Archives: Opinion

Emerging markets: The unconnected masses

The world’s advanced mobile markets, perhaps understandably, draw a majority share of industry attention. In these countries the latest technologies are used to showcase the most sophisticated services on the handset manufacturing community’s most cutting edge products.

MacWorld: There’s something in the air

Naturally, we have nothing to go on but rumour, but the banners going up at San Francisco’s Moscone Centre, which will host the annual MacWorld conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, read: “There’s something in the air”. This at least is heavily suggestive of new wireless products to be launched by his Jobsness.

Tough on the Frontline

The collapse of Frontline Wireless has added an element of uncertainty to the 700MHz spectrum auction, which kicks off in the US at the end of this month. Now that the only sure fire bidder for the swathe of spectrum reserved for public safety networks is out of the running, there is some doubt as to whether anyone will bid on the so called D-block.

CES Las Vegas roundup

The mammoth Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which took place in Las Vegas this week, was the usual hotbed of gadget activity. There were plenty of new toys out from the mobile handset vendors as well as more evidence of the web giants’ continuing incursion into the wireless space.

Is Yahoo ready to Go mobile?

It looks like 2008 will be the year when the battle going on between the giants of the world wide web, like Google and Yahoo, spills over into the mobile space properly. This week, Yahoo followed Google’s lead, to some degree, with the launch of a platform which promises to help developers get their applications […]

New Year; new handsets; more iPhone stuff

It’s a good thing the gargantuan industry shindig that is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place in the first week of January. While much of the mobile industry is still rousing itself from its festive slumber, we can always rely on a torrent of gadget launches to keep us going.

A roller coaster ride for 802.16e

In January 2007, mobile WiMAX’s high profile American champion Sprint Nextel announced that Finnish giant Nokia would be a “key infrastructure and consumer electronic device provider” for its 4G WiMAX mobility network. Sprint was expected to invest up to $800m (£414.5m) during 2007 and between $1.5bn and $2bn in 2008 on its nationwide US WiMAX network.

The beginning of the end

Actual telecoms news has been thin on the ground this week, so it’s rather fitting that the Informer filed his last edition of A Week in Wireless for 2007. The biggest news, such as it is, is that Sprint Nextel reckons its still going ahead with a commercial launch of WiMAX next year – a […]

Sprint WiMAX – it ain’t over yet

Despite the recent disasters that have befallen the company, Sprint Nextel still reckons it’s on track for a commercial launch of WiMAX next year. It’s in the process of soft launching the network in three markets right now, with several hundred employees using data cards to access the wireless broadband net

Pump up the volume

The gauntlets are going down left, right and centre as some of the industry’s biggest players start facing off against each other in the mobile music arena. But the lines between content provisioning and content delivery are becoming increasingly blurred as companies from outside of the content space begin seeking a chunk of the revenue stream.

Sweating Palms

With the high number of telecoms big cheeses doing the off of late, I’m beginning to wonder if Palm’s chief exec, Ed Colligan, is starting to sweat a bit. On Friday, Palm said its loss for the quarter just gone was going to be greater than usual [a loss warning?], mainly because of a new […]

The future of music

Nokia seems to have set the cat among the pigeons this week, with the promise of a music subscription service that lets users keep their music when they leave. But beyond the soothing words and hints of revolution, the Finnish company has been pretty cagey – and now it seems with good reason.

Global mobile penetration hits 50%

Figures released by industry analyst Informa Telecoms & Media reveal that worldwide mobile penetration will hit 50 per cent – or around 3.3 billion subscriptions – today, just over 26 years since the first cellular network was launched.

Since its birth in 1981, when the first mobile telephony network was switched on in Scandinavia, the now ubiquitous mobile phone has become one of the world’s great success stories.

Shoogle sloshes onto phones

Boffins at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, have come up with a novel way for mobile phone users to interact with their phone.
The Shoogle interface [apparently named after a Scots-English word for shake, although the dictionary reckons it’s more likely to be ‘shoggle’], uses a “vibrotactile display and realistic impact sonification” to tell users what’s ‘inside’ their phone.

Verizon makes a U turn on open access

US mobile operator Verizon Wireless was the company which took the Federal Communications Commission to court over the open access provisions in the 700MHz auction rules, alleging that they were, “arbitrary and capricious, unsupported by substantial evidence and otherwise contrary to law.”

Clock is ticking on UK broadband

BT, Virgin Media, BSkyB, Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse are among the UK’s telecoms companies meeting with Minister for Competition, Stephen Timms, at a UK broadband summit today. The aim of the get together is to address investment in broadband infrastructure. Although more than half of UK homes have broadband, many other European operators are upgrading their networks to cope with faster speeds, putting the UK in danger of slipping into the internet ‘slow lane’.

Back to the future

With December almost upon us and Thanksgiving taking place in the US, you can already feel the telecoms industry settling down to hibernate until January. With not an awful lot else going on Amazon managed to grab good coverage for the launch of its Kindle electronic book thingy.

Amazon Kindles wireless ebook

It’s not really a core telecoms story, but Amazon’s launch of the Kindle wireless ebook this week is interesting nonetheless. On the surface, the whole ‘subscription free’ model looks like a winner – it works right out of the box and the user only pays for what they use. This element is also interesting for a second reason, and that’s because it rolls the cost of the delivery in with the cost of the product. Essentially, the content provider pays the carrier the transfer costs. Which is really the way it should be.

Can Android succeed?

Well this week was certainly less eventful, and much of the blogosphere continued its analysis of the fallout from some of the previous week’s news.

Naturally, much attention is still being lavished on Google’s Android platform, with Francis Sideco, senior analyst for wireless communication, at analyst iSuppli wondering whether Google’s foray into mobile phones can succeed.

A first look at the EU telecoms review

The Telecoms Reform Package presented by the Commission to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday will change the EU Telecoms Rules of 2002. It is expected to become law by the end of 2009.

The proposals are far reaching and court plenty of controversy, not least with plans to create a European Telecom Market Authority, or “super regulator”, from the existing European Network Information Security Agency (ENISA) and the European Regulators Group (ERG). ETMA would be designed to support the Commission and national telecoms regulators in ensuring that market rules and consumer regulation are applied consistently, independently and without protectionism in all 27 EU Member States.


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