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


MS said...

I was searching for 3GSM news and found your blog.
Excellent information put together. Thanks.

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