to full track music on their mobile phones.

The study shows many 3G subscribers prefer to use their PC for storage and transfer of music to their mobile phone, revealing that the PC remains an essential part of the music experience.

Forty-four percent of 3G subscribers would prefer to transfer computer music files that have been ripped from their home music collection to their phone. Nineteen percent would prefer to transfer computer music files that have been downloaded from a peer-to-peer or file-share site, and 14 percent prefer to transfer computer music files that were downloaded from a paid website.

Read more here

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PayPal hires ad agency for Text2Buy

Despite all the hype and ballyhoo over mobile commerce, one of the largest barriers to market for such services is the unaware public: My phone can do what? With that in mind, PayPal has hired top ad agency Zimmerman Advertising to launch a campaign aimed at educating the public on the ins and outs of PayPal's new Text2Buy. The service allows users to buy actual CDs, DVDs, shoes, etc. I think examples like CDs and DVDs are poor choices, but most releases and other articles seem to cite those first--why go through the trouble of texting and waiting for the mail to arrive when you can get the same content through a mobile music service? Other non-mobile content items should be stressed, and Text2Buy may lead the mobile commerce charge in the U.S., anyway, as promised.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Will WiMax play second fiddle to 3G? - A Report

Analyst firm Frost & Sullivan has sunk the boot into the much talked about high-speed mobile broadband service known as WiMax, saying it will play a secondary role to 3G in Australia in the coming years.

A key restraint of the emerging WiMax technology at the moment is its lack of mobility. While users can get fast Internet wirelessly, the moment they are in motion, for example, on a train, the signal drops out.

According to Frost & Sullivan analyst Tony Tu, this is one major hurdle the wireless industry needs to overcome if it intends to pick up customers.

In the meantime the ability of the current 3G networks by Vodafone, Optus, Telstra and Optus across metropolitan Australia to provide reasonably fast data speeds weighs against WiMax, limiting it to a supporting role, he claims.

"WiMax is complementary to 3G data services as it provides high bandwidth. But we see it as a nice offering," he said.

Furthermore, the ability of 3G to scale to the even faster HSDPA, known as 3.5G, may be a more worthwhile proposition for subscribers as the basic infrastructure already exists.

HSDPA is High Speed Downlink Packet Access, a mobile broadband standard capable of reaching downlink speeds of 14.4Mbs. In real life, users can expect actual download speeds of between one and 1.8Mbs, with peak upload speeds of 384Kbs.

"It is unlikely existing mobile carriers will invest in WiMax. HSDPA is a cost-effective alternative to existing mobile carriers," he said.

One of the key players in the wireless broadband, and soon to be WiMax space, Unwired, disagrees with Tu's assessment. Unwired's CTO Eric Hamilton said the assumption that WiMax will be in a supporting role is not proven.

"In fact, the question that needs to be considered is whether WiMax will intrude into 3G territory by offering voice, video and other applications."

Hamilton says WiMax will have better performance compared to 3G-based technologies. "This will be the case in terms of all three Cs - Coverage, Capacity and hence Cost."

He said this will be most apparent when customers seek to use a "true" broadband service, where significant uplink (from the customer to the network) capacity is used as well as downlink capacity (from the network to the customer). "In these circumstances the WiMax technology has a significant advantage," he said.

"If a large number of customers choose to take up wireless broadband services, the amount of spectrum and infrastructure needed to support services will be important. At this time suppliers of 3G-based services have significant spectrum limitations, while Unwired and Austar are extremely well placed to take advantage of their spectrum holdings to provide a wide range of broadband services to fixed, portable, nomadic and mobile users across Australia."

Tu said mass adoption in Australia of WiMax should take place in 2009, predicting 500,000 Australians will be subscribed to the technology. This is when chipset-embedded notebooks and Customer Premises Equipment drop to more affordable levels.


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Broadband, 3G - Gateway For Nex-Gen Technologies

Telecom service providers in the Asia Pacific region are looking to broadband and mobile segments to enhance diminishing revenues from the fixed voice segment.

Countries like India and Indonesia are experiencing an increased adoption of 3G services and broadband, while their flourishing cellular markets ensure continuing competitiveness.

A Frost & Sullivan's analysis, which covers 13 major Asia Pacific economies - Asia Pacific Telecom Services Review and Forecast Databank, revealed that revenues in this market in 2004 totaled $246.20 billion and is expected to touch $320.80 billion by the end of 2008.

"Although service providers are providing faster network speed, the pressure to bring down prices persists. In time, service providers are likely to migrate to flat-rate or capped plans, as the cellular market matures and the rate of broadband adoption improves," said Janice Chong, Program Leader, Frost & Sullivan.

3G service providers offering transparent and bundled packages that comprise voice and data services are now offering flat-rate schemes, and unlimited data download packages offered by broadband service providers are becoming increasingly popular.

Read more: SOURCE
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Europe’s first Mobile TV Phone and Service

Samsung Electronics and Debitel (A major German Mobile telephone provider) are offering the first European Mobile TV phone and service. The offering willl allow subscribers to watch 2006 World Cup games on their Samsung P900 handsets in ladnscape view. The service will be available in 5 major cities - Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart and Frankfurt - and will extend to more cities thereafter. Samsung has already provided satellite and terestrial DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) phones to the Korean market.

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Japan's DoCoMo planning big push in Asia

Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo says it is planning a big expansion into Asian markets like Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam in an effort to capitalize on the expected demand for 3G services. DoCoMo doesn't have a stellar track record when it comes to international acquisitions. In 2000, the company committed about $23 billion in acquisitions to port its i-mode technology, including more than $15 billion for a share of AT&T Wireless, an investment which turned out to be ill-timed. Problems signing up i-mode subscribers in Europe and the tanking of the telecom industry in 2001-2002 took a heavy toll on DoCoMo's international investments. The firm wrote off almost $15 billion in international share value in 2001-2002 and stopped international expansions in early 2002. It ended up making technical alliances with operators in Europe and Asia to push i-mode. Now DoCoMo faces a super-saturated market in Japan and needs to find growth elsewhere.

For more about NTT DoCoMo's international plans:
- read this article from the Financial Times

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High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) is a new mobile telephony protocol and is also known to as 3.5G (or “3½G”) technology which is one step higher for 3G. In this respect it extends WCDMA in the same way that EV-DO extends CDMA2000. HSDPA provides a smooth evolutionary path for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) networks allowing for higher data capacity (up to 14.4 Mbps in the downlink). It is an evolution of the W-CDMA standard, designed to increase the available data rate by a factor of 5 or more. HSDPA defines a new W-CDMA channel, the high-speed downlink shared channel (HS-DSCH) that operates in a different way from existing W-CDMA channels, but is only used for downlink communication to the mobile.


The HS-DSCH channel does away with two basic features of other WCDMA channels - the variable spreading factor and fast power control - and instead uses 1. Adaptive Modulation and Coding (AMC), 2. fast packet scheduling at the Node B (Base Station) and 3. fast retransmissions from Node B (known as HARQ-Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request) to deliver the improved downlink performance. The concept of “incremental redundancy” is used in HARQ, where retransmissions contain different codings of the user data, relative to the orignal transmission. When a corrupted packet is received, the user device saves it, and combines it with subsequent retransmissions, to formulate an error-free packet as quickly and efficiently as possible. Even if the retransmitted packet(s) is itself corrupted, the combination of the sum of the errored transmissions can yield an error-free packet.

The HS-DSCH downlink channel is shared between users using channel-dependent scheduling to take advantage of favourable channel conditions to make best use of available radio conditions. Each user device periodically transmits (as many as 500 times per second) an indication of the downlink signal quality. The Node B uses this information received from all user devices to decide which users will be sent data on the next 2 ms frame and, for each user, how much data should be attempted. More data can be sent to users which report high downlink signal quality.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Nokia set to announce WiFi Google Talk app

Nokia is reportedly adding Google's Talk application to its Internet Tablet device, which has become a popular WiFi device with consumers. According to reports, Nokia plans to announce tomorrow an upgraded version of the device that will come pre-loaded with Google's Talk service to allow voice services and IM capabilities. Last week Google executives said they weren't interested in launching an MVNO or creating a Google phone, but the company does want to extend services to as many wireless devices as possible. Google Talk can already be used on BlackBerry mobile devices from Research In Motion. Read more!

LBS mobile games on the rise

Location-based services (LBS) can spice up nearly every type of mobile content, but none more than mobile gaming. To wit, Amp'd Mobile just announced an LBS-enabled game at E3 called PhoneTag that allows users running around city streets to track other players on maps displayed on their mobiles. Participants can virtually "kill" other players in the massive multiplayer game. Amp'd teamed up with actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's LivePlanet company to develop the game concept. Each player is assigned one target to track and capture, while a different player is tracking down that player--like a daisy chain. The last player "standing" wins. It's not entirely clear to me how one virtually "kills" another, but the game also offers invisibility screens, decoys, infrared goggles, scanners and, yes, even bloodhounds. Virtual ones, of course.

SOURCE Read more!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Nokia Mobile Web Server: Web server on your phone

The Nokia Research Center is well under way on a project to put a web server on a handset. Nokia's grandiose vision: "If every mobile phone or even every smartphone initially, is equipped with a webserver then very quickly most websites will reside on mobile phones. That is bound to have some impact not only on how mobile phones are perceived but also on how the web evolves." That impact may very well be that every time a commuter goes into a tunnel their personal Web site goes down until their handset reconnects with the network.

Nokia is one of the few big companies that still invests in "blue sky" research, but the project is still one worth exploring seriously. However, until networks are more rugged, Nokia's vision is a long way off. Rumors of the project started circling the Internet in early January, but Nokia has just made the client available for public download.

Read more about this here. Read more!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Malasia: 3G on your notebook

MULTIMEDIA Prospect Sdn Bhd recently announced the availability of the Sierra Wireless AirCard 850, a PC Card for accessing 3G HSDPA services.

The AirCard 850 works on HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) networks, and it utilises the 2100MHz frequency band for Asian users.

Multimedia Prospect said the product has been tested with the 3G services offered by local telcos Maxis and Celcom.

The AirCard 850 is also backward compatible with EDGE, GPRS and GSM networks, on all four frequency bands – 850, 900, 1800, and 1900MHz.

Read More at SOURCE

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Walt Disney Internet Group To Launch UK Family Mobile Service

The Walt Disney Internet Group said it's creating a mobile phone service in the U.K. similar to what it announced in the U.S in the fact that its targeted at families. Disney Mobile will use the O2 network and will launch later this year. Like the service in the U.S., Disney's service will include family entertainment content and the ability to control children's access to the Internet and chat rooms as well as control voice access and airtime.

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First Commercial 3G UMTS DVB-H Handset

LG Electronics announced the launch of the LG-U900, the world’s first commercially available UMTS (WCDMA) DVB-H phone, at a ceremony in Rome, Italy. The LG-U900 will be available early May through Hutchison, a leading global telecommunications services provider, in time for the 2006 World Cup.

Hutchison Italy, the country’s largest 3G telecommunications provider, has exclusive DVB-H broadcasting rights for the 2006 World Cup. The company will provide video footage of all World Cup matches beginning June 6, through the Hutchison’s service channels, ‘La3’.

Hutchison plans to offer the LG UMTS (WCDMA) DVB-H phone to customers world-wide, after initially establishi ng a base in Italy.

Mr. Mun-Hwa Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, said: “We are so proud that LG is supplying the world’s first commercially available UMTS (WCDMA) DVB-H phone through Hutchison Italy. LG has already proven its unrivalled mobile multimedia technology in 3G markets by introducing a seri es of first-of-their-kind models including SDMB and TDMB handsets. LG will continue to introduce advanced te chnology that is second-to-none in the mobile TV industry.”

Mr. Vincenzo Novari, the CEO of Hutchison Italia said at the ceremony, “With support from LG Electronics, our company will strengthen its leadership in the 3G mobile communication market.”

LG’s new LG-U900 DVB-H handset features a 2.2-inch ‘wide-swing’ screen for mobile TV viewing. Its premium digital broadcasting functions include ESG (Electronics Service Guide) and CAS (Conditional Access System).

Read more: SOURCE

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Actual TV on 3G phones

LG Electronics has launched its LG-U900, the world’s first commercial WDCMA phone which can receive terrestrial digital video broadcast (DVB)-H in Rome at the end of April, and it will be made available in time for the 2006 World Cup this month.

Unlike IP-TV which is streamed over the 3G network, DVB is transmited one-to many from TV station to phone like regular TV, except that it’s digital, and it’s received directly by a separate DVB receiver in the phone, much like current FM radios in or attached to GPRS phones do today.

Thus DVB can be received independently of mobile networks and only your feedback and selections, requests, voting, etc are sent back over the network, which forces operators to think of other ways to make money.

Read more: SOURCE Read more!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sony Ericsson Head Says “A TV In Every Cellphone”

Miles Flint, President of Sony Ericsson, believes that mobile TV is coming to all cellphones in a few years. Could it be that SE is working on their own, proprietary system and this is a warning shot from deep within their Swedish bowels? Possibly.

When will it happen, you ask? 2007 or 2008. I’m thinking it won’t happen in the US until we get some sort of DMB system installed or XM/Siruis or even some of the old guard satellite TV folks start streaming something we want to watch. Video over 3G probably won’t be the best solution, but it’s also a potential winner.


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Helio Bundles Yahoo Into 3G Service Phones

HELIO LLC and Yahoo Inc.announced a relationship to give Helio members access to one of the most extensive suites of Yahoo! services available from any mobile brand.

Helio members will stay connected to their favorite Yahoo! services such as Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports and more on Helio's 3G services.

In addition, Yahoo! and Helio will co-market the services across the Yahoo! network and other Helio marketing channels. The marketing efforts will showcase how easily Yahoo! users can extend their experience into the mobile environment with Helio's 3G network and high-end devices.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

3 to provide user-gen content for Sky, ITN

Continuing to leverage its recently launched citizen journalism services, U.K. operator 3 is in talks with Sky News and ITN to provide the news networks with video clips of newsworthy stories from its subscribers' video camcorder phones. The deal aims to create a direct channel for any 3 subscriber in the midst of a big news event, as opposed to the networks relying on viewers to send in clips, which they did during Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami two years ago. 3's SeeMe TV service allows subscribers to upload video clips for others in the network to view and vote on. The service also recently signed a deal with MSN Spaces to showcase some of the best content online. But most of these clips are gags or attempts at humor--this deal would carry a solicitation for more powerful, newsworthy clips.

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Pure-play wireless carriers eye DSL

Pure-play mobile operators like O2 and Vodafone in Europe are looking to enter the fixed broadband market through local loop unbundling options that allow them to attain and deploy DSL equipment. Vodafone's management restructuring last week included a new division headed by CTO Thomas Geitner that will focus on converged IP services and IMS and a centralized service delivery platform architecture, which it couldn't do if it was simply wholesaling a DSL provider's services. Reports circling the Internet claim that Alcatel has already made a pitch to Vodafone and other vendors may have, too.

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Friday, March 31, 2006

Content is the key to Mobile TV

Persistently declining voice revenues, exacerbated by the need to pay off expensive 3G licences, mean that operators will seize any opportunity to generate data revenues. Mobile TV and video provides many revenue streams and, with the right content strategies and business models in place, promises to have mass market appeal.

Despite the well-documented convergence that is now taking place in order to facilitate the provision of mobile TV and video services, there is a fundamental difference between the telecoms and television industries; whereas the telecoms industry has been technology-led, the television industry has been content-led. It is becoming apparent that the provision of quality content and the strength of brands will be what drives uptake of mobile TV, rather than technology per se. Although technology is an important enabler, content is what is really important. Mobile operators must adjust their focus to this end.

If players in the value chain do not get their content strategies right, mobile users will simply not be interested in mobile TV. In a nutshell, content must be compelling. This is the core theme of a new management report from Informa Telecoms & Media, which brings together the latest research and current market information from around the world.

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DoCoMo Tests WiMAX And HSDPA Handovers.

Just as the world starts to catch up with Japan…DoCoMo has applied for a license to test WiMax network (IEEE 802.16e) for its mobile customers. The trial is intended to determine:
–Assess throughput and wireless transmission characteristics according to the distances between a handset and base station, and handset moving speed.
–Verify the optimal wireless parameters and base station allocations to obtain maximum results.
–Assess the possibility of interference from existing satellite communication systems, such as WideStar
–Confirm continuous connections during handover within the WiMAX system or between WiMAX and other systems, such as HSDPA.

SOURCE Read more!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

PayPal for mobile in beta

eBay's online payment service PayPal launched a mobile payment service that includes person-to-person money transfers and "Text To Buy," which allows users to order products through SMS that they see advertised "on a poster, in a magazine, at an event." PayPal's mobile debut has long been expected, but the Text To Buy feature was a surprise to many. To try out PayPal Mobile:

  • Go to and sign in.
  • Add a new phone to your profile and mark it as a mobile.
  • When prompted, confirm that you would like to use it to make payments.
  • Enter a PIN number.
  • An IVR system will call your phone and ask you to type the PIN in.
  • Make payments.

For more information on PayPal Mobile: read this blog

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3G mobiles 'change social habits'

Increasing use of 3G mobile phones can change the way people communicate and create new social trends and tribes, a behavioural study has suggested.

The study said the combination of still and video cameras on modern phones, and the advent of high speed data transfer, can inspire a generation of users.

Bloggers, film-makers and clubbers all benefit from 3G phones, it said.

Analysts Future Laboratory said the report was the first ethnographic survey of 3G use across the UK.

3G is the next generation of mobile phone technology, offering a wide range of high speed mobile services, including video calling and messaging, e-mail, games, photo messaging and information services.

Read more!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Siemens and Nokia Help T-Mobile Build HSDPA Wireless Network

European cell phone giant, T-Mobile, is working together with Siemens and Nokia to enhance its mobile phone network, and speed up 3G mobile data services in Germany and Austria.

Siemens is the main supplier for the project, but Nokia will also be supplying some equipment for the new HSDPA network, which will bring true broadband speeds to mobile phones.

“Starting with Germany and Austria, T-Mobile customers can now use their notebook or mobile phone to surf in the Internet at DSL (digital subscriber line) speeds and download large volumes of data such as movies or large e-mail attachments faster than before,” said Siemens in a statement.

Existing 3G services have failed to generate mass-market interest in Europe, but T-Mobile is hoping that the faster HSDPA network will create more interest in advanced mobile data offerings.

The new network will be up and running by the end of May, with initial data transfer speeds of up to 1.8 Mbps, compared to 384 kbps with the existing technology. Further upgrades should see the T-Mobile network boosted to 3.6 Mbps by the end of the year, and doubled to 7.2 Mbps shortly thereafter.

Read more!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

UK: Skype and Hutchison 3 Group launch 3G datacard

Skype has struck a deal with Hutchision 3 Group, the 3G mobile operator (UK) last month to provide its VoIP services to the 3 mobile subscribers, which enables the customers to make cheaper VoIP calls.
This service was launched 13th of this month. The new datacard available from £ 39.99. 3 has bundled a special starter pack provided by Skype. The starter pack includes the Skype software, a Skype headset and a Skype starter voucher.
Users hoping to get the card at the cheapest price - £ 39.99 will have to opt for the Web and Office 512 package priced at £45 per month. However users will get half a Gb of data bundled in each month.
The Skype and Hutchison 3 brands compliment each other, representing innovation and high value offerings to consumers. This partnership will enable Hutchison to directly tap into the 75 million people using Skype across the Hutchison territories and promote to them the benefits of using Skype on Hutchison’s networks.

Related News:
Skype news News article
3G Portal News Read more!

SurfNoise launches mini-ads for mobiles

Voice advertisement company, SurfNoise has launched a mobile marketing service called PocketSpots that will create mini audio commercial campaigns for MP3 players and mobile phones. The company urges clients to keep their ads under 10 seconds long and rely on intrigue for their pitch. PocketSpots charges between $100 and $900 per commercial tag.
Read more!

SurfNoise launches mini-ads for mobiles

Voice advertisement company, SurfNoise has launched a mobile marketing service called PocketSpots that will create mini audio commercial campaigns for MP3 players and mobile phones. The company urges clients to keep their ads under 10 seconds long and rely on intrigue for their pitch. PocketSpots charges between $100 and $900 per commercial tag.
Read more!

Microsoft, Telstra to demo DVB-H in Australia

Microsoft, Telstra and Broadcast Australia will provide the country with a look at DVB-H enabled mobile TV at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. The announcement follows Telstra's recent launch of its Big Pond mobile 3G and broadband service. The demo will broadcast seven channels of live coverage of the games. Microsoft will provide specially enabled Windows Mobile handhelds and the content will be broadcast using Windows Media 9 compression. Broadcast Australia will provide the transmission infrastructure. The games were originally called the British Empire Games and include a wide variety of sports.
Read more!

WiMAX to complement 3G/4G networks...

Pioneer Consulting's new report, The Impact of 3G & 4G Wireless Technology on Carriers' Network Development Strategies, concludes that WiMAX will have a significant role to play in the evolution of mobile networks. A survey of manufacturers and network operators indicates that they are making plans to incorporate 4G technology as a value-adding adjunct to existing mobile infrastructure and services.

"WiMAX has received a lot of negative publicity recently," says Julian Rawle, Managing Partner, "but when you look beyond the hype and anti-hype, there is a viable business case for the fixed standard and maybe also for the mobile standard."

Instead of characterizing the evolution of 3G and 4G mobile technologies as a battle to the death between species, the report highlights the potential for complementarity between the various technologies which reside under the 3G and 4G "umbrellas". Pioneer's Managing Partner, Howard Kidorf, commented, "In modeling scenarios for 4G development, we found that accelerated growth in demand for 4G stimulates interest in broadband wireless applications which also has a beneficial impact on demand for 3G."


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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

SMS Interop Agreements Made Easier

The GSMA has developed a new hub-based structure to support cross network SMS traffic that will make it much easier to set up inter-working agreements between operators and bring on world wide SMS interoperability.

The first proof of concept trial for SMS delivery via a new open hub approach has been successfully completed by Orange, SFR, Proximus and TIM working with hub providers Belgacom and Telecom Italia Sparkle. Next, the GSMA is to launch a large scale SMS ‘hubbing’ trial with a broad range of operators and hub providers.

As the growth and volumes of SMS continues to take operators by surprise, they have been forced to find ways to shortne the time consuming process of setting up bi-lateral inter-working arrangements between each other.

Currently operators must negotiate agreements to exchange SMS between each other one by one. The GSMA’s new structure means operators will only have to connect once to a hub to reach all the other networks connected to that hub. Moreover, through interconnect arrangements between hubs, they will be able to reach operators connected to other hubs. This combined solution ensures that operators and their customers will benefit from the highest level of service quality (including protection against spam), security, billing and settlement while maintaining the independence of each operator to determine its own pricing structures.

Groundbreaking With MMS

The hubbing approach has already been successfully proven globally for MMS with regional hubs established in Asia, North America and Europe linking over 110 operators delivering commercial MMS services in 58 countries. In addition to text messaging, the GSMA is now extending this approach to other key applications.

“Newer entrants will find this simple one-hub-connection an easy way to manage their SMS inter-working traffic and relationships” said Mr. Roberto Vannini, member of the GSMA’s Executive Committee and head of business innovation and technologies at Telecom Italia (formerly TIM Italy).

The main SMS hub providers on the market are Belgacom, Telecom Italia Sparkle, Syniverse Technologies, CITIC and Mobile 365.


Read more!

CeBIT 2006.

CeBIT is all set to start on 9th March 2006. For those who dont know what is CeBIT.
CeBIT is the world's biggest, and one of the world's most important, computer expos. It is held in Hanover, Germany, each spring and is a barometer of information technology.
The name CeBIT stands for Centrum der Büro- und Informationstechnik (Center for office and information technology) and was traditionally the CeBIT part of the Hanover Fair, a big industry trade show held every year. However, in the 1980s the information technology and telecommunications part had grown so big that it was given a separate trade show starting 1986, held four weeks earlier than the Hanover Fair.
So, lets wait for the big event and see what its going to promise for telecommunations/mobile/wireless fields.

CeBIT Website
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Google News Mobile launches in beta

Google launched a mobile version of its Google News service that allows users with Web-enabled handsets to "access top headlines, browse through news categories, or search for exactly the stories you want--all in a phone-friendly format that's easy to read and navigate." Search results are links for relevant stories from "multiple" sources, but only those that are specifically designed for viewing on mobile devices--a move that should prompt many news sites to get with the mobile program. Users of PDAs, smartphones or mobile devices that can view HTML pages can access the entire Google News index of 4,500 sources the same way as the traditional desktop version. The offering is currently in Beta and is only available in English, but Google says the service will expand to other languages soon.

Check the Google News FAQs Read more!

O2 partners with InfoSpace for games over i-mode

InfoSpace has signed a deal with O2 to provide classic British pub games using the i-mode service to U.K. users. The partnership for the "iPub" games channel will include mobile game offerings like Pub Pool, Pub Fruity and Pub darts among others. The site will offer mobile consumers access to InfoSpace's iPub channel on its i-mode site for £3. InfoSpace will collect its revenue from subscription-based services billed directly through the user's phone bill. i-mode is a flexible business model that facilitates both subscription based and non-subscription based content.

The partnership forms part of i-mode's unique content structure through which InfoSpace will be able to quickly develop and deploy sophisticated, secure commercial content to consumers. It allows InfoSpace to expand its revenue opportunities by selling its content through O2's generous revenue sharing model. InfoSpace will collect its revenue from subscription based services billed directly through the user's phone bill permitting it to concentrate on its core business. i-mode is a flexible business model that facilitates both subscription based and non-subscription based content.

InfoSpace runs and manages every aspect of the iPub channel delivered through O2's network. This means that InfoSpace can leverage its extensive experience in the merchandising and promotion of games, music, TV and video to provide consumers with a bespoke "pub" experience.

For more see this press release Read more!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sony Ericsson to bundle Google's

This week, Sony Ericsson has signed a deal with Google, which enables Sony Ericsson to integrate Google's and Google Web Search features on all of its future mobile phones.

This means account holder with the new Sony Ericsson phone can write and post content to his blog on the move using the bundles software. So you can post content to your blog even on a vacation, travel or away from the computer. This is the first any mobile handsent manufacturer providing this kind of features related to blogging. This shows how popular is blogging in the present internet era and it looks like surely this is going to be a hit feature.

"We are seeing exponential growth in blogging and consumers are turning more and more often to the Internet as a means of sharing information or images in personal blogs”, said Jan Wäreby, Corporate Executive Vice President, Head of Sales and Marketing, Sony Ericsson. “By working with Google, we're able to offer a quick and easy way for people users to blog as they discover how convenient it is as a way to share words and pictures with friends, family and beyond. We are also delighted to collaborate with Google, the undisputed leader in Web Search, to provide our end users with relevant internet information directly to their Sony Ericsson handsets."

From now, Google will become the standard search engine for all new Sony Ericsson internet-capable phones. Sony Ericsson is the latest company to announce that it will feature Google software on its handsets.
The announcement comes after Motorola and Vodafone have said that they too would be offering users access to Google Search.

Image and news source:

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

NTT DoCoMo hits 2.5Gbps in 4G trial

NTT DoCoMo says it managed to transmit data at 2.5Gbps to a moving vehicle in recent tests of a new wireless data technology.
The tests involved using MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) and are part of the Japanese carrier's research into so-called fourth generation (4G) wireless technology. MIMO involves sending data using multiple antennas -- six transmission antennas in the case of the DoCoMo trial -- to increase the total throughput.

The tests involved a vehicle traveling at 20 kilometers per hour (12mph) and took place at the company's research and development center in Yokosuka, Japan, on Dec. 14 last year but were not reported until Thursday.

Last year the carrier reported it had achieved 1Gbps transmission throughput so the latest figures are a significant improvement on that result. In addition to increasing the number of antennas from four to six, the data volume per transmission was also increased from four bits to six bits, said NTT DoCoMo (Profile, Products, Articles).

As a result the frequency spectrum efficiency, which measures how much data can be transmitted in a single Hertz of bandwidth, increased from 10 bits per second per Hertz last time to 25 bits per second per Hertz this time.

2.5Gbps is a very high dataspeed compared to today standards. But 4G is now nowhere visible in the near future, it will take many years before we see this in practical.
Read more!

WiMAX Forum awards 802.16e test contract

WiMAX product certification lab Cetecom Spain and U.K.-based Aeroflex have won a joint contract from the WiMAX Forum to develop the protocol conformance test solution for the 802.16e standard, which will be the basis for Mobile WiMAX.

The companies will market a base station emulator for the protocol conformance testing of mobile stations that will execute ETSI-approved TTCN-3 test cases, the companies said in a statement. Early functionality will be available to support development efforts, and a fully functional system will follow later. The solution will be ready in the second half of 2006, and is expected to be used in the initial certification of Mobile WiMAX products in late 2006, according to Cetecom, which is currently involved in ongoing certification testing for Fixed WiMAX products.

In October 2005, Aeroflex and CETECOM entered into a long-term, global distribution partnership under which Aeroflex became the sole worldwide sales and support channel for Cetecom’s MINT RF conformance test platform for 2G/2.5G/3G mobile handsets.

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IP Communications Consortium (IPCC) becomes IMS Forum

The International Packet Communications Consortium (IPCC), an international trade association dedicated to the advancement of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) over broadband cable, wireline and wireless technologies, announced its transition to the IMS Forum -- The Voice of IP Convergence.
The mission of the IMS Forum will be to accelerate the adoption of IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) by providing an environment for discussion and resolution of real-world implementation issues, such as interoperability and standards-based architectures in the application layer. The Forum will also provide consultancy and expertise to the industry on best practices and approaches for IMS rollouts, interconnectivity and convergence.
“With VoIP proliferation continuing at a very aggressive rate, it has become quite clear that we are going through a major transition toward IP multimedia convergence and are witnessing the dawn of a new era of communications driven by bundled services, applications, multimedia content delivery, and telecommunications convergence,” said Michael Khalilian, chairman and president of the IMS Forum.
The IMS Forum is comprised of service providers, solutions providers, system integrators and government agencies translating industry standards into revenue generating services. Our members develop cost-effective technical frameworks for converged IP services over wireline, cable, 3G, WiFi and WiMAX networks.
Just after few days after the latest buzz about IMS technology buzz at 3GSM world congress, this is an interesting move to watch out for. Lets hope the IMS forum will live upto its mission.
Read more!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Top stories from the 3GSM, Barcelona - Part 2

  1. More music from O2
  2. Phone SIMs, 3GSM to be integrated in notebooks
  3. China limbers up with 3G licenses
  4. Lucent Selects Ubiquity’s SIP application serve for IPMS
  5. MetaSolv lays out IMS play
  6. Alcatel unveils mobile WiMAX base station
  7. New records in attendance for the 3G World Congress
  8. Rogers Communications selects Ericsson for UMTS/HSDPA in canada
  9. GSMA touts video sharing tests

More music from O2

O2 has been clarifying some of its latest moves in the music space, at 3GSM Barcelona. It also hosted a gig from latest boy band signing – Upper Room.

To more closely identify with its customerbase, O2 has decided to actively sponsor a four piece band from Brighton called Upper Room. They played a live gig to the assembled suits from the 3GSM show in a swish Barcelona nite club last night.

It's hoped the move will trigger more of the UK's youth to actively follow O2's music offerings on both its WAP site (O2 Active) and its i-mode site. O2 recently said it had over 100K users and 130 sites on its i-mode portal.

Head of content management with O2, Graham Riddell, also revealed that O2's recently announced support for the Loudeye platform uses the Beast's DRM technology.

That means you can download the same music track to your mobile phone, your PC and your personal music player. As long as they support Windows Media Player, of course.

Phone SIMs, 3GSM to be integrated in notebooks

The GSM Association and chip giant Intel said they will push the standard for notebook machines so that people can connect and roam across mobile networks around the world.

The trade association and Intel are developing reference guides to integrate 3G modems and SIM cards into laptops making it a bit easier to connect if you're out of range of a hotspot.

Every notebook will be SIM ready - according to Rob Conway, the chieftain of the GSM Association. He said that laptops with connectivity to 3GSM will make secure authentication and connection just that bit easier.

China limbers up with 3G licenses

China is anticipated to issue 3G licenses by June this year to ensure it has a cutting-edge mobile phone infrastructure in place for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

This move would generate $12 billion in spending on new equipment, and has been the talk of the 3GSM mobile trade fair in Barcelona this week.

Though China has the pressing deadline of the Olympics, which will mark its high-profile launch onto the world stage, it is keen to push its homegrown 3G mobile communications intellectual property. This standard, TD-SCDMA is still being tested which is why China is being slow to divvy up its 3G licences.

The Chinese government has to decide whether to push ahead with the commercially unproven TD-SCDMA standard, or opt for the European standard WCDMA. There is also the US standard, CDMA 2000.

Some industry watchers believe China will hedge its bets and build networks based on both WCDMA and CDMA 2000, with TD-SCDMA used more for support rather than as a stand-alone system.

Lucent Selects Ubiquity’s SIP application serve for IPMS

Lucent Technologies has formally selected Ubiquity’s SIP application server for the vendor’s growing IP Multimedia Subsystem portfolio, agreeing to resell the server to its carrier customers and to further work on integrating the SIP technology with its own architecture. Ubiquity has been working with Lucent, IBM and other vendors and integrators as ecosystem partners, but today’s Lucent announcement is the first time Lucent has agreed to an OEM deal with the vendor.

MetaSolv lays out IMS play

MetaSolv Software used the backdrop of the 3GSM World Congress this week to present its strategy for IP multimedia subsystem, or IMS, support in convergent activation and mediation. The company also introduced Mediation 5, a new version of its mediation application designed for multi-service 3G wireless, IP, voice-over-IP and traditional voice networks.

MetaSolv, which was named this week by analyst firm, OSS Observer in its report "Market Share: Global OSS Market Leadership in 19 Segments," as the market leader in service activation and the runner-up in service fulfillment, will position its IMS solutions as those that can achieve the holy grail of automated service delivery.

Alcatel unveils mobile WiMAX base station

Alcatel became the first vendor out of the gate with a mobile WiMAX portfolio. At the 3GSM World Congress, it took the cover off of an Evolium base station built to the recently finalized IEEE 802.16e standards.

Though not technically mobile WiMAX, since the WiMAX Forum has not even set a date for the technology’s certification, Evolium is the first product built with an eye toward the upcoming specification. It is not, however, the first 802.16e to hit the market. Korea’s WiBro technology is built under the IEEE’s standards also, and LG and Samsung already have live networks running in Korea and at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.

Alcatel said the base station would be available for commercial deployment in mid-2006. The vendor has been working closely with chipmaker Intel to develop interoperable CPEs and base stations. The two are now planning a co-marketing campaign to commercialize the technology.

New records in attendance for the 3G World Congress

The GSM Association said today it has broken new records in attendance for the 3G World Congress after moving the convention from Cannes, France, to Barcelona, Spain, this year. Final attendance figures came in at 50,000 delegates, exhibitors, staff and other participants over the last four days at the Fira de Barcelona convention center. The first day alone saw 34,900 visitors to event, compared to 24,300 at the first day of the Congress in 2005.

Rogers Communications selects Ericsson for UMTS/HSDPA in canada

Ericsson said this week that it has been selected to be sole supplier for Rogers Communications UMTS/HSDPA build out in Canada. Rogers is Canada’s largest wireless carrier, and has used Ericsson as its primary supplier for its wireless infrastructure, while many other Canadian carriers have used homegrown vendor Nortel Networks.

GSMA touts video sharing tests

The GSM Association (GSMA), in an initiative led by Scandinavian mobile operator TeliaSonera, has begun interoperability trials on three continents to ensure that mobile users will be able to share video across networks. Successful completion of the trials, taking place in Europe, Asia and the U.S., will ensure that video sharing services work smoothly across networks and national boundaries, the GSMA said at the 3GSM World Congress here.

The GSMA has brought together major equipment and handset-makers, including Ericsson, LG, Lucent, Motorola, Nokia, NEC, Samsung, Siemens and Sony-Ericsson, for the trials to ensure that this service will work across as many mobile devices as possible. Intel Corp. and other firms also are participating in the trials.
Read more!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Top stories from the first 2 days of 3GSM, Barcelona.

1. Mobile operators promise IM for all
2. Nokia merges its cdmaOne business with Sanyo
3. BenQ EF91 HSDPA handset announced
4. Nokia and Vodafone team to promote S60
5. Cingular announces global 3G roaming
6. Nokia unveils wi-fi phone for mass market
7. Skype gets serious with three deals
8. Nokia scores global IMS deal with Vodafone

For details read below:

Mobile operators promise IM for all
Fifteen of the world's largest mobile phone operators, including Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone, have signed a deal to include common standards for instant messaging (IM) interoperability.
The deal, which consists of 32 letters of intent, will see common IM protocols shared between operators so that customers from their networks can chat using IM. The services will also be strengthened to limit the effects of spam and virus attacks.

"Thanks to this coordinated IM campaign, more than 700 million mobile subscribers will eventually have access to an IM service that is intuitive, reliable, secure and will work across networks," said Rob Conway, chief executive of the GSM Association.
"Crucially, users will only pay to send, not receive, messages, meaning that they can easily control their spending and minimise spam."

The 'Personal IM' service was launched at a combined press conference at 3GSM in Barcelona. India will be the first country to benefit from the service, since the majority of its mobile operators have signed up.

Nokia merges its cdmaOne business with Sanyo
It Seems that Nokia has got bored playing in the cdmaOne handset business and has found a way out. It's going to merge its cdmaOne handset business with that of Japan's Sanyo. Hopefully to create a new dominant player.
That's exactly what Sony and Ericsson thought they were doing with their GSM handset divisions when they combined to form Sony Ericsson.It didn't quite work like that – the original Sony Ericsson joint venture lost market share like mad before making a successful recovery. That's probably what will happen with the new Nokia Sanyo venture.

Common sense would dictate that the new venture should still be called Nokia, though, because of the brand. But we shall see. It's a clear indication that the economies of scale are retreating when it comes to making cdmaOne and CDMA2000 handsets, however.

BenQ EF91 HSDPA handset announced
BenQ announced its first HSDPA phone at 3GSM, the EF91. The company is calling it the first HSDPA phone, but both LG and Samsung were showing off HSDPA equipped phones at CES. Discounting the claim, the EF91 is still quite a high-end handset:

* 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus
* miniSD card slot
* QVGA screen with 262K colors
* Bluetooth with support for stereo headsets
* HSDPA with video call support

The BenQ EF91 is scheduled to begin shipping this summer. Prices will vary by local.
BenQ announced another handset at the show, a music phone called the EF51.

Nokia and Vodafone team to promote S60
Nokia and Vodafone this morning announced a partnership to increase the adoption of the S60 phone platform. By making more Vodafone handsets S60 the carrier will have an easier time making the customizations and value adds that carriers love.

Nokia and Vodafone will develop a Vodafone-specific software complement on top of the S60 platform. The collaboration also includes the expansion of the licensee base and increased portfolio penetration through open roadmap governance and establishes a strong independent brand position for both the S60 software and the supporting developer activities.

By the end of February, Nokia estimates that it will have sold 50 million S60 devices. Vodafone is the world's second largest mobile phone carrier with approximately 180 million customers across five continents (China Mobile is the largest with over 200m customers).

Cingular announces global 3G roaming
Cingular Wireless announced a global 3G data plan aimed at business travelers. Starting next month Cingular will offer a GlobalConnect data plan that features unlimited domestic use and up to 100MB/month of usage on partners' networks in Europe and Asia.A data card (Option GlobeTrotter GT MAX LaptopConnect card) is bundled and it operates on the following networks: HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE, WiFi and GPRS. The card costs $99 with a 2-year service contract.

Nokia unveils wi-fi phone for mass market
The world's largest mobile handset manufacturer, Nokia, on Monday unveiled a mass-market phone capable of switching between wi-fi and GSM. The N6136 handset, launched at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, is a UMA device that will let users make voice over IP (VoIP) calls when the phone detects a wi-fi hotspot. It is thought the emergence of such devices will encourage operators to roll-out high-bandwidth services: wi-fi, in theory, can support speeds of up to 50Mbps."Internet voice is going mobile," said Jorma Ollila, Nokia's chief executive. "UMA gives users an alternative to PC-based VoIP," he added.

Skype gets serious with three deals
The darling of the Voice over IP (VoIP) revolution, Skype, announced a deal with Hutchison 3 today that will put the consumer application on Skype-enabled mobile devices.It also announced Skype for Pocket PC 2.0 which will allow users to talk to other Skype users - or Skypers - with any Windows Mobile Pocket PC wireless device.Finally, Skype announced a new distribution and retail programme with Dangaard Telecom that intends to release "a huge new retail presence in Europe for Skype certified products."

Nokia scores global IMS deal with Vodafone
Finnish vendor Nokia, today revealed it has won a contract with the Vodafone Group to deliver its IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) to Vodafone operations worldwide.Under the agreement, Nokia will become preferred supplier of Vodafone's IMS network architecture and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) technology that will enable Vodafone to roll out next generation services, such as Presence, List Management services and VoIP. The first deployments of IMS are expected during 2006, Nokia said.
Read more!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

What to expect from 3GSM World Congress, Barcelona

The official 3GSM World Congress 2006 has kicked off in Barcelona. 3GSM 2006 is being held in Barcelona this year and is being attended by every major wireless mobile phone handset manufacturer in the world. This year's event is shaping up to be one of the biggest and busiest ever, with plenty of new technologies, services and gadgets to make their debut in this event.
We can expect a flurry of announcements from Europe's largest wireless mobile show ever.

What to expect? There are many.

Some of the themes talked about last year will surface as products this year, including HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) mobile phones, dual-mode handsets supporting both GSM and Wi-Fi technologies, handsets capable of receiving broadcast TV signals(T-DMB - Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting). Mobile TV, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), mobile search and discovery and the roadmap to 4G will be some of the hottest themes at this year's 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, according to many industry experts.

Hottest themes:

Despite all the excitement about new services and applications, it is worth remembering that 3GSM is first and foremost a wireless technology show. As such, much of the exhibition will be devoted to HSDPA, a new, even higher speed version of 3G.
Japan's NTT DoCoMo, never one to miss an opportunity to show its eagerness for using the latest technologies, will demonstrate HSDPA handsets from Fujitsu, Motorola and NEC. The 'super 3G' phones are capable of downloading data at 3.6Mbps (megabits per second) on the move, a rate nearly 10 times faster than present 3G (third-generation).

Dual Mode:
Nokia is one of several vendors expected to unveil new dual-mode 3G and Wi-Fi phones in Barcelona. The vendors are responding to demand from telecom companies that own wireless and wireline networks and are keen to offer dual-mode phones to keep customers using both.

Mobile TV/T-DMB:
Of the mobile broadcast TV solutions on offer, digital mobile broadcast (DMB) has stolen a march on the market and is expected to be the technology of choice for the next couple of years in a number of markets worldwide. Competing broadcast technologies DVB-H and Qualcomm MediaFLO solution may then be able to compete effectively, once complex issues such as regulation, capacity and spectrum planning have been overcome, continues McQueen.

Added to this mix are the cellular network TV offerings, which may prove to be a cost-effective alternative for the operators once faster data networks are rolled out and multicast solutions are implemented. Indeed, this option may prove preferable for operators a Korean mobile operator has already voiced fears that mobile TV could erode future revenues from 3G.

At 3GSM, Samsung will unveil what it claims will be the first mobile phone for the European market supporting the T-DMB (Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) standard, one of two planned in Europe.

The competing broadcast mobile TV standard is DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld), which is supported by Nokia, Motorola, NEC and Sony Ericsson.

Open-source and Push-Email:
Open-source software, including the Linux operating system, is expected to surface in several new handsets targeting both the business and consumer markets. Trolltech AS, which in 2004 agreed to deliver its embedded Linux development platform to Motorola, plans to make an announcement in Barcelona. On the application front, open source is also coming to push email, another hot technology in the mobile phone sector.

Interest in push email has grown significantly among operators and enterprises alike, fuelled by the popularity of the BlackBerry technology developed by RIM. And while RIM impatiently waits for a resolution in its patent infringement lawsuit, rivals are seizing the opportunity to win over BlackBerry customers.


Another hot topic is VoIP (voice over IP) technology. A growing force in the fixed-line market, VoIP is on its way to the mobile market.

Skype, a household word for fixed-line VoIP, has been reaching out to collaborate with mobile phone operators and handset manufacturers. The company, which was acquired last year by eBay, is holding a news conference in Barcelona.

High-speed Networking:
Speed continues to be a big issue in mobile communicaitons, especially for data services. Several vendors plan to use the Barcelona event to show their high-speed networking systems.

The emergence of the MVNO model has taken the whole industry by surprise in the last 12-18 months and is having a significant impact on mobile markets in Europe and North America. In Germany, Informa believes there could be as many as 50 MVNOs by the end of this year. Many operators see the rise of MVNOs as an opportunity to secure new revenues by selling wholesale network capacity and retail strategies. But whilst the MVNOs may extend operator reach, particularly into niche markets where they are not traditionally strong, they are also forcing them to review their underlying cost structures.
Many giants in the area are going to demonstrate their capabilities and strategies.

Road map to 4G:
Many of the vendors at trhe 3GSM, will also be giving their visions of a roadmap to 4G.

Other than the above, there is growing interest in mobile search and discovery as operators realise their interests may be best served by helping their customers find content they want rather than pushing specific content to them on their portal. Companies like Yahoo!, exhibiting at the show for the first time, and Google seem intent on replicating the success of their Internet pay-per-click advertising model on the mobile internet.
Mobile location technology and application providers, meanwhile, are making comeback at 3GSM this year. More than 150 million phones are in use today with embedded GPRS technology that gives the potential to use location as a context for services such as mobile search and discovery.

Surely 3GSM World Congress is all set to announce plenty of new and interesting technologies, exciting services and hottest gadgets to make their debut. Lets hope for the best out of it.

Related Links:
3GSM World Congress
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

3GSM World Congress and MVNOs

3GSM world Congress is set to start in three days from now(Barcelona from 13-16 Feb 06).
We can expect lot of new technologies and gadgets display at the congress. And with the current growing trend of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), it will interesting to see MVNOs andMobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNE) at the congress. There are many events shceduled in the related context. Featured speakers during the congress also include some very interesting small companies from the domain.
Here are a couple of small/medium MVNO/VOIP related or MVNO companies I came across that are participating in the congress:

Let me know if you know others.

Lets wait and watch for the big event and hope for the best out of it.
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Pay Per Click Ads Go Mobile with AdMob

After the success of the pay per click (PPC) ad programs Yahoo YPN, Google Adsense, Chitika Minimalls and others , now they are reaching mobiles also. AdMob brings mobile advertisers together with content publishers. Advertisers reach consumers right on their phone and target by region, manufacturer, platform, or device capability level. Publishers can monetize their existing mobile products and services.

This is what AdMob says about the program:

"To put it bluntly, we simply feel that it's about time that everyone had an easy and cost-effective way to reach out to people on mobile devices. That's what AdMob is all about.

We actively partner with high quality, high traffic, independent mobile sites to carry our ads. This is not about a carrier deal or a proprietary portal; this is the open mobile web, the way it should be.

To make your ads as effective as possible we have developed a number of unique technologies that will change the way you think about mobile advertising.

You get what you pay for :
But in a good way. Everyone is familiar with pay-per-click advertising on the web, but AdMob is the first time this concept has been taken mobile. With AdMob, there is finally a way to reach a highly desireable audience of mobile users who are active on the mobile web."
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Saturday, February 04, 2006

More on HSDPA for Laptops

Last week Dell announced its plans to embed Vodafone's 3G wireless broadband technology in notebook PCs sold in the UK, France, and Germany which is expected to release in the first half of this year. This High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) capability boost the 3G dataspeeds by approx 4 times. This news becomes significant with respect to announcements of HSDPA connectivity based on the usual data card form factor that we are used to seeing with 3G and GPRS.

Basically, it is an upgrade to existing 3G networks that were originally built out in Europe based on the UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) standard. 3G networks upgraded to HSDPA are anticipated to deliver three to four times the data capacity and three to four times the data access rates of UMTS.

HSDPA also significantly reduces network latency, the delay associated with response to network requests, which further boosts the performance of bandwidth consuming applications such as Web browsing over HTTP. Together with better in-building coverage and improved QoS management, the end result should be a dramatically enhanced user experience, and a network that is able to tolerate high network loads at busy times much more effectively.

HSDPA rollout is set to gain momentum as we go through the second half of the year, though timescales vary between operators and indications are that it will take some time before 3G networks are fully upgraded. From that point onwards, new cell sites commissioned as the physical 3G networks continue to expand will be HSDPA enabled. In terms of HSDPA coverage, we can expect the kind of rollout schedule we have seen before with 3G - specific cities and major conurbations first, with wider coverage following. In reality though, it is likely to be well into 2007 before we see anything other than relatively restricted HSDPA availability.

The obvious question therefore is why anyone would be interested in buying a notebook from Dell with embedded HSDPA as soon as the middle of this year. The answer is to future proof their investment. The modules installed by Dell will support UMTS and GPRS (2.5G) as well as HSDPA. They may therefore be used to connect via the commonly available cellular data standards today, while being ready to take advantage of HSDPA as coverage increases to useful levels, as it undoubtedly will during the lifetime of a new PC bought this year.

So get ready and gear up for higher wireless data speeds.

Related Links
Vodafone readies HSDPA 3G card for notebooks
Dell Puts Vodafone 3G in Euro Laptops
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Customer Churn = MVNO Butter

Brand loyalty is rare among cellular subscribers, according to a study released this morning by In-Stat/MDR -- a finding that could have profound future implications for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) targeting enterprise customers.

According to the new In-Stat survey, entitled "MVNOs: Current and Planned Wireless Subscriber Interest in Alternative Carriers," 80 percent of the 1,017 current cellular subscribers and people who plan to subscribe in the next year would consider switching their service to a virtual operator. Often connected with established, familiar brands targeting niche consumer markets, MVNOs offer packaged mobile voice services along with specialized applications and features, running over conventional carriers' cellular networks.

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Bluetooth set to take over wireless from Wi-Fi

The IEEE has abandoned its effort to create a UWB standard, but has agreed on a draft for the next generation of WiFi, 802.11n. The conventional wisdom is that this week's events are great news for Wi-Fi, and a disaster for Ultra-Wide Band, UWB, and by association, Bluetooth. In fact, the exact opposite is likely to be the judgment of the future.

Who was surprised when the IEEE abandoned an attempt to define the ultra-wide band wireless standard? Amazingly, lots of people. "Why haven't you covered this? It's your area of expertise!" complained a reader. "Is it news?" I asked, astonished. Apparently, it was.

But it was only news if you weren't studying UWB. Insiders knew it was coming. It's been a horrible mess for more than three years now; politics, power groups, competing technologies which are completely incompatible, and confident statements by chief technology officers which have all proved to be cobblers. And I don't mean technical cobblers: I mean, nonsense in the field of commercial reality.

The technology is not a mystery any more. There are several ways of doing UWB; the trouble is, you can't make them all part of the same standard. And the reasons aren't simple, but if you want to simplify them a bit, you could say that there are issues of power, data speed, and carrier material - because UWB isn't just a wireless technology: it can be used down fibre, too.

Ultra-wide band wireless is close to being magic. It's the ultimate expression of technology advances in the last twenty years - which is to say, it's the exact opposite of how radio has worked ever since different wavebands started being allocated to individual transmitters. Those early radios tried to reach all around the world on one frequency, so it was very important not to have two transmitters on the same frequency. So the technology originally focused on getting the band narrower and narrower.

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Siemens To Build 3G Wireless Network In Malta

German technology company Siemens, Monday said it has received an order from Malta's wireless operator Vodafone Malta to build a third generation wireless, or 3G/W-CDMA, network.

The network which will cover the entire island of Malta, will be available to personal users, business customers and tourists later this year. Siemens has been an exclusive supplier to Vodafone Malta since 1997, and has already built its cellular wireless, or GSM, network.

In building the third generation wireless network, Siemens will plan, design and optimize the entire radio network, and will supply and install the radio and core network technology. This will enable subscribers to download large volumes of data, such as video clips or e-mail files, for example, over their mobile handsets or laptops while they are out and about.

With over 170,000 subscribers, Vodafone Malta Ltd. is Malta's largest wireless operator; nearly one out of every three residents makes phone calls over this network.

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Dell Puts Vodafone 3G in Euro Laptops

Dell is planning to embed Vodafone's 3G wireless broadband technology in notebook PCs sold in the UK, France, and Germany. The agreement represents the latest in a series of similar deals between Dell and wireless operators rolling out 3G networks.

Last Fall, for example, Dell inked agreements with both Cingular and Verizon in the U.S., with plans to roll out 3G-enabled laptops here soon.

In the first half of this year, Dell will offer the Vodafone-enabled computers with the optional integrated High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) capabilities.

HSDPA is a wireless broadband technology that boosts 3G download speeds by approximately four times. A subscription to a Vodafone wireless data plan will be required to use the new broadband service.


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Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Impact of VoIP, WiFi and 3G Data on Wireless Telecom

Recently, there's been a great deal of industry chatter about fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). Mobile network operators plan to leverage emerging IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) service platforms to deliver true “one phone, one number” telephony over both fixed and mobile infrastructure. This means your mobile handset will use 2G/3G mobile infrastructure when you are outdoors and VoIP over WiFi or Bluetooth when you are at work or at home.

Mobile operators see IMS and FMC as an opportunity to take additional market share from traditional fixed line operators. But mobile operators are kidding themselves if they think they can control the FMC market for very long. Once high speed Internet access becomes available on mobile phones, a plethora of VoIP services will follow.

READ ARTICLE by Brough Turner, SVP, CTO and Co-Founder of NMS Communications Read more!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Challenges for 3G in a Fully Converged World

Within the developed world, IP connectivity is a reality for almost anyone that wishes to connect to the Internet. And within developing countries, cost-effective solutions are being sought to provide increased Internet access to communities as a way of enhancing and supporting communication, commerce, health care and education.

The communication protocol we refer to as IP has already had an enormous impact on the way people all over the world conduct business and their personal lives. Yet still greater change will come as wireless technology continues to evolve from its current nascent capabilities, and much of the attention today is focused on 3G technology and the word “convergence” – whether it be the device, service, fixed or wireless.

ARTICLE: by Simon Clayton-Mitchell, Global Crossing VP for Wireless Services Exchange

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PhoneDrive combines VoIP, Flash in USB key

South Korea's Iocell has integrated Internet telephony into a compact USB Flash drive all in the name of conversational convenience.

"The PhoneDrive can fit inside your pants pocket and be carried anywhere," says the company.

The PhoneDrive product line provides between 128MB and 4GB of removable storage capacity, squeezed into a 7.4 x 2.1 x 0.7cm USB drive. The unit also packs in a "built-in sound card and retractable earphone" and holds its own VoIP application tucked away in a write-protected 5MB partition on the drive.

Plug the PhoneDrive into your PC, and it automatically loads up the softphone app - the partition appears to Windows as a CD-RW with Autorun - ready to connect through to - presumably - SIP-compatible VoIP applications on other users' PCs around the globe.


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Alcatel wins GSM/GPRS/EDGE contract with SMARTS,Russia

Alcatel announced today the signing of a contract with SMARTS, a leading regional mobile operator in Russia for the delivery of Alcatel mobile solutions to extend SMARTS GSM/GPRS network in the Povolzhie region.

Thanks to the implementation of this project, SMARTS will be able to optimize its existing mobile infrastructure, to double its networks subscribers' capacity in the cities of Kazan and Saratov, to improve the quality of communication and to accelerate the deployment of new mobile broadband services, such as video streaming, MMS and high speed Internet access.

Under the term of the contract Alcatel will deliver its industry-proven Evolium® GSM/GPRS/EDGE radio access solutions, including all elements of the Base Station Sub-system (BSS). Alcatel will also deliver capacity extension of Alcatel Evolium® Mobile Switching Center (MSC).

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Siemens, IBM to team up on Internet telephony

German conglomerate Siemens and computer giant IBM are teaming up to offer Internet phone calls launched directly from email or instant messaging applications, Siemens said on Monday.

The two companies plan to embed Siemens HiPath softswitches for voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) into IBM's Lotus Notes and Domino business software.

The result will be that customers will be able to launch phone calls and conferences with one click from their email, Web conferencing or instant messaging sessions, Siemens said.

Siemens added in a statement that the integrated features were expected to be available to customers by this summer.

IBM's head of software product management Ken Bisconti said in the statement: "By working together with industry leaders such as Siemens we are opening up a new realm of possibilities for our customers, without having to replace their existing IT infrastructures."


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