Mobile & Wireless is an Independent Blog Concerning Various Information, My Thoughts, Ideas, and Sometime Critics on ICT, Internet, Mobile, Wireless, and Data Communication Technology

2008 Year in Review: The new Clearwire

The news: The rumors began intensifying in February that Intel would be investing $2 billion in the combination between Sprint's WiMAX business, Xohm, and Clearwire. The move would give WiMAX some much-needed support as a mobile broadband standard, but some looked at the possibility with skepticism.

Ultimately, the deal to create the "new" Clearwire was a lot more complex and substantial than was initially thought. The final deal included $3.2 billion in investments from Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Trilogy Equity Partners.

On Nov. 4, the FCC gave regulatory approval for the deal. On Nov. 20, Clearwire shareholders gave their assent, and on Dec. 1, Clearwire CEO Ben Wolff said that the Xohm brand name would be set aside in favor of "Clear."

Why it was significant: The deal, with backing from major industry players, was a shot in the arm for the mobile WiMAX industry. With Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology emerging as the 4G standard of choice by Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, and with more aggressive rollouts than had been expected planned for LTE, WiMAX needed all the help it could get to get off the ground. With the launch of Xohm in Baltimore in September, and an official celebration of it in October, WiMAX was off-and-running. The successful completion of the merger, and hopeful prospects about its national deployment over the next few years certainly indicated to the wireless community, especially those backing LTE, that yes, WiMAX is here, and it's here to stay. [FierceWireless]

Google Emerges as a Mobile Superpower

By Jason Ankeny

It always seemed a foregone conclusion that Google would assume the mantle of mobile search kingpin, but as the sheer scope of its wireless aspirations took shape throughout 2008, it's become increasingly clear just how significantly the web services giant will shape the future of the entire platform.

Google's mobile fortunes hinge on Android, of course--first announced in late 2007, the Linux-based open software platform boasts the stated goal of "fostering innovation on mobile devices and giving consumers a far better user experience than much of what is available on today's mobile platforms," and the autumn release of T-Mobile USA's G1, the first Android-powered device, was unquestionably the most eagerly anticipated handset debut of the year.

In addition, Google unveiled its Android Market application storefront, expanded its partnership with Sprint, introduced a slew of new mobile applications and even threw its considerable weight behind the campaign to secure public access to unlicensed white-space spectrum for broadband wireless services.

But for each and every move that Google made in mobile, it kept its eye on one prize: The potential advertising windfall tied to mobile search results. During an August appearance on CNBC's Mad Money, Google CEO Eric Schmidt even said he believes mobile advertising revenues will eventually outstrip traditional web advertising. "Over time we will make more money from mobile advertising," Schmidt told Mad Money host Jim Cramer. "Not now, but over time."

Speaking on an earnings call after Google reported third quarter revenues of $5.54 billion--a 31 percent year-over-year jump--Schmidt added that the company plans to continue investing in future growth areas such as enterprise, mobile, and display despite the freefalling economy. "We are seeing an explosion in mobile search volumes," he added. "This is being enabled by devices with more powerful browsers. The compound growth rate is one of the fastest growing things at the company."

And while Google failed to lock down a rumored mobile search partnership with Verizon Wireless, it did ink deals with handset titan Nokia and web browsing firm Opera Software, and later promised platform-wide Android search integration. It's no surprise that at mid-year, Google held a 61 percent share of the mobile search market, followed by Yahoo with 18 percent and MSN with 5 percent. [FierceMobileContent]

Dell, EMC Kembangkan Aliansi Strategis

  • Posted: Thursday, December 25, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Dell dan EMC mengumumkan perpanjangan kemitraan tahunan aliansi global mereka hingga 2013. Selain meningkatkan kemitraan, Dell dan EMC akan menambahkan sistem penyimpanan EMC Celerra NX4 ke portofolio Dell, sistem penyimpanan jaringan EMC.

”Dengan memperluas dan memperpanjang aliansi, Dell dan EMC sanggup menyediakan solusi pusat data yang terintegrasi secara penuh sebagai mitra penyimpanan yang unggul untuk pelanggan di seluruh dunia,” kata Michael Dell, Chairman dan CEO. “Para pengguna dan perusahaan di era yang telah terkoneksi ini tetap memiliki animo untuk sistem penyimpanan data. Realitas ekonomi saat ini menekankan pentingnya solusi efisien yang dapat melakukan konsolidasi dan virtualisasi yang harus melewati proses kerja sama panjang, dan, dalam hal ini, kami berada dalam posisi yang tepat baik untuk melakukannya.”

Joe Tucci, Chairman, President and CEO EMC, mengatakan, “Hubungan ini bermula dalam situasi ekonomi yang menantang serta berawal dari keinginan kedua perusahaan untuk menyediakan solusi yang hemat biaya bagi pelanggan yang masih harus selalu mengatur jumlah informasi. Persamaan itu benar adanya saat ini, dan meski Dell dan EMC sangat berbeda dibanding 2001, kami tetap berkomitmen untuk pelanggan kami dan tetap mempersembahkan teknologi terdepan di industri yang bisa menyediakan mereka tingkat pengembalian investasi yang maksimal.”

Faktanya bahwa pelanggan mendapat keuntungan dari hubungan Dell EMC yang telah ditunjukkan lebih dari 60.000 solusi yang disebarkan. Untuk menyediakan pilihan tambahan kepada pelanggan, EMC memperkenalkan EMC Celerra NX4, solusi penyimpanan yang hemat biaya dan dapat membantu pelanggan untuk berkonsolidasi dengan teknologi NAS, iSCSI dan Fibre Channel dalam satu platform.

Dell dan EMC membentuk aliansi mereka pada Oktober 2001 guna membantu pelanggan mengurangi kerumitan dan penyimpanan yang lebih efektif, mengatur dan melindungi informasi mereka melalui jaringan penyimpanan. Dari luar, Dell dan EMC menerapkan model kolaborasi untuk memanfaatkan masing-masing kekuatan agar dapat memberikan nilai lebih kepada pelanggan.

Kolaborasi antara Dell dan EMC pada 2008 termasuk :

  • Produk baru Dell EMC CX4 yaitu sistem penyimpanan jaringan yang diperkenalkan pada Agustus yang didesain untuk mempersatukan teknologi terbaru dalam drive, konektivitas, daya proses, kemudahan dan keamanan.
  • Peluncuran pada September mengenai solusi penyimpanan data yang dapat diukur sebagai bagian dari kolaborasi EMC dan Dell dalam inisiatif Oracle Optimized Warehouse.
  • Pada Januari, Dell memperkenalkan Dell AX4-5 dalam jajaran kelas menengah yang hemat biaya yang dapat memuat sampai 60 drive dan menyediakan fitur tambahan seperti snapshot dan replikasi
  • Bulan lalu, kedua perusahaan berkolaborasi di area de-duplikasi data, salah satu segmen dengan pertumbuhan paling cepat dalam pasar penyimpanan. Dell dan EMC bekerja bersama untuk membantu pelanggan mengurangi biaya backup dan meningkatkan efisiensi dengan target berdasarkan teknologi de-duplikasi. /PR

Mobile Reshapes Social Networking--and Vice Versa

  • Posted: Thursday, December 25, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Social Networking

By Jason Ankeny

The symbiotic relationship between social networking and mobile technology grew even deeper and more binding throughout 2008, to the point where it's increasingly difficult to determine where one begins and the other ends--record numbers of on-the-go consumers are updating their status, commenting on friends' pages and uploading photos from their mobile devices, in effect documenting life as it happens.

The volume of U.S. wireless subscribers who accessed social networks via mobile handset increased 182 percent between September 2007 and October 2008 according to a recent consumer study conducted by research firms The Kelsey Group and ConStat--in all, about 9.6 percent of U.S. subscribers ages 18 and over connected with a social network via mobile handset during the past year, compared to just 3.4 percent 12 months earlier.

A separate user study released this fall by market analysis firm ABI Research reports close to half of all social networking users have now visited destinations like MySpace and Facebook via mobile device. Forty-six percent of social network members have visited their favorite sites on their phones, with more than half of them checking for comments and messages from their friends--about 45 percent have also posted status updates.

ABI adds that among all mobile social networking users, nearly 70 percent have visited MySpace, with another 67 percent checking their Facebook accounts. No other social networking destination achieved 15 percent mobile adoption. ABI suggests that consumers do not wish to create new and separate social networking profiles for the mobile platform, but instead prefer to access their existing social networking accounts on the go.

Both Facebook and MySpace enjoyed banner years in mobile. In November, Facebook announced its mobile userbase has expanded from 5 million to 15 million since the beginning of 2008--writing on The Facebook Blog, mobile team engineer Wayne Chang adds that in the 24 hours after the site began allowing subscribers to comment on their friends' status updates via the Facebook mobile site, users posted close to a million status comments. No less impressive, MySpace announced that same month that its integrated mobile solution customized for device maker Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones generated more than 400,000 downloads in its first seven days of release, an all-time high for both MySpace and RIM in terms of first-week downloads.

Perhaps most important, the success of the BlackBerry MySpace app underscores social networking's growing profile among enterprise users--for many smartphone-toting professionals, 2008 was the year they abandoned their Rolodexes in favor of making and nurturing their contacts via the virtual world. [FierceMobileContent]

The Mobile Data Pendulum Swings to the U.S.

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Mobile Data

By Jason Ankeny

For years, the United States lagged embarrassingly far behind Western Europe and the Far East in respect to mobile data adoption and innovation, but no more--thanks to a new generation of more sophisticated and user-friendly smartphones as well as a mounting number of must-have applications, the U.S. is now the standard by which other nations are judged.

During the first half of 2008, the U.S. moved past Japan as the world's most lucrative mobile data market, according to a report by advisory firm Chetan Sharma Consulting--U.S. operators racked up $17.5 billion in data revenues in the first six months of this year, versus $13.6 billion for Japanese operators. China followed in third place at $7.8 billion--together, the three markets account for close to 50 percent of combined worldwide data service revenues, Chetan Sharma notes.

In all, data revenues now account for almost 20 percent of worldwide operator service revenues. Japan's NTT DoCoMo led among individual operators with $6.8 billion in data revenues during the first six months of 2008, crossing 84 percent in 3G penetration. The remainder of the top 10, in descending order: China Mobile, KDDI, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, China Unicom, Softbank, O2 UK and T-Mobile USA.

According to Chetan Sharma, data revenues for the top 10 operators increased 10.3 percent from 2007 marks, and while their collective subscriber share is around 30 percent, their mobile data revenues represent close to half of global totals. During the first half of 2008, many carriers also experienced an increase in non-SMS data revenues--on average, Japan and Korea now rake in between 70 and 75 percent of their data revenues from non-SMS applications, with the U.S. between 50 and 60 percent and Western Europe around 20 to 40 percent. Who knows what 2009 will bring? [FierceMobileContent]

Hong Kong to Auction Mobile TV Licenses in Mid-2009

  • Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Mobile TV

By Jason Ankeny

Officials in Hong Kong have announced plans to auction spectrum earmarked for mobile television services. Hong Kong's Commerce & Economic Development Bureau said it will hold the auction as early as mid-2009, with hopes that mobile TV services will formally launch in 2010. An implementation framework introduced by the bureau calls for point-to-multipoint mobile TV broadcast services, necessitating Hong Hong's Telecommunications Authority to allocate one frequency multiplex in UHF Band and two in Band III.

The UHF Band can support up to 20 mobile TV channels, with an additional six channels provided by the two Band III multiplexes. The bands will be auctioned as two separate packages, with no individual party allowed to acquire more than one package. Officials will also require successful bidders to use at least half of the transmission capacity for providing mobile TV content, with the remainder supporting services like digital audio broadcasting or datacasting.

The Commerce & Economic Development Bureau adds it will impose a baseline requirement mandating that any mobile TV service's geographic coverage spans half of Hong Kong's population--prospective mobile TV operators will have to submit to performance bonds to guarantee compliance should they win the licenses. Operators will also be required to launch services within 18 months from the unified carrier license grant. Officials nevertheless maintain they will adopt a light-handed approach to regulating mobile TV content, favoring general law and self-regulatory codes of practice. [FierceMobileContent]

Microsoft Falls Further Behind in Mobile

  • Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana

By Jason Ankeny

Conspicuous by its absence from the headlines throughout 2008 was Microsoft--sure, the Windows Mobile operating system has mass and scale, but it doesn't have excitement. With its patchwork multitude of devices and applications viewed as passé by the affluent, tastemaking subscribers that carriers covet the most, Windows Mobile fell behind Apple's Mac OS X in terms of worldwide smartphone OS market share in the third quarter.

According to Gartner research, Mac OS X now claims third place behind Symbian and BlackBerry with 12.9 percent of the global smartphone market, with WinMo sliding to fourth at 11.1 percent. In addition, iPhone sales both worldwide and in North America topped sales of WinMo devices for the first time.

Looking ahead at 2009, Microsoft must somehow begin transforming the fragmented Windows Mobile ecosystem into a more cohesive platform with a clearly definable identity in the marketplace. Because looking back at 2008, one sees little more than a series of missed opportunities, chief among them the failure to introduce the so-called Skymarket, the rumored centralized virtual marketplace that would enable consumers to find, purchase and download applications and content optimized for WinMo devices.

After all, there's never been a universal destination for users seeking WinMo apps, and the success of Apple's App Store has proven the concept an essential element of any flourishing mobile software platform. No less important to Microsoft's mobile aspirations is the release of the long-rumored Windows Mobile 7 OS, which is expected to include features like advanced gesture recognition and speech-input services. Microsoft remains tight-lipped on the subject, but reports indicate the company has privately informed some partners the revamped OS won't be available until at least the second half of 2009, effectively pushing the commercial launch of WinMo 7 devices into 2010.

Even the moves Microsoft did make in 2008 are open to serious scrutiny. While the pending release of its Internet Explorer Mobile 6 browser is a necessary step to enhancing Microsoft's profile on the mobile web, some critics are already complaining the browser supports fewer web standards than its desktop counterpart Internet Explorer 7, while others counter it requires too much heavy lifting--128MB of RAM, and a 400MHz processor, to be precise. Nor will IE Mobile 6 be available as a separate product. Still, the browser does promise a full HTML rendering engine, support for Adobe Flash Lite 3.1, AJAX support and Javascript 5.7 and a series of UI improvements including touch, panning and multiple zoom levels.

"We're giving the customer access to a very rich browsing experience on the phone," said Windows Mobile group product manager Jay Roxe in a November interview with FierceDeveloper. "Even in cases where there is no mobile optimized site, people can still surf the vast majority of the Internet and get a rich experience because we licensed Flash Lite." Roxe, at least, remains optimistic about Microsoft's mobile fortunes: "We will continue to do innovation in this space--we've become very engaged in the mobile space," he said. "In the year ahead we're going to see tremendous growth from Windows Mobile." Let's hope so, because for Microsoft, 2008 is clearly a year to forget. [FierceDeveloper]

All Hype and No Action on Femtocells

  • Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Femtocell

By Lynnette Luna

The hype surrounding femtocells reached a fever pitch in 2008, but with little in terms of market rollouts. Those router-sized mobile home base stations were billed at the "next big thing" in fixed-mobile convergence, promising to solve the many shortcomings faced by existing WiFi/cellular FMC services and enable operators to offer consumers high-speed data, VoIP and conventional voice services in the home with reduced infrastructure costs and cheaper prices for the consumer.

Sprint has been the only operator to roll out femtocells in the U.S. In July, the operator expanded its Airave femtocell offering to all customers nationwide and retooled its price plans for the in-home wireless technology. We have yet to hear about any milestones Sprint has made with the product.

In April, Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone said at the CTIA Wireless 2008 trade show the carrier would begin offering femtocell products and service plans sometime this year. Then in October, AT&T and Verizon announced plans to move ahead with femtocells. AT&T has indicated it will begin trialling femtocells later this year and into 2009. Verizon Wireless said it may introduce its first femtocell product next year.

The bottom line: An unclear business case will likely lead to a slower rollout in 2009 as operators grapple with how to convey the value of femtocells to their customers. The good news is that the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has now finalized specs for femtocells. [FierceBroadbandWireless]

Samsung Launching Android Phones in Q2 2009

By Phil Goldstein

Samsung will release its first phone based on Google's Android operating system in North America in the second quarter of 2009 for both Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA.Samsung is said to have 80 people working on the development team for its Android phone. The news was first reported on the South Korean news site ET News.

"We are accelerating the development process for the Google phone in order to meet the specific need of local carriers," ET News quoted an anonymous Samsung official as saying. "We will be able to release the Google phone in the second quarter of the next year in the U.S. market.

"The phone is said to look much like many of Samsung's other touchscreen phones, and will incorporate design factors from both the Omnia and Instinct. The news that it will run on both Sprint and T-Mobile's network indicates that Samsung will either include both a CDMA radio for Sprint customers and an HSDPA/UMTS radio for T-Mobile users, or make different versions for the different networks.

There is no exact release date or pricing details available. Currently, the T-Mobile G1, manufactured by HTC, is the only Android-based phone available in North America.Huawei, which had announced that it was developing an Android phone for launch in 2009, indicated that it expected the launch to happen in the third quarter of 2009. [FierceWireless]

Nimbuzz Tawarkan Kerjasama Bagi produsen handset Lokal

Memungkinkan pengguna handset melakukan IM dan Social Networking melalui ponsel

Nimbuzz (www.nimbuzz.com), penyedia aplikasi mobile instant messaging, (geo) presence dan VoIP paling lengkap memperkenalkan program kerjasama dengan para produsen handset local di mana pun di seluruh dunia yang ingin meningkatkan nilai dan daya tarik produknya melalui fitur aplikasi komunikasi mobile yang lengkap dan canggih.

Melalui program Nimbuzz’s global Manufacturer Affiliate, para produsen handset local kini dapat menginstal langsung aplikasi Nimbuzz pada ponsel produksi mereka dan menawarkan aplikasi ini sebagai salah satu nilai tambah atau kelebihan dari ponsel ciptaannya.

Baru-baru ini Nimbuzz sepakat menjalin kerjasama distibusi besar-besaran dengan Spice Mobiles, pemimpin pasar handset inovatif di India. Handset terbaru dari Spice Mobile ini nantinya akan menyediakan aplikasi Nimbuzz yang memungkinkan para penggunanya melakukan chat, mengirim pesan dan file dimanapun mereka berada, kepada semua teman di Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, Facebook, MySpace, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger (MSN), ICQ, Gadu-Gadu, Jabber, studiVZ, Hyves dan lainnya (mendukung koneksi 3G, Wifi, EDGE dan GPRS).

Mulai bulan Desember ini, sebagian besar handset dengan basis Java dan Windows Mobile yang akan didistribusikan ke pasar India melalui Spice Mobiles ke sekitar 25.000 outlet retail sudah memuat aplikasi Nimbuzz yang lengkap terinstal di dalamnya.

Penambahan aplikasi Nimbuzz akan diumumkan ke para pengguna handset Spice Mobile melalui berbagai kampanye marketing di banyak wilayah termasuk penyertaan logo Nimbuzz, link dan deskripsi layanan pada situs Spice Mobiles, materi promosi POS, dan link ke Nimbuzz pada fitur WAP Portal.

CEO Nimbuzz Evert-Jaap Lugt berkomentar: “Nimbuzz telah berkembang dengan sangat pesat, dengan penambahan sekitar 20.000 pengguna baru perhari-nya. Komunitas kami banyak menarik minat para produsen handset yang melihat potensi keuntungan dari tersedianya aplikasi IM global maupun local serta komunitas Social Network yang terintegrasi sehingga dapat menjadi kumpulan fitur canggih di dalam handset hasil produksi mereka.

Lebih lanjut diuangkapkan bahwa hal itu secara substansial menarik minat para pengguna ponsel tersebut yang pada akhirnya mempercepat pertumbuhan permintaan pasar akan ponsel tersebut; dan yang paling hebat lagi, para produsen handset tersebut tidak perlu menambah biaya investasi pengembangan aplikasi sama sekali. Kerjasama ini memberi kepastian bagi Nimbuzz dalam hal penetrasi pasar di wilayah APAC. Hal ini juga akan kami wujudkan dengan menjalin kerjasama secara lebih intens lagi dengan Spice Mobiles guna meningkatkan penjualan dari handset baru yang memiliki aplikasi Nimbuzz didalamnya.”

Kerjasama dengan Spice Mobiles adalah kerjasama global. Sebagai tambahan untuk pasar India, handset Spice Mobiles yang terdapat aplikasi Nimbuzz-nya juga akan dijual di wilayah lain di Asia Pasifik. Para pengguna akan dapat berkomunikasi dengan komunitas Nimbuzz yang terus berkembang di lebih dari 200 negara, dengan menggunakan fitur-fitur Nimbuzz seperti social networking, instant messaging, berbagi lokasi dan file. Gartner memprediksikan pengguna ponsel India akan meningkat dari 300 juta menjadi 737 juta orang di tahun 2012. Laporan dari Price Waterhouse Coopers mengatakan bahwa pasar VAS India akan mencapai $2 miliar pada akhir tahun 2008 dan diharapkan akan mendongkrak pendapatan operator sebesar 18% di tahun 2010.

CEO Spice Mobiles, Kunal Ahooja, berkata: “Dengan meningkatnya penggunaan ponsel dan penetrasinya, pasar VAS India menjadi saksi pertumbuhan yang luar biasa. Seiring dengan semakin banyaknya orang memilih handset ponsel sebagai pilihan dalam berkomunikasi dalam berbagai aplikasi dan VAS, inovasi dan apa yang bisa kami tawarkan, dijadikan satu dengan perangkat ponsel kami, itu semua mendukung misi kami dalam memberikan pengalaman yang lebih bermakna dan partisipatif bagi para pengguna kami. Untuk membantu kami dalam mewujudkan ini semua, kami bekerjasama dengan penyedia teknologi seperti Nimbuzz guna memberikan nilai tambah terbaik, seperti instant messaging dan social networking, ke dalam perangkat kami.”

“Kerjasama dengan Spice Mobile ini merupakan contoh yang baik atas bagaimana sebuah perusahan produsen handset local dapat meningkatkan nilai dan daya tarik produk mereka di mata para konsumennya tanpa harus mengucurkan banyak dana investasi pengembangan fitur-fitur aplikasi. Untuk para produsen handset local lainnya, Nimbuzz dengan senang membuka kesempatan untuk melakukan kerjasama sejenis guna dapat memberikan nilai tambah ke para konsumen melalui program Nimbuzz’s global Manufacturer Affiliate,” jelas Evert-Jaap Lugt lebih lanjut. /PR

Study: Most Will Use Cell Phone for Internet by 2020

  • Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Internet Phone

By Sue Marek

The iPhone may have paved the way for consumers to access the Internet via their cell phone, but it will take another 12 years for the cell phone to become the primary gateway to the Internet for people worldwide.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project's "Future of the Internet III study," nearly 600 Internet experts said the combination of portability and relative affordability will turn the cell phone into the leading Internet gateway by 2020.

The experts interviewed said that by 2020 they expect there will be a set of universal standards making it easier for users to maintain a consistent connection to the Internet. In addition, the researchers expect future mobile phones will function more as computers than phones making it difficult to distinguish between a mobile phone and a laptop.

Based upon the report, Pew suggests mobile technology may offer a better alternative for providing Internet access than computers through projects such as One Laptop per Child Initiative. [FierceMobileContent]

Microsoft Unveils First iPhone Applications

  • Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: iPhone, Microsoft

By Jason Ankeny

Microsoft announced the launch of Seadragon Mobile, an application optimized for archrival Apple's iPhone. Developed by the Microsoft Live Labs unit, Seadragon Mobile is a free demonstration app enabling users to zoom in and out of web photos regardless of bandwidth constraints or image size, storing pictures in multiple resolutions and only delivering the elements the user wishes to see at a particular moment in time. The Seadragon technology is a component of Microsoft's Photosynth browsing program--it previously surfaced in apps like TouchWall, and it's also present in the Silverlight platform. Microsoft acquired developer Seadragon Software in early 2006.

So why would Microsoft launch an iPhone app? Microsoft Live Labs group product manager Alex Daley tells TechFlash his team wants to make sure the Seadragon technology spans across multiple devices and platforms. "The iPhone is the most widely distributed phone with a [graphics processing unit]," he said. "Most phones out today don't have accelerated graphics in them. The iPhone does, and so it enabled us to do something that has been previously difficult to do. I couldn't just pick up a BlackBerry or a Nokia off the shelf and build Seadragon for it without GPU support." [FierceMobileContent]

D-Link Sebagai Pemenang Merek Global Taiwan 2008

3 Kali menang dari ke-7 merek paling berharga di Taiwan

D-Link Corporation, salah satu pemasok produk jaringan terbesar dunia, hari ini mengumumkan bahwa Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) dan Interbrand, sebagai konsultan merek terbesar di dunia, menobatkan D-Link sebagai yang merek global ke 7 yang paling berharga dari Taiwan. Dengan nilai merek yang hampir US$344 juta, perusahaan jaringan ini juga telah meningkatkan peringkatnya dibandingkan dengan perusahaan jaringan lain yang juga masuk dalam daftar Merek Global Taiwan tahun lalu, untuk meningkat dua peringkat menjadi merek ke-4 paling berharga.

"Ini adalah ketiga kalinya secara berturut-turut kami menerima gelar kehormatan ini," kata John Lee, Pimpinan, D-Link Corporation. "Ini adalah sebuah pengakuan yang tidak diragukan lagi atas upaya tiada henti dari D-Link untuk terus berinovasi dalam teknologi dalam menghasilkan produk yang terbaru, canggih dan juga paling bersahabat bagi para konsumen kami. Sejak tahun 1986, D-Link telah menjadi produk jaringan kepercayaan para konsumen, dan kami akan terus menjaga kepercayaan tersebut dari tahun ke tahun."

Dua puluh Merek Global Taiwan yang terpilih, dipilih berdasarkan metodologi Interbrand, yang telah digunakan untuk mengevaluasi 100 merek paling berharga dunia (seperti yang biasa diterbitkan oleh BusinessWeek). Metodologi evaluasi menggabungkan analisa keuangan; peran dari Indeks Branding dan Skor Kekuatan Brand; sehingga memberikan indikator yang konkret atas merek Taiwan dalam pasar global. Nilai merek didasarkan pada pengumpulan data yang dilakukan selama dua belas bulan sebelum 30 Juni 2008.

Menurut angka TAITRA, dua puluh merek teratas yang bernilai sekitar US$9,14 miliar terhitung pada tanggal 30Juni 2008, melebihi US$9 miliar yang terukur pertama kalinya. /PR

China's Leaders Cite Global Financial Crisis as Reason for Moving on 3G Licenses

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 17, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: CDMA, Mobile 3G

By Lynnette Luna

Could China become the savior for the mobile infrastructure industry? Spending among operators is down, and the financials of major infrastructure players like Alcatel Lucent and Nortel are terrible. But new reports indicated the Chinese government is expected to issue long-awaited licenses for 3G services by the beginning of 2009 with the expectation that it will generate $29.1 billion in investments from the three operators.

Industry players, no doubt, have kept their fingers crossed as rumors that the licenses would be awarded continually surfaced with no action over the years. Now Li Yizhong, minister for industry and information technology, said the licensing decision was a "very significant" response to the global financial crisis.

Market leader China Mobile will be granted a licenses for China's homegrown standard, TD-SCDMA, while China Unicom will receive a license for W-CDMA technology. China Telecom, which doesn't operate a network, will be granted a license for CDMA2000 technology. [FierceBroadbandWireless]

Mobile Network Infrastructure Vendors Starting to Feel the Heat

Nortel’s share price recently dipped to about 40 cents. While ABI Research in no way singles out the beleaguered network equipment vendor as worthy of particular criticism, according to senior analyst Nadine Manjaro Nortel’s low fortunes are symptomatic of several current industry trends.

A recent study from ABI Research, “Mobile Network Vendor SWOT Analysis,” examined the strengths, weaknesses and strategies of the world’s major wireless infrastructure providers. It provides insights into why bad economic times affect some companies more than others.

“Nortel is strong when it comes to the enterprise,” she says, “but recently they have made a lot of investments aimed at winning business from service providers, efforts that have not really taken off because of an unclear strategy and changes in operators’ technology choices. That was an ominous situation, which the global recession has now made more serious.”

In contrast, Alcatel-Lucent was doing poorly too, but is now improving its performance and gaining higher ratings from financial analysts after a corporate revamp and a change of top leadership. Motorola’s share price is on the rise too due to re-structuring and shifting focus into stronger segments.

Does the recession mean that network operators are cancelling or delaying infrastructure projects? Not necessarily. Telecoms are actually faring better than many other industries, and while operators may cut spending, so far the cuts have mostly been operational rather than on infrastructure.

“It’s about decisiveness and execution,” Manjaro concludes. “Take a company like Ericsson: they’re not doing great business, but their share price is still around $8.00. Their strategies are clear, and they benefit greatly from their emphasis on providing managed services as well as hardware. All vendors are struggling, but some more than others, and this market will weed out the weaker players.”

Mobile Network Vendor SWOT Analysis” offers analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing a number of leading network infrastructure vendors. It presents an analysis of the companies’ financial results, including investments in research and development, product line diversity, geographic sales distribution, and long term strategies. [ABI Research]

As Online Video Viewing Shifts From PC to TV Screen, Viewers Will Number Nearly One Billion by 2013

  • Posted: Monday, December 15, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

While today’s consumer is most likely to watch online video on the PC screen, over time more and more consumers will watch over-the-top video delivered to the living room, according a new study from ABI Research. This continued trend towards TV-viewed online video will help drive overall adoption, as the number of online video viewers grows from 563 million at the end of 2008 to 941 million by 2013.

“All stakeholders in the online video ecosystem are eyeing the living room,” says research director Michael Wolf. “With the continued adoption of network-connected video game consoles, the porting of popular online video services such as Hulu and Netflix onto third party consumer electronics devices, and network operators’ growing interest in over-the-top video, we see this market for TV-displayed online video continuing to grow.”

The growth in viewing on both the PC and TV screen is due to the growth in all forms of content. While much of the content many consumers watch continues to be YouTube-based user-generated content, there is rapid growth in the number of consumers watching premium content such as prime-time dramas and comedies, sport, and movies.

“There is a continued maturation in the various advertising models for online video,” continues Wolf. “At the same time, hybrid models such as those offered by Netflix’s instant viewing service or pay models such as Apple TV will also grow in importance.

Also, while the economic environment will have some negative near-term impact on online video advertising CPMs, ABI Research sees overall viewing of online video growing over the next few years as it is a fairly resilient and somewhat counter-cyclical form of low-priced entertainment.”

The new ABI Research study, “Broadband Video and Internet TV” examines how the different distribution solutions are trying to capitalize on this growth in consumption, how content owners and operators are trying to create more seamless and uniform access to online content across screens, and what the various strategies for monetization are for the pay and ad-supported broadband video markets. [ABI Research]

Nokia Will Start Making HSPA Modems

  • Posted: Monday, December 15, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: HSPA

By Phil Goldstein

Nokia said it will start making HSPA dongles for laptops in early 2009, challenging Huawei, Ericsson and others in the wireless modem market.The world's largets handset maker said its HSPA dongles will be sold mostly through carriers and bundled with services. The company has declined to name a price point.

Tapio Markki, Nokia's vice president for hardware platform components, said the company is uniquely positioned to enter into the market because of its experience developing 3G technology, and that the move represents an opportunity for Nokia to enter into a strong market. "The market for HSPA modems is expected to grow very rapidly during the coming years," he said.

Huawei recently announced that it had shipped more than 20 million embedded mobile broadband devices worldwide, and Ericsson, along with Lenovo, announced a partnership with AT&T Mobility in October to reduce the cost of HSPA-embedded laptops. [FierceWireless]

Memory Cards Deliver Greatest Revenue of all Mobile Handset Accessories

  • Posted: Saturday, December 13, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Handset, Smartphone

Although cellular handset accessories such as chargers and batteries ship far more units in what is today a $58 billion industry, memory cards provide the greatest revenue of all mobile phone add-ons, according to a new study from ABI Research.

Driven by the photo, audio and video demands of media-centric handsets and smartphones, these memory cards, largely from third-party suppliers such as SanDisk, will see a 17% compound annual growth rate in shipments over the years to 2013.

However, says industry analyst Michael Morgan, it’s not just about units shipped: “Of all accessories, memory cards deliver the best revenue return. In fact, as production has outstripped demand the market is currently oversupplied, leading to a 60% year-over-year fall in per-Megabyte prices. However, the memory capacity of the cards being sold is always increasing, and the resulting higher Megabyte volumes more than offset the decline in ASP.”

Handset makers have been putting inexpensive low-capacity cards into smartphone and media phone boxes for some time. However, notes Morgan, there is currently a point of friction between handset vendors and carriers: the operators want all memory cards out of the box, preferring to sell higher-capacity cards separately. “The challenge for mobile operators,” he says, “is that subsidizing handset accessories means losing some of the high margins that they earn through the sales of these products. But subsidies also mean that many more subscribers will have handset accessories such as memory cards, and will be more likely to use mobile music services or download songs, leading to higher data ARPUs for operators.”

The new ABI Research study, “Mobile Phone Accessories” focuses on key handset accessories and the market for these products, including in-depth analysis for both in-box as well as aftermarket handset accessories. It also examines key market drivers and barriers to growth, technological trends, and future market potential for handset accessories. [ABI Research]

Capacitive Touch-Screens Not the Wave of the Future for Most Mobile Phones

  • Posted: Saturday, December 13, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Smartphone

When Apple’s iPhone transformed the public’s idea of how a mobile handset should work, one of its most impressive – and apparently disruptive – features was its slick touch-screen interface. While resistive touch screens activated by physical force had been around for years, the iPhone’s was different: it was of the capacitive type, activated by a finger’s electrical charge.

The great appeal of this interface led many in the industry to conclude that they had seen the future of most mobile handset displays. But according to ABI Research director Kevin Burden, nothing could be further from the truth. “The reality is that existing operating systems, legacy applications, and regional aspirations make the change to capacitive screens for many devices very challenging.”

Applications written for some of the high-end operating systems powering smartphones such as Windows Mobile and Symbian don’t lend themselves to capacitive navigation: there is a long legacy of third-party applications designed for five-way navigation, keypad, or stylus touch input. A change to capacitive screens would make it difficult to ensure continuity and backward compatibility.

Cost is also a major issue: resistive screens are far less expensive than capacitive.

But the most important single factor supporting the continued use of resistive screens is the huge opportunity in the Asian market and its need for screens that support handwriting recognition input with a stylus. A capacitive screen or QWERTY keyboard just won’t suffice in markets like China, given the nature of its alphabet.

“Capacitive screens will continue to make inroads into high-end models,” concludes Burden, “but with the overall market volume still primarily in midrange devices, the resistive screens in devices in this tier will continue to keep resistive technology far ahead of capacitive.” [ABI Research]

MySpace Open Platform Debuts

  • Posted: Friday, December 12, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: MySpace

By Jason Ankeny

Social networking giant MySpace announced the introduction of the MySpace Open Platform, a suite of identity management products including the MySpace Application Platform, MySpaceID and Post-To MySpace. In addition, the company said it has extended its collaboration with international telecoms giant Vodafone to improve the MySpace user experience across the mobile platform.

According to MySpace, the new open strategy promises to forge a more social web--new global partners for MySpaceID (formerly Data Availability), which enables global users to maintain control over their personal and portable social identity in the online environment, expand the reach of the MySpace user experience to partners like AOL, Flixster and Netvibes. With MySpaceID, users can connect their profile data to any partner site, find their friends on partner sites, register with partners via their MySpace URL, publish activities from partner sites to their MySpace profiles and vice versa.

In addition, MySpaceID support for Google Friend Connect allows any website to provide its own social networking features. MySpace notes that Google Friend Connect also bolsters the reach of MySpaceID to better complement the long tail of the developer community.As for mobile, the introduction of MySpaceID enables Vodafone subscribers worldwide to connect to their MySpace account to share their personal details, interests and content as well as connect with friends.

As of Sept. 30, Vodafone boasts roughly 280 million subscribers across 27 countries and five continents. [FierceMobileCpntent]

Worldwide Smartphone Sales Slow in Q3

By Jason Ankeny

Worldwide smartphone market sales totaled 36.5 million units during the third quarter of 2008 according to market research firm Gartner, which called the 11.5 percent jump over Q3 2007 totals the "weakest year-on-year growth since [the company] began tracking the industry." Nokia retained its overall smartphone lead with 42.4 percent market share in Q3, but for the first time it suffered a sales decline of 3 percent year-over-year, moving 15.4 million units.

Research In Motion captured second place with sales of 5.8 million and now boasts market share of 15.9 percent, an increase of 81.7 percent over the third quarter of 2007. Apple followed in third with iPhone sales of 4.7 million to claim 12.9 percent of the global smartphone market, a 327.5 percent leap over a year earlier. HTC came in fourth with sales of 1.6 million, translating to a 4.5 percent market share and 25.9 percent year-over-year growth, and Sharp placed fifth with sales of 1.2 million (3.4 percent market share and a 19.3 dropoff compared to Q3 2007 totals).

Gartner reports Symbian now commands 49.8 percent of the worldwide smartphone OS market, the first time its share fell below the 50 percent mark--a year ago, Symbian dominated 63.1 percent of smartphone OS sales, with the report blaming the decline on slumping Nokia sales as well as the continued weakness of the Japanese mobile device market.

Gartner adds it expects Symbian's market share to continue to erode in the year ahead, although it will remain the dominant mobile OS. RIM's BlackBerry OS occupies second place with market share of 15.9 percent. Apple's Mac OS X came in third at 12.9 percent, edging past Microsoft's Windows Mobile (11.1 percent) -- Gartner notes that for the first time, iPhone sales topped sales of WinMo devices worldwide and in North America. Linux is in fifth with 7.2 percent, and Palm OS is in sixth with 2.1 percent.

Gartner's other third quarter smartphone findings: North America is the fastest growing market, with a 68 percent increase--together, RIM and Apple accounted for more than 70 percent of the North American smartphone market in the third quarter. Smartphone sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa increased 14 percent year-on-year, with Nokia's share sliding nearly 8 percentage points and Apple vaulting ahead of HTC and RIM to secure the number two spot.

Sales in the Asia/Pacific market fell off 11 percent overall, with Japanese smartphone sales declining 23 percent--in Latin America, overall handset sales slumped, but the smartphone market grew 56 percent, galvanized by the introduction of Apple's iPhone 3G across dozens of markets.

"In 2009, application portfolios will become one of the key strategic considerations for smartphone market players and, if successful, they deliver an alternative revenue stream and will improve consumer stickiness," said Gartner principal analyst Roberta Cozza in a prepared statement. [FierceDeveloper]

NFC No Answer for Mobile Payments, But Alternatives Offer Promise

Once, NFC (Near Field Communication) was the leading contender among technologies that could enable mobile payments. But NFC has developed more slowly than anticipated, and will not offer viable large-scale mobile payment solutions for at least six years. In the mean time three existing technologies — SMS, mobile Internet and downloadable mobile applications – have the potential to deliver what NFC (so far) cannot.

“About half of all purchases made by consumers last year were made with cash,” notes ABI Research senior analyst Mark Beccue. “Consumers would in many cases prefer cashless transactions when away from home. So around the world solutions providers have leveraged SMS, mobile Internet and downloadable mobile applications to enable mobile commerce and payments. ABI Research calculates the potential revenue in 2013 from mobile transactions using these methods at about $18 billion: a significant opportunity for payment processors.”

A new ABI Research study examines the potential for mobile payments in four key vertical markets that will drive adoption: taxis, parking, movies, and Internet shopping. While the latter is usually done using credit cards anyway, the first three are areas in which mobile payments could replace cash transactions. The research found that Internet shopping would account for almost three quarters of this mobile commerce revenue in 2013. A further 15% would come from parking, with the balance split about evenly between taxi fares and movie tickets.

Beccue concludes, “Companies already seizing this mobile payment opportunity include parking solutions provider Verrus, Bharti Airtel and movie theater operators in India, and notably eBay and Amazon – the world’s largest e-commerce merchants – which have enthusiastically embraced mobile transactions with very comprehensive offerings.”

The new ABI Research study “Mobile Commerce and Payments” examines several emerging markets in which consumers are or will be using their mobile devices to purchase goods or services using SMS and mobile Internet. It highlights important players within the space, suggests who should play and who will benefit, and outlines what MNOs, merchants, and financial services providers can do to take advantage of these opportunities. [ABI Research]

Qualcomm Announces Aggressive Plans for LTE

  • Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: LTE, Qualcomm

By Lynnette Luna

Qualcomm has issued an aggressive timeline for releasing engineering samples of its LTE/HSPA+ device modem. It is trying for the second quarter of 2009. The company, however, cautioned commercial availability of of the MDM9000 "still depends on a number of very uncertain factors, many of which are dependent on mobile network operators' plans and investment priorities about how and when to roll out this next stage of wireless technology," said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and general manager for Qualcomm Europe, speaking at the company's inaugural European Innovation Summit last week.

Salvatori noted many uncertainties exist concerning the timelines for HSPA+, "almost all of which are pretty much out of our control." While the LTE standard is close to finalization, there still is uncertainty about in which spectrum ranges LTE would be deployed. Salvatori said decisions still have to be made on network topology. [FierceBroadbandWireless]

MediaFLO USA Expanding to 100 Markets in 2009

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

By Jason Ankeny

Qualcomm's mobile broadcast unit MediaFLO USA said it plans to expand its coverage from 63 metro areas serving 140 million subscribers to more than 100 markets serving 200 million by the close of 2009. MediaFLO USA will begin increasing its mobile TV footprint by more than 40 U.S. cities beginning Feb. 17, when federal law mandates all full-power television stations terminate their analog broadcasts--MediaFLO senior vice president of strategy Matt Milne tells Multichannel News services should be up and running in the Boston, Houston, San Francisco and Miami markets two to three months later, with coverage also expanding in existing markets including Los Angeles. In April, Qualcomm announced it acquired eight licenses in the FCC's 700 MHz spectrum auction, effectively doubling MediaFLO's footprint--Qualcomm ponied up $558.1 million for the E-block licenses.

MediaFLO USA's FLO TV service, available via AT&T and Verizon Wireless, presently offers full-length simulcast and mobile-programmed linear channels from content partners including CBS Mobile, NBC 2Go, ESPN Mobile TV, Fox Mobile, Fox News, CNBC, MSNBC, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. While the company has not disclosed official subscriber totals, Milne says the figure is "well north" of 100,000. He adds that subscribers tune into the service an average of 20 minutes per day, spread across four or five viewing sessions: "What we've kind of seen that works well for snackable content is live viewing," Milne adds. [FierceWirelessContent]

Gartner: Apple Improves Marketshare, Now 3rd Largest Smartphone Maker

  • Posted: Tuesday, December 09, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Apple, Market Survey

Research firm Gartner said 36.5 million smartphones were sold in the third-quarter this year, an 11.5% increase from last year, but a slowdown from the 15.7% annual growth seen in the second quarter.

Roberta Cozza, Gartner’s principal analyst, said that sales of the higher end devices are affected by the current negative economic climate. She added that the growth of smartphone device market should be expected to continue to move at a slower pace.

Speaking of market leader Nokia: “The company introduced solid Nseries products with top features, but its lack of a commercial touch-screen device in its smartphone portfolio prevented Nokia from capitalising from consumer demand for this feature. The recently announced N97 is a much needed evolution for the n9x series of products. It is unfortunate that the device will not be available before the first half of 2009 as this is a competitive product in today’s market.”

Apple, on the other hand, improved its market share to 12.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2008 with a shipment of 7 million units. The increase in the company’s sales reached to more than four times compares to the same period in 2007. The success of the iPhone 3G sales is due to its wider geographical availability, new business model, and lower pricing as opposed to Microsoft’s lack of a competitive user interface.

North America was the fastest growing market with a 68 per cent increase; 56 per cent in Latin America; and 14 per cent increase in the sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The markets in Asia/Pacific and Japan, however, posted an 11 per cent and 23 per cent decline respectively. [Cpmmsday]

Portable Music Devices Are the Fastest-Growing Bluetooth Market

While cellular handsets/headsets continue to make up the largest share of the massive Bluetooth market, according to a recent report from ABI Research portable music devices constitute the fastest-growing segment.

“Cellular handsets continue to account for about 60% of today’s 1.2-billion unit market,” says senior analyst Doug McEuen, “but the prize for rapid market growth definitely goes to portable music devices. Bluetooth shipments for these products are expected to grow from a mere 550,000 in 2006 to more than 80 million in 2013. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 104%.”

While iPods do not yet come with embedded Bluetooth, McEuen credits Apple’s iconic music player with continuing to carry this part of the Bluetooth market on its coat-tails. “When looking at the issue of functionality, it becomes clear that Bluetooth is likely to be positioned as a key differentiator that Apple’s competitors will use in order to garner market share,” he notes. Many other MP3 players do offer Bluetooth and others offer third-party Bluetooth products for the aftermarket.

A further development is the increasing inclusion of music players into cellular handsets. Bluetooth is already a standard feature on most cellular handsets. As music functionality is increasingly incorporated into phones, the logical extension is to provide both the hands-free functionality and music functionality through one headset.

Bluetooth: The Global Outlook” addresses all major applications and variations of Bluetooth, and discusses other wireless connectivity IC integration. Providing the most comprehensive look at the Bluetooth market available today, the report also includes extensive analysis of the equipment and semiconductor markets. [ABI Research]

Sprint to Launch CDMA-WiMAX Products

  • Posted: Sunday, December 07, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Mobile WiMAX

By Phil Goldstein

Sprint Nextel will begin offering dual-mode CDMA/WiMAX modems as early as the end of this year, and will launch all of its mobile WiMAX services under the brand "Sprint 4G."Sprint will offer the products and services as an MVNO of the new Clearwire Corp., which recently rebranded Sprint's Xohm WiMAX service under the brand "Clear," according to a report in RCR News. The first dual-mode modems will launch in Baltimore by the end of this year, according to Sprint spokeswoman Melinda Tiemeyer, the same city where Sprint launched Xohm in September.

The Xohm launch preceded the close of the deal between Clearwire and Sprint's WiMAX business, which gained regulatory and Clearwire shareholder approval in November. The new company received $3.2 billion in investments from Google, Intel, Comcast, Time Warner, Bright House Networks and Trilogy Equity Partners. Tiemeyer said Sprint 4G offerings will eventually include handsets and products that can switch between CDMA and the WiMAX network Clearwire hopes to expand in cities across the United States. [FierceWireless]

Australian Company Debuts World's Second Android Phone

  • Posted: Saturday, December 06, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Android Phone

By Phil Goldstein

An Australian company, Korgan, has launched the world's second phone based on Google's Android platform, debuting two versions of the phone.

The company, which has electronics custom manufactured in China and sells directly to Australians, launched the phone, which it calls Agora, for $194. The other version of the phone, the Agora Pro, goes for $258. Both versions of the phone are unlocked and not tied to any network. The phones are on sale at Korgan's website today, with delivery starting Jan. 29, 2009.
The phone, which looks very similar to the Samsung Blackjack II, features a back-lit QWERTY keyboard, a 2.5-inch touchscreen, microSD slot and 3G connectivity. The Pro version of the phone features a 2-megapixel camera and WiFi and GPS capabilities. The company's founder, Ruslan Korgan, said the phone is the best phone on the Australian market, and was made after soliciting customer feedback regarding the design and capabilities."We worked closely with manufacturers and vendors to develop drivers, software, and tweaks to make the Agora an intuitive and exciting experience for everyone," he said.

"The design and features of the Kogan Agora makes the phone appeal to both consumers and business users. The Android operating system means the handset can capture and play music, photos and video, surf the web, play games, navigate and organize your life with extremely powerful applications." [FierceWireless]

New NFC Ecosystem and Players Emerge

  • Posted: Friday, December 05, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

While the past five years have seen significant work on NFC standardization and infrastructure, there has been little in the way of full-scale adoption.

“What has been lacking is a short-term, realistic view of the potential for NFC in small and targeted rollouts, either by customer segment, bundled application, or regional capabilities,” says ABI Research principal analyst Jonathan Collins. “NFC’s benefits are obvious if the technology is ubiquitous; but it will not reach that level of acceptance without a rethinking of the way to engender NFC demand in a piecemeal fashion.”

When NFC first emerged as a technology for mobile handsets in 2003, the ability to address extremely broad end-user markets with a simple end user interface namely mobile handsets and payments, as well as multiple other technologies and interactions – was immediately recognized as a significant potential. But despite many trials involving many companies from multiple industries, only one NFC handset is commercially available.

“A new wave of companies and products has emerged, eager to harness the potential of NFC in a range of applications and services that are often quite niche, but that can use NFC today to create value and drive efficiencies,” comments Collins.

This staggered start is reflected in the current hardware market for NFC chipsets, with a large percentage of NFC ICs not going into mobile handsets but into other devices.

NFC peripherals and NFC additions to consumer devices are emerging alongside contactless stickers and other interim technologies that will help bridge the gap between NFC’s usefulness and the lack of broad availability of NFC handsets; while large-scale operator rollouts remain subject to additional trials and the further development of business relationships enabling support for NFC payment and ticketing services. [ABI Research]

New Devices Will Challenge Mobile Royalty Levels

  • Posted: Thursday, December 04, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

The status quo of mobile phone licensing today is that royalties are levied for access to patents that are essential to the mobile standard being incorporated in each device. For a multimode WCDMA and GSM device, the average cumulative royalty rate is 12.2%.

As the relative value of new components such as advanced displays and, more importantly, software, increases in the average device, many companies are questioning the fairness of current licensing models. This issue will only become more pressing once MIDs and connected consumer electronics become more commonplace.

According to ABI Research vice president Stuart Carlaw, “The average selling price of many mobile devices is being kept fairly stable not through advances in wireless technology but by the addition of more complex and advanced features that are outside of the innovations covered by many current mobile patent licenses.”

“When you use an ASP from a voice-centric device as the base to calculate royalty rates rather than the artificial higher value,” Carlaw adds, “the indications are that royalty rates should be closer to 5.8%.”

As well as challenges from the perceived value of the wireless component of a device, the current intellectual property licensing regime will also be pressured into change from the notion that declared essentiality in the ETSI standardization process is somewhat flawed. [ABI Research]

Picocells’ Future Linked to Femtocells and the SMB Market

  • Posted: Thursday, December 04, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Femtocell

Much attention has been devoted to femtocells’ potential to improve indoor cellular coverage. But an older technology, the picocell, has existed for about a decade. Picocells provide larger coverage and capacity than femtocells, which should make them well suited to small and medium businesses. Yet global shipments of picocells will total only about 18,000 this year. Why haven’t picocells gained greater market share, and what can vendors do about it?

According to ABI Research senior analyst Aditya Kaul, “One major reason for picocells’ low penetration has been their high total cost of ownership. Picocells are mostly operated and maintained by mobile operators, and every installation and service call costs them money. Many operators underestimated these costs when they initially opted for picocells.”

The market has also focused on femtocells, with their minimal ownership costs. Operators have avoided picocells because they’ve been waiting for femtocells to be thoroughly tested and trialed, and for standards to be established.

What can the leading picocell vendors such as RadioFrame Networks and ip.access do? “An important step will be the introduction of an innovative 3G picocell,” says Kaul. “Today there are only a few 3G picocells in the market but they still have high ownership costs. 3G’s architecture should permit integration of the controller with the base station, reducing cost and allowing picocells to more closely approach femtocells’ ‘plug-and-play’ ease of use.”

There is, says Kaul, a time-limited chance for picocells to secure a larger market. “There is a gap between the small capacity provided by femtocells and that required by SMEs. Picocells can fill that gap, but only if the next generation has drastically reduced ownership costs. ‘Super femtos,’ which are essentially femtocells with picocell capacities are also being prepared for this market, and home-grade femtos could see some use in the SMB market, once interference and handover issues are resolved. Therefore picocells have a limited window of opportunity.” [ABI Research]

New Visual Explorer Provides Tightly-Integrated Web Browsing Experience

  • Posted: Thursday, December 04, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Developer BlueG announces a new and uniquely customizable web browser.

It seems to be a common problem. Users put up with the faults inherent in some browsers, like poor search engine support, lack of privacy protection or poor printing capabilities so they can use the positives. The browsing experience becomes a bit of a compromise.Now it appears this is all about to change.

Software developer BlueG has launched its new Visual Explorer browser as a free download. The developers say that everything from keyboard shortcuts and mouse gestures, to changing the browser's appearance with themes and skins, plus support for Internet Explorer add-ons, all help make Visual Explorer exactly what web users have been waiting for.

Visual Explorer is a full-featured Internet Explorer-friendly web browser that comes with advanced privacy and security features, one-click Google searches, support for Internet Explorer's browsing history and favorites, as well as an advanced download manager.

Key features include Quick Search, whereby users can right-click any word or phrase on the current web page to search for it using Google or any of their favorite search engines - additional pre-installed search sites include Yahoo, YouTube, Amazon, eBay and Facebook. There is also an Advanced Find toolbar at the bottom of the screen to highlight all instances of a selected word on the current web page. In addition, pop-up, media and ad filters are straight off the menu so are easy to switch on and off.

According to Darren Bond, BlueG's Creative Director, "With Visual Explorer users can also print web pages precisely (WYSIWYG) as they appear on screen. Visual Explorer captures the 'real' page as viewed by the user and sends this to the printer with the usual print preview facility. No other browser does this.

"Similar to some other browsers, Visual Explorer's phishing filter checks website addresses as they are typed. However, and this is claimed to be a unique feature, it also checks the final destination page to protect users against the original website re-directing them to a phishing website. Visual Explorer is also claiming another first, with its Cloaking Device enabling users to make the browser semi-transparent so casual observers cannot snoop on the user's browsing activities.

"BlueG has worked hard to provide an environment where Internet Explorer add-ons can be used within Visual Explorer. In most cases, add-ons appear identical - menus, toolbars, etc - and can easily be managed with the familiar 'Manage Add-ons' dialog," added Darren Bond.

Visual Explorer supports Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP and Vista and can be downloaded from http://www.visual-explorer.com/ /PR

Nokia Launches Latest iPhone Rival, the N97

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: iPhone, Nokia

By Phil Goldstein

Nokia jumped into the touchscreen phone game by releasing the N97, a touchscreen phone with a slideout Qwerty keyboard that is similar to the T-Mobile G1.

Nokia unveiled the phone at a company event in Barcelona. The HSDPA phone has WiFi capability, A-GPS and Bluetooth. The phone also has a 5 megapixel camera, "DVD quality" video capture of up to 350 frames-per-second and 32GB of onboard memory (with a microSD slot that makes the phone capable of holding 48GB). The N97 also syncs with Nokia's Ovi web portal and runs with an updated version of Nokia maps, which includes 3D landmarks, and allows users to install widgets on the phones homescreen linking to applications.

Nokia has slated the phone to ship in the first half of 2009, and will retail at $699 before any taxes, rebates or subsidies. The handset maker has not said what U.S. wireless carrier will carry the phone.Also today, Nokia officially acquired Symbian Limited and said it was given acceptance of more than 99.9 percent of the Symbian shares it did not already own. [FierceWireless]

TechFaith and QIGI Launch i6-Goal, First Android-Powered Phone in China

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Google Android

China TechFaith Wireless Communication Technology Limited, an original developed product provider focused on the research and development of cell phone solutions, and QIGI, a Smartphone brand in China, today announced the launch of i6-Goal, the first Android-powered phone in China. The fast, 624-MHz CPU slim bar-type phone has a touch-screen, business card scanning and GPS functionality. The i6-Goal also provides mobile Web access that includes Gmail, YouTube and Gtalk.

Defu Dong, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TechFaith, said, "We are proud to launch the first Android-powered mobile phone in China. The QIGI i6-Goal has amazing potential in China because it is not only for making phone calls; it also provides mobile Web access to China's growing customer base. In addition, the launch of i6-Goal is a great example of the success of our strategic alliance with QIGI and its ability to quickly launch products onto the market."

Enhai Xu, President of QIGI, said, "We are pleased to be the first company to launch an Android-powered phone in China. We believe this state-of-the-art product will be very attractive to China's market due to its great features including Web access, email and GPS functions. We signed sales agreements with a few well-known mobile phone distributors in China and are looking forward to shipping the i6-Goal very soon." /PR

“Green” Handsets Subject to Conflicting Social and Economic Forces

  • Posted: Tuesday, December 02, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Handset

Most mobile handset vendors acknowledge public pressure to create environmentally sound products. It is an issue they need to continue to address through their corporate responsibility charters. Faced with the economic realities of “going green” however, their appetite for creating biodegradable and recyclable products from sustainable resources often fades like a wireless signal in an underground parking lot.

“Several proof products that epitomize a vendor’s best greening efforts are currently being marketed,” says ABI Research director Kevin Burden, “but our research found that very few handset manufacturers – except those with the scale to do it economically, such as Samsung and Nokia – are highly motivated to produce lines of green phones. Instead, the effort is towards compliance and the trickling down of proven green elements throughout entire product lines.”

Scale is the key concept. Despite the vast numbers of phones that are produced and discarded every year, few vendors are working on the kind of scale that makes entire green product lines economically viable in their view.

Most mobile handset vendors do have recycling programs, but less than 5% of the annual worldwide volume of handsets shipped come back through recycling or ethical disposal programs. Regulatory pressures, coupled with corporate and social responsibilities, have forced the issue for most manufacturers. Many toxic substances have been legally banned and other substances known to threaten human health and the environment are being phased out voluntarily by many manufacturers.

Burden concludes: “A 2008 Nokia survey indicated that 76% of their respondents are more likely to buy phones from companies they consider environmentally responsible. That is a potential economic benefit, but hard to measure. As vendors move green features toward a platform approach for broader implementation, that is when negative economic factors flatten and the environment truly wins.” [ABI Research]

Seagate Tawarkan FreeAgent Go External Drive

  • Posted: Monday, December 01, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Hard Drive

Seagate menawarkan solusi penyimpanan data portable FreeAgent Go, yang merupakan eksternal drive paling tipis yang pernah ada. Dengan ketebalan hanya 12,5mm, FreeAgent Go baru ini sangat mudah dimasukkan ke dalam saku dan memiliki perlindungan atas goncangan dan goyangan yang pengguna dapat temukan hanya di teknologi Seagate.

Hal lain yang menjadi terobosan di industry adalah FreeAgent Go baru ini merupakan eksternal hard drive pertama yang menawarkan pilihan docking, memberikan kemudahan cara memindahkan file dari komputer ke hard drive, tanpa masalah kabel yang kadang mengganggu dan proses melacak port USB yang kerap merepotkan.

Dengan kapasitas hingga 500GB, FreeAgent Go menjembatani kesenjangan antara solusi standar portable dan solusi desktop dengan tingkat kapasitas yang memadai untuk menyimpan semua file film, gambar dan musik. Kini pengguna tidak lagi perlu mengorbankan kapasitas untuk menikmati kemampuan portable, Seagate FreeAgent Go memberikan keuntungan-keuntungan dan kenyamanan keduanya dalam sebuah paket tanpa batas yang mudah dibawa-bawa.

Selain itu, Seagate FreeAgent Go juga hadir dengan warna-warna yang menarik, sehingga dapat mendukung penampilan anda. Drive penyimpanan data seukuran saku yang dapat memuat banyak data, Seagate FreeAgent Go sangat tipis, mudah dibawa dan hadir dalam empat warna. External Drive ini akan hadir pada bulan September 2008 di AS, Eropa dan Asia Pasifik dengan harga Rp.1.100.000,- untuk 250GB, Rp.1.300.000,- untuk 320GB dan Rp.2.600.000,- untuk 500GB.

FreeAgent™ Dock and Case
Perlindungan untuk pada saat bepergian dan docking untuk akses cepat dan nyaman ke file anda, kedua aksesoris ini dijual terpisah untuk drive FreeAgent Go. Docking dan sarung wadah akan tersedia di AS, Eropa dan Asia Pasifik dengan harga retail sebesar Rp.200.000,-./PR

Motorola Debuts Widgets Developer Challenge

  • Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

By Jason Ankeny

Motorola announced the launch of the MOTODEV Widget Developer Challenge, encouraging developers to capitalize on the efficient mobile web access and lightweight footprint inherent in the widget model. Timed to coincide with the release of the Moto VE66, the first Motorola mobile device equipped with a widgets framework, the MOTODEV Widget Developer Challenge is open to all members of Motorola's global MOTODEV developer and ISV program (free registration here) from now through Feb. 27, entrants may submit widgets in three main categories: Best Widget in Category, Best Local Content, and Best Use of APIs.

All widgets submitted will be considered for the grand prize and title of Best Overall Widget, with judges evaluating submissions based on uniqueness, effective use of the platform, harmony of design, indispensability and applicability. Motorola will announce the category winners in the spring of 2009--each category grand prize winner and first and second runner-up will earn a cash prize, recognition at CTIA Wireless 2009 and a briefcase full of Motorola handsets and accessories. To learn more about submitting a widget for consideration or the official MOTODEV Widget Developer Challenge rules, click here. [FierceDeveloper]

Rural Subscribers to Benefit From Communications Roll Out in IndoChina

  • Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Nokia Siemens Networks to help Viettel Telecom undertake network expansion across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

Viettel Telecom, one of Vietnam’s leading mobile service providers, will use Nokia Siemens Networks’ Flexi Base Station for part of its network expansion across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Viettel’s extraordinary performance since entering the market in 2004, as the fourth GSM provider, is in no small part due to its capacity for rapid roll out of networks and services. Its investment in the award winning Flexi Base Stations will enable the operator to retain this advantage.

“Key to Viettel’s leadership strategy in the Vietnamese telecom market is expansion across rural areas, in line with its growth in other regions; and in a competitive market, its success will depend on how fast and cost effectively it is able to do so. Our pioneering Flexi Base Stations are ideal for rapid network expansion for any operator in such a scenario. We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with Viettel, now one of the most dynamic operators in the region,” said Ricky Corker, Head of Subregion Asia North, Nokia Siemens Networks Vietnam.

The Nokia Siemens Networks Flexi Base Station is the industry’s smallest and most efficient multi technology base station, with a unique design and architecture. It is an innovative offering which is modular and easy to deploy in varied geographical environments, is cost effective, and can be upgraded to 3G assuring a good quality of service for consumers while also ensuring the solution’s future-readiness. In addition, the solution allows operators to deploy software features to optimize the use of radio access for wireless communications.

Another important benefit of the Flexi Base Station technology is that while lowering operating and capital costs for operators, it also enables environmentally friendly network operations. Thanks to the small size of Flexi Base Station, operators can achieve up to 70% reduction in their site energy consumption, also due to the fact that the weather-proof solution doesn’t require air conditioning even in hot climate.

Moreover, the number of base station sites needed is minimized. The Viettel networks will be managed by the Nokia Siemens Networks network and service management solution, NetAct, which provides holistic, real-time visibility to the entire network and ability to react to the faults immediately, as well as capability to forecast and optimize network and end-user behavior, thus helping to improve customer experience.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ relationship with Viettel Telecom started in 2007, when the company deployed a cost-efficient mobile softswitching solution for the operator. This is Nokia Siemens Networks’ first GSM Base Station deal with Viettel, and as such is a significant entry for the company in Vietnam. /PR

WiMAX: The Big Battalions win

  • Posted: Friday, November 28, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Mobile WiMAX, WiMax

By Paul Rasmussen

As the WiMAX world is finding out, market size and momentum tend to win over time, even when there is a perceived technological advantage. A new report forecasts that by 2013 WiMAX will have 103 million subscribers--unfortunately HSPA will have more than one billion users in the same timescale. In an accurate summing up of the situation facing WiMAX, Mike Roberts, author of the Informa report on WiMAX, describes the situation as "the best of times and the worst of times" for the broadband technology.

The last year has seen WiMAX pass a number of key milestones including product certification, the launch of WiMAX services by major operators and the introduction of WiMAX notebooks and other devices. WiMAX is also playing a key role in major emerging markets such as India where it will account for 24 percent of total broadband subscribers by 2013. However, during the same period, HSDPA has become a runaway success with operators in major markets worldwide deploying the broadband technology.

There is some good news for WiMAX in the longer term. Although major operators including China Mobile have fully committed to LTE, the earliest the fourth generation technology can begin deployment is 2010 and that is likely to slip by at least two years. Given that WiMAX will be the leading OFDMA technology by 2013 it should be able to give the nascent LTE a run for its money in some regions. [FierceBroadbandWireless]

Rumor Mill: Is Microsoft Making a Zune Smartphone?

  • Posted: Friday, November 28, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Microsoft, Zune

By Phil Goldstein

Rumors are circulating of a possible Microsoft smartphone based on the software giant's Zune digital music player. Code-named "Pink," the phone will use technology from Microsoft's acquisition of Danger, the company that brought the Sidekick to T-Mobile.The phone may be set to debut as early as January at the Consumer Electronics Show or at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, according to a report on CNBC.com.

Rumors have swirled for more than a year around whether Microsoft would be readying a Zune-branded phone. Microsoft, as late as June of this year, denied any kind of development of such a phone.The most obvious competition for the phone would be from Microsoft nemesis Apple and the iPhone 3G. While Microsoft's position in the mobile space has been limited to the widespread use of its Windows Mobile platform, a foray into handset manufacturing would put it squarely into competition with Apple and other phones that double as digital music players. [FierceWireless]

Nimbuzz Launches Free iPhone Application

  • Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana

Nimbuzz (www.nimbuzz.com), the most comprehensive mobile Instant Messaging, (geo) presence and VoIP provider launches into the Apple iPhone App Store. The free application lets users call, chat and message, for free, with their friends on virtually all major instant messaging communities and social networks, including Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, Facebook, MySpace, AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, and more.

Specifically for the needs of iPhone users, this will be the first complete messaging product available with landscape mode chat, IM buddy calling (including Yahoo!), and regional social network support – and it is free.

Users turn the product on its side to use a wide keyboard for fast and easy typing. Furthermore, Nimbuzz is the first product to offer IM buddy calling over Wifi to Yahoo! Messenger as well as Google Talk, Skype, and Windows Live Messenger.

Nimbuzz supports chat for local social networks, such as StudiVZ, the biggest German speaking social network, Hyves for The Netherlands, and Gadu-Gadu in Poland.

Nimbuzz is a lifestyle application, designed to meet any communication need and is the only chat application to offer landscape chat and IM buddy calling. The centralized contact list aggregates contacts of the most popular social and IM networks, and offers superior VoIP call quality over Wifi.

Other key updates include Personal Message allowing users to broadcast real-time status updates to all contacts, presence information to see who is online and where, and emoticons for additional expression.

Nimbuzz works on over 1,000 types of handsets and computers worldwide and supports EDGE, GPRS, 3G and Wifi so users will always be able to connect - anytime, from anywhere, to anyone, for free.

Nimbuzz currently grows at over 10,000 new users per day, with over 10M logins per day, and we are happy to welcome iPhone and iPod users to the community. /PR

Indonesia Peringkat Ke-2 Pengguna Opera Mini Terbesar

  • Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Opera

Opera Mini 4.2 dirilis hari ini, memasuki wilayah Android

Berkaitan dengan mobile Web, masyarakat Indonesia merupakan pemain yang sangat dominan, peringkat kedua setelah Rusia. Berdasarkan laporan terbaru dari Opera mengenai Mobile Web, setiap pengguna di Indonesia melayari rata-rata 385 halaman pada bulan Oktober 2008 dimana angka tersebut di atas angka rata-rata secara global. Situs-situs teratas pada bulan Oktober masih terus didominasi situs jejaring sosial seperti Friendster dan Facebook. Sangat menarik sekali jika Facebook akan mempengaruhi situs Friendster yang telah mendominasi jejaring sosial di Indonesia.

Hari ini Opera Software merilis Opera Mini 4.2 versi final yang telah lama dinantikan. Sejak peluncuran Opera Mini 4.2 versi beta, berdasarkan percobaan pada kecepatannya telah menunjukkan bahwa versi ini memberikan lebih dari 30% peningkatan kecepatan bagi para pengguna yang ada di US, karena adanya penambahan sebuah server park baru dari Opera Mini di United States.

Rilis ini juga mencatat ketersediaan Opera Mini untuk platform Android secara resmi sehingga Opera Mini sekarang menjadi web browser alternatif yang pertama untuk Android. Sebuah preview teknis dari Opera Mini telah dilakukan untuk versi awal Android pada April 2008. Para pengguna telepon seluler yang menggunakan Android, misalnya T-Mobile G1, sekarang bisa mendownload Opera Mini 4.2 versi beta dan menikmati kecepatan dan murahnya berselancar di internet.

“Dengan Opera Mini 4.2, kami menunjukkan pada dunia bahwa Opera tidak pernah merasa puas. Kami akan terus berusaha untuk menyempurnakan produk kami, meningkatkan kecepatan, menambah fungsionalitas dan fitur-fitur baru, serta memastikannya dapat diakses oleh siapa saja, “ ujar Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “Dukungan kami akan Android membantu untuk memenuhi misi kami yaitu dapat disediakan pada lebih banyak platform, pada lebih banyak perangkat serta dapat mencapai lebih banyak pengguna dimanapun, di seluruh dunia.

”Opera menambahkan beberapa versi bahasa baru untuk Opera Mini 4.2 dan dilengkapi dengan pilihan skin untuk memberi sentuhan dan tampilan yang lebih personal. Opera Mini terkenal akan kecepatannya karena data dikompres terlebih dahulu sebelum dikirimkan ke telepon seluler. Hal ini sangat membantu pengguna karena data yang dikirimkan sangat kecil sehingga biaya yang dikeluarkan juga menjadi lebih murah.

Setelah mendownload Opera Mini 4.2, pengguna telepon seluler akan mendapatkan:- Lebih dari 90 pilihan bahasa, termasuk bahasa-bahasa baru yaitu Amharic, Armenian, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kirghiz, Lingala, Marathi, Malayalam, Mongolian, Oriya, Punjabi, Pashto, Sinhala, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Uzbek, Khmer, Kashmiri, Lao dan Turkmen.- Skin baru yang keren, membuat tampilan Opera Mini lebih personal.- Opera Link sekarang mendukung catatan, pengguna bisa mensinkronkan catatan di PC dengan di Opera Mini.

Popularitas Opera mini terus meningkat setiap bulan. Opera melaporkan bahwa 21 juta pengguna unik melayari 5 milyar halaman pada bulan Oktober 2008, secara total meningkat 490 % sejak Oktober 2007. Jutaan orang telah mengetahui kekuatan dari Opera mini, sekarang adalah saatnya bagi masyarakat seluruh dunia untuk menikmati Web pada sebuah layar kecil. /PR

Carriers See Over-The-Top Video as Way to Fill Holes in Offerings

  • Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

As cable providers beef up their PC video offerings, satellite and telco operators increasingly see over-the-top broadband video delivery as a viable option to shore up their own weaknesses. Over the past year, both DirecTV and DISH Network have rolled out over-the-top Video On Demand on Internet-connected set-top boxes, while telcos in Europe have been combining digital terrestrial linear TV broadcasts with broadband video for VOD. ABI Research believes that as broadband video offerings increase in quality and become more seamless, carriers could be significant players in the over-the-top video delivery market.

“Carrier-packaged over-the-top video delivery is a reality today in most markets,” says research director Michael Wolf of ABI Research. “The fact is, broadband video is a way for some carriers to fill holes relative to larger closed-network operators such as cable MSOs, and we think over time more satellite, telco and European terrestrial operators will utilize broadband video delivery as a component of their overall offering.”

2Wire’s recent release of a carrier-targeted broadband video delivery set-top box is a sign that hardware manufacturers are also seeing a growth opportunity in this market. At the same time, cable operators such as Comcast are looking for ways to package broadband video to the PC as a way to combat potential growing interest in free ad-supported video delivery from portals.

“Comcast’s early interest in being a Hulu syndication partner with its Fancast portal shows how MSOs are also interested in utilizing online video,” notes Wolf. “While some MSOs will ultimately take a defensive stance using bandwidth caps or other measures, some also see a threat in offering nothing to their own customers in a world where free, ad-supported prime-time content is available to consumers via their PCs.” [ABIResearch]

New Ovum report says 40G Market Moves to Generalized Deployment Phase

  • Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Market Survey

Demand, driven by video, is stressing network capacities

For immediate release, November 24, 2008. Leading global advisory and consulting firm, Ovum, today posted its global market update detailing the 40G/100G market.

“After many years of waiting the 40G market is finally moving to a generalized deployment phase. Consumer demand, mostly driven by video, is stressing network capacities and as long as this dynamic stays in place, 40G deployments will continue to see healthy growth,” said Ron Kline, Research Director, at Ovum and author of this latest 40G/100G analysis by Ovum. “What’s most important now is that the industry works to reduce the cost for 40G in order to move the market towards mass adoption.”

After years of technology development, product announcements, and trials, the 40G market is finally moving to a new phase. Globally, over 30 network operators have spent more than $250 million since 2005 deploying the technology. Nortel introduced its DP QPSK to the market in April 2008 and has already gained over 30 customers; the technology is highly regarded by both carriers and competitors.

Further, the Optical Internetworking Forum industry group announced in August 2008, that it had selected DP QPSK as the standardized modulation format for 100G long-distance DWDM transmission, a move welcomed by component suppliers, as it makes their investment cases easier to justify.

The largest 40G application by volume thus far is for router-to-router interconnect. Comcast and AT&T have the largest commercial deployments, but government-funded defense and research networks have contributed significantly to revenues. “Global revenue for 40G line cards in 2007 was $178 million and we expect the market to grow 48% annually through 2013,” said Kline.

The new report from Ovum’s Network Infrastructure practice provides Ovum’s analysis of the 40G market, including market drivers and challenges to deployment, and correlating commercial activity. The report also includes analysis of market competitors including descriptions of 40G capabilities and customer deployments, analysis of 40G modulation formats, revenues and unit forecast and market share data for the global 40G market as well as analysis of 100G development efforts. /PR

Opera: Mobile Web Page Views Grow to 5B in October

  • Posted: Friday, November 21, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Opera

By Jason Ankeny

Opera Mini mobile browser users viewed 5 billion mobile web pages in October--a 326 percent year-over-year increase--according to browser development firm Opera Software's latest State of the Mobile Web report.

Opera Mini monthly consumer userbase grew to 21 million in October, up 10.6 percent month-over-month increase and more than 311 percent year-over-year. Data transfers (which Opera notes can be used to infer both potential consumer cost savings and potential carrier revenues) reached 73.7 million MB (compressed), a 490 percent growth rate since October 2007.

This edition of the State of the Mobile Web report turns the spotlight on the Southeast Asia market, stating that Indonesia and Malaysia lead on mobile web adoption, followed by Thailand and Brunei. The average Indonesian user browsed 358 mobile web pages in October, well above the global average--Malaysia leads in user growth with a 462.6 percent increase in 2008, followed by the Philippines (396.4 percent growth) and Indonesia (329.5 percent growth).

Google dominates mobile web search in Southeast Asia, with Yahoo and Live Search vying for second--Friendster is the region's premier mobile social networking site, trailed by hi5. Nokia dominates on handset sales, far ahead of rivals Sony Ericsson and Huawei. [FierceMobileContentt]

GSMA Calls for Full NFC Functionality by Mid-2009

  • Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

By Jason Ankeny

Global trade group the GSM Association is calling for full Near Field Communications functionality to be built into commercial mobile handsets beginning mid-2009 in an effort to accelerate adoption and deployment of mobile payment services. The GSMA also outlined its support for the European Telecommunications Standards Institute-endorsed "Single Wire Protocol" standard to provide the interface between SIM cards and the embedded NFC chipset within the device.

According to the GSMA, a series of operator trials launched under its "Pay-Buy-Mobile" initiative have demonstrated the potential for consumers with NFC-enabled handsets to efficiently and securely pay for goods and services in retail stores, restaurants and train stations. The trade group reports that NFC trials are underway across eight countries involving nine mobile operators, with additional pilots planned by 15 mobile operators across 14 countries.

Among ongoing trials, Taiwanese operator FarEasTone reports 80 percent of participants were satisfied the service is secure, and 40 percent said they would switch their monthly spending to a mobile credit card service.

In France, a trial spanning seven banks and four mobile operators including Orange and SFR reports 90 percent of participants found contactless mobile payment convenient, fast, and easy to use, while more than 80 percent of merchants expressed appreciation for the speed and cutting-edge appeal of m-payment services. [FierceMobileContent]

Talking With Microsoft About its Mobile Future

By Jason Ankeny

With 2009 looming on the horizon, the biggest question mark in mobile software is Microsoft. With competitive pressures mounting and rivals like Apple, Google and Nokia generating the lion's share of attention and buzz, it seems everyone has an opinion on what Microsoft is or isn't doing, what it should do instead and why. The biggest questions facing Microsoft in the year ahead: Where is Windows Mobile 7? When will the company introduce a virtual storefront to market and distribute WinMo apps? And how can it more effectively leverage its scale and experience to reassert its position in the mobile marketplace?

On Monday FierceDeveloper spoke with Jay Roxe, group product manager for Windows Mobile, who played his cards frustratingly close to the vest. "We're not announcing any roadmaps or future products," Roxe said in response to my question about the status of WinMo 7. "We have a lot of engineers working to innovate in the Windows Mobile space. We continue to innovate on the platform and the tools themselves, but we're not making any announcements at this time." Likewise, Roxe was mum on the rumored mobile applications store, reiterating that Windows Mobile apps remain available to consumers via retail partners including Handango and Motricity, as well as some wireless operators.

So what could Roxe talk about? Last week, Microsoft announced the availability of emulators and documentation for its new Internet Explorer Mobile 6 browser, promising a mobile web experience that more closely resembles conventional desktop browsing. Highlights of IE Mobile 6 include enhanced Script and AJAX support via JavaScript v5.7 engine, an improved multimedia experience thanks to the addition of Adobe Flash Lite 3.1, deeper integration with search tools, touch and gesture support, and multiple zoom levels.

"We're giving the customer access to a very rich browsing experience on the phone," Roxe said. "Even in cases where there is no mobile optimized site, people can still surf the vast majority of the Internet and get a rich experience because we licensed Flash Lite." Microsoft has released the Internet Explorer Mobile 6 Emulator for developer download; Roxe said the browser will appear on Windows Mobile devices before the end of the year.

Roxe also stressed the opportunities that Windows Mobile presents for Microsoft's developer partners who've previously focused their efforts on other platforms. "A lot of developers are Visual Studio users, and we're looking to be able to take their Windows and web skill sets to help them develop for mobile devices," he said. "We're in uncertain economic times, and the idea of leveraging your existing staff and resources is coming across very well."

Towards that end, Microsoft recently revamped its Windows Mobile Developer Network resource portal. "It's important for developers to have a single point of contact for all the announcements we make, like new technologies and mobile technologies launched by different divisions of the company," Roxe said. "All of Microsoft's major product teams are looking at what the mobile space holds--you can expect to see a number of announcements in that area." The Windows Mobile Developer Network portal will also connect visitors to best practices documents, developer conference information and related resources.

For everything about Microsoft's mobile outlook that remains hazy, Roxe made it clear that the company's relationship with the development community is central to its plans. "It's important to remember that given our market share and our experience with the programming environment, there are a lot of developers with skills applicable to Windows Mobile, and we're looking at what we can do to nurture those relationships," Roxe said. "We will continue to do innovation in this space--we've become very engaged in the mobile space. In the year ahead we're going to see tremendous growth from Windows Mobile." [FierceDeveloper]

First Responder Terminal Market to Reach $3.5 Billion by 2013

  • Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

The market for terminals used by emergency first responders looks set to grow significantly over the next five years from slightly more than $1billion in 2007 to more than $3.6 billion in 2013, according to a new study from ABI Research. This growth will occur as agencies standardize on digital technologies such as APCO/TIA Project 25 and ETSI TETRA.

Although something of a laggard compared to markets in other regions, the North American market looks set to be the largest global opportunity in the long term, as federal funding filters down through the system.

Vice president Stuart Carlaw notes that, “The public safety wireless communications market for technology and geographic location has solidified. North America is dominated by P25, while the rest of the world seems set on the European-developed TETRA standard with isolated islands of P25 in the Asia-Pacific region and legacy TETRAPOL in France.”

In the United States, public safety agencies apply for funding grants to obtain the equipment and training they need. This decentralized procurement means that the funding mechanisms do not make coordination easy. In Europe, several blue light networks are funded on a nationwide basis. The European model is also largely privatized: rather than government being the provider of these services, it is private cellular operators; O2 plays this role for the UK’s Airwave system.

Carlaw adds, “First responder terminal vendors see the fragmented, but huge and less mature, US market as the greatest opportunity for the future, although it must be recognized that penetration into this market is difficult due to technology choice and to Motorola’s preeminent market position.” [ABI Research]