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

Mobile Data Offloaded Will Grow 100-fold by 2015

Mobile data offloading is forecast to triple in the next five years. According to a new study from ABI Research, about 16% of mobile data is diverted from mobile networks today, and that is expected to increase to 48% by 2015. But data traffic itself will have grown by a factor of 30, meaning that offloaded data will expand 100-fold.

The serious, well-publicized traffic overloads (including content data and radio signaling) that are starting to choke many mobile networks will only worsen as smartphones and other mobile devices proliferate, and operators must extend capacity. Brute force network expansion, requiring a doubling of capacity, isn’t an option.

Instead, several approaches and technologies will play specific roles in relieving network congestion. These include Wi-Fi, femtocells, mobile CDNs (content delivery networks) media optimization, and more. [ABIResearch]

As ABI Research practice director Aditya Kaul explains, “Each of these offload and optimization technologies is aimed at solving a particular problem and they will all coexist. Wi-Fi is effective in covering limited areas containing many users, such as transport stations and sports venues. A femtocell, in contrast, is a good solution for targeting small numbers of heavy data users. Mobile CDNs attack the problem of frequently-used content, for example a video that has ‘gone viral’, by caching the file locally rather than loading it onto the network for each download request.”

One of the most effective tools is media optimization – effectively improved compression – which is already being used widely. Media optimization will grow the fastest and deliver the greatest traffic reduction of all these methods.

Data offloading saves money as well as relieving network traffic. “Moving data costs a surprising amount,” says Kaul. “Wi-Fi and femtocells in particular do that at a tiny fraction of the per-Gigabyte cost of a 3G network. The ABI Research report precisely quantifies these savings.”

Most of these solutions are being offered to operators by a number of suppliers. Prominent among them: Belair Networks for carrier Wi-Fi; Ubiquisys for femtocells; Akamai for CDN; Stoke, Inc. for core offloading; and for media optimization, Bytemobile and Openwave.

ChinaTel Planning 29-market Fixed WiMAX Deployment in China

By Lynnette Luna

ChinaTel Group is working with CECT-Chinacomm Communications to deploy a WiMAX network in the 3.5 GHz band across 29 markets in China, including large population areas such as Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Chinatel's Kenneth Hoobs, vice president of mergers and acquisitions for ChinaTel, told RCR Wireless News that the company has 20 megahertz of spectrum, which could increase in the future thanks to the Chinese government. ChinaTel is under a government mandate to deploy 12 markets by June 2011. The company has already finished construction on three network operating centers and three switches, and construction of the network in the remaining 17 markets will likely begin in 2014.

The company already has a presence in China via WiFi deployments in Beijing to support the 2008 Olympics. ChinaTel was then contracted through its partnership with CECT-Chinacomm to begin building a fixed WiMAX network using spectrum granted by the government. Today, ChinaTel said it has has between 400,000 and 500,000 people paying for access to its WiFi network that covers parts of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Last week ChinaTel signed an MoU with Chinese vendor ZTE to make that supplier the preferred infrastructure provider of equipment, operational services and financing for the wireless broadband networks ChinaTel is planning for not only China but Peru and other markets.

ChinaTel recently acquired a 95 percent stake in Peruvian telecom provider Perusat S.A., which holds 2.5 GHz spectrum licenses covering portions of Peru.ChinaTel may be deploying the fixed version of WiMAX, but the company has indicated it can upgrade rather easily to the mobile version of the standard and also move to LTE as a network overlay or a side-by-side addition to the WiMAX network pending government approval of course. [FierceBroadbandWireless]

3G Networks Carry 72% of Android Mobile Video Traffic

  • Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: iPhone, Mobile 3G

By Jason Ankeny

Mobile operators' 3G networks carry 72 percent of video content viewed by Android smartphone users in the U.S. according to new data issued by mobile video ad network Rhythm NewMedia. By comparison, iPhone users rely on 3G for 56 percent of their mobile video consumption, turning to WiFi support for the remaining 44 percent. The split is even closer across the U.S. mobile market as a whole, with 3G responsible for 53 percent of mobile video traffic and WiFi accounting for 47 percent. Rhythm NewMedia reports that mobile video viewing habits remain spread throughout the day, unlike mobile TV, which spikes during primetime hours--in the evenings, subscribers turn to WiFi in greater numbers.

Rhythm NewMedia's average monthly content views grew 30 percent in the second quarter over Q1 totals; average monthly video minutes per unique visitor increased 20 percent quarter-over-quarter, edging past the 30-minute mark. Among viewers who access full-length video episodes, 26.5 percent of consumers view the program in its entirety (about 45 minutes), and 41 percent stick around for at least half. Rhythm NewMedia adds that completion rates for interactive pre-roll video ads reached 88 percent, surpassing both online video and television. [FierceMobileContent]

Ignore m-commerce and Face Being Marginalised, Ovum Warns Insurance Industry

Insurance companies that ignore m-commerce face marginalising themselves as younger generations come of purchasing age, according to Ovum.

In a new report* the independent technology analyst looks at the effect m-commerce will have on the insurance industry and concludes that companies that avoid it could be bypassed when younger generations come to make their first purchase.

According to the report, m-commerce is a ‘game changer’ for the insurance industry, due to its high speed capabilities, and companies must begin to offer it to customers in 2010 to maintain market presence.

Barry Rabkin, author of the report and an Ovum insurance technology analyst, said: “The speed that m-commerce is conducted at obliterates both distance and time. When commerce is conducted at this speed, it creates heightened customer expectations of availability, responsiveness and fulfillment and puts insurance companies on a path to offering a world class customer experience.

“Some insurers may feel that m-commerce is not a viable channel for them to sell their products, believing that their clients do not live or work in areas with adequate wireless service.

“However, we believe that if they decide to ignore m-commerce, they will marginalise themselves as quickly as younger generations arrive at their first purchasing decision.”

The report points out that the definition of m-commerce goes beyond financial transactions and also includes the role it plays in providing information to customers before and after a purchase, as well encompassing a wide range of devices.

It also states that to successfully embrace m-commerce, companies need to tick several boxes, including having strong connectivity, reliable and secure infrastructure and adequate resources.

Barry adds: “For insurance companies to benefit from m-commerce they need to ensure they are truly viewing the picture from the customer perspective. Only by doing so will they ensure their m-commerce environment will be one that their customers need or appreciate.” Ovum/pr

Music Royalty Negotiations Shift to FM Radio in Mobile Phones

By Jason Ankeny

The Consumer Electronics Association is lashing out at a proposal from the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Association of Broadcasters that would mandate mobile device manufacturers to integrate FM radio chips into all wireless phones manufactured and sold in the U.S.

The proposal is the latest chapter in a long-running dispute between terrestrial radio broadcasters and the recording industry over music royalties, with the NAB battling the RIAA's push to require radio stations to pay labels and performers for the right to broadcast their songs. Existing U.S. laws demand radio stations pay royalties to songwriters, but not labels or artists--broadcasters contend that radio airplay provides free promotion and drives music purchases and concert ticket sales, but with CD sales in steep decline, the RIAA is exploring new revenue alternatives.

Although both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate Judiciary Committees have passed bills that would award labels and artists a share of radio advertising revenues generated by playing their music, legislation has stalled in the face of overwhelming opposition from the NAB.

Broadcasters, looking to expand their audience reach, have now proposed a new settlement, agreeing to pay the RIAA around $100 million in annual royalties on the condition that lawmakers mandate the inclusion of FM radio chips in mobile phones and other portable devices. Congress is expected to act on the proposal sometime this fall. "Nothing is locked down just yet, but we're on the precipice of an historic breakthrough," RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol told the Associated Press.

"This is two old-media industries attacking the new wireless broadband industry," said Consumers Electronics Association head Gary Shapiro. "We don't think Congress should accept a back-room deal on how an iPhone should be designed. We think consumers should choose and companies should choose." Jot Carpenter, vice president of government affairs for wireless industry trade organization CTIA, states there is "not a huge desire [among consumers] to listen to over-the-air, ad-laden radio" on mobile devices, adding there is scarce demand for phones with FM radio chips. [FierceMobileContent]

IT and the Australian Election: Heads You Lose, Tails You Don’t Win

  • Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

Kevin Noonan, Research Director and Jens Butler, Principal Analyst

Even though Australia enjoys an excellent budgetary position by world standards, fiscal policy has been a big issue for the current federal election. In a tight election, each party is jostling to deliver the biggest budget surplus over the next three years. However, after the post-election party is over, the winner will be faced with the challenge of some serious belt-tightening if it is to deliver on promises. Whichever party wins, the next three years will herald another period of efficiency drives and cuts.

Big challenges for the IT industry
Like everyone else within or working with the government sector, the IT industry will need to prepare for an era of frugality. Most of these cuts will be focused on back-office activities (with both parties claiming minimal impact on front-line services).

On the back of the already substantial savings that were demanded by the Gershon review, demand will be more limited to innovative ways of delivering services with IT. Offerings including shared services, outsourcing, virtualization/data center consolidation, and flexible licensing and delivery models such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) will be options that will be discussed in great detail.

There are some glimmers of hope, such as the National Broadband Network and e-health initiatives (should Labor retain its governorship) and the A$120 million of special funding for IT for schools on offer by the coalition (a more “community-based” solution). However, without greater clarity, we are unable to see anything more than the IT industry (within the government sector anyway) being an election loser.

Public servants won’t escape some pain
Future directions within the public service itself are likely to be driven by the objectives of cost savings and policy risk management.

High-profile policy failures such as the Home Insulation Program have drawn hot criticism throughout the election period. In any future government, both parties will not have the luxury of surviving any significant problems with policy delivery. This can present quite a burden for IT managers, as IT system delivery is frequently at the pointy end of new policy initiatives. The key message for the next three years will be to step carefully, and to diligently stay on top of all risk management.

Prudence has re-emerged
There is no doubt that funding will be tight for government agencies over the next three years. The Labor Party has signaled it will be removing funds for a number of strategic improvement initiatives:

Government IT managers will see the loss of the Gershon Reinvestment Fund for delivering underlying improvements to the whole of government IT.

Both the Public Service Commission and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet will lose funding for strategic government projects.

Labor will continue with the Efficiency Dividend pegged at the higher rate of 1.25%. Currently it is due to fall back to 1% in 2011.

Under a coalition government, public servants will need to deal with even more significant cuts:

Public service numbers will be cut by 12,000 over two years. After that time, the government will keep the pressure up by increasing the efficiency dividend from 1.25% to 2.00%.

The Public Service Commission and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet will lose even further funding as the coalition winds back the recommendations of the Moran Review and other initiatives. At this point, the Gershon Reinvestment funding is unclear, but may disappear.

Whatever the outcome of the election, the next three years will certainly be very fiscally prudent. Ovum/pr

Apple Sells 2M iPads in 60 Days

  • Posted: Friday, June 18, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: iPad, iPhone

By Sue Marek

Sales of Apple's iPad tablet topped 2 million less than 60 days after the device went on sale in U.S. retail stores. The iPad, which made its debut April 3, is now available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Apple said it will add nine countries in July and more throughout the year.

The iPad is proving to be more popular than many analysts estimated. In his blog, BTIG Research's Walter Piecyk said that he believes Apple will top the firm's estimates of 2.75 million in iPad sales in the second quarter. The analyst firm expects Apple to sell 2.8 million iPads in the third quarter as supply becomes less constrained, new markets are launched and content developers continue to deliver more apps to make the product more enticing.

Apple also announced that there are more than 5,000 new applications created specifically for the device. According to research firm Distimo last month, 80 percent of all iPad applications are paid applications. This compares to 73 percent of all iPhone and iPod touch applications. [FierceWireless]

Aircom: Big Capex Savings Comes to Operators Who Deploy HSPA+ Now

  • Posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: HSPA, LTE

By Lynnette Luna

Network planning firm Aircom International is arguing that HSPA+ technology makes better short-term commercial sense for UMTS/HSPA operators as they contemplate their strategies for migrating to the next generation of mobile broadband networks.

Based on its own analysis of network infrastructure requirements, Aircom said HSPA+ is a compelling alternative to Long Term Evolution (LTE) because the technology's deployment offers significantly reduced capital expenditure investment compared with LTE. For a US operator, for instance, that capex reduction for AT&T or T-Mobile could be as much as $1.19 billion. In the UK, that capex savings is about $500 million. Most importantly, Aircom said HSPA+ can meet the demand for faster data services and increased capacity--the reasons operators are moving to LTE.

HSPA+ technology offers up to 21Mbps without any additional antenna infrastructure or second carrier - allowing users to experience mobile broadband around five times faster than the current average of 3.6Mbps, Aircom said. HSPA+ also allows mobile operators to control service provisioning and prioritisation, delivering Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees.

"There is great pressure on operators to upgrade their networks and improve the level of service they deliver to consumers and enterprise customers," said Fabricio Martinez, services director with Aircom. "The so-called ‘iPhone effect' is piling pressure on to existing infrastructure. There is a real and immediate need for operators to upgrade their networks, but LTE is not the answer--today at least."

Aircom predicts HSPA+ will allow operators to see a return on investment in three years, which, by the way, offers the perfect time to upgrade to LTE, when the technology's ecosystem has matured, devices are in the market and the price of equipment has fallen.

T-Mobile USA recently announced it now covers 30 million potential subscribers with HSPA+ (the 21 Mbps version) with plans to cover 100 million by the end of 2010. AT&T (NYSE:T) recently announced that it now plans to roll out HSPA+ to more than 250 million potential subscribers by 2010. The move is a reversal of the plans it announced last September--that it had no intention of deploying HSPA+ but rather would accelerate its LTE plans. [FierceBroadbandWireless]

Indosat Subscribers Can Now Enjoy Faster Mobile Broadband

  • Posted: Monday, June 14, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: 3G Networks, BTS

Operator selects Nokia Siemens Networks to enhance its 3G network, and reduce carbon footprint

Subscribers of PT Indosat Tbk, the second largest cellular operator in Indonesia, can now experience faster downloading and browsing on their smartphones. Nokia Siemens Networks enhances Indosat’s networks to deliver faster, congestion-free services for speeds of up to 42 Mbps. The vendor also enables Indosat to reduce its network energy consumption by 50%.

“We are proud to launch the fastest Internet access service, providing DC-HSPA+ speeds of up to 42 Mbps per user. This makes us the first Asian operator and the second in the world to do so,” said Harry Sasongko, president director & CEO, Indosat. “Besides fast downloads for users, Indosat also creating a ‘green telco’ through network modernisation that reduces power consumption, increases efficiency, and contributes to an eco-friendly environment.”

As part of the enhancement, Nokia Siemens Networks has provided its latest 3G network software to support up to 42 Mbps download speed. The vendor has deployed its SGSN to ensure effective traffic offload. In addition to this, the vendor has implemented Flexi Multiradio Base Station to facilitate a quicker migration to LTE, while keeping its carbon footprint greener and extremely cost-effective. While the network in Surabaya has already gone live at the end of May, the network in Medan will go live at the end of this month.

“The increased adoption of smartphones has led to an exponential surge in data traffic worldwide, and Indonesia is no exception to this fact. Indosat’s decision to offer faster browsing speeds will help the operator maintain its market leadership,” said Richard Kitts, president director of PT Nokia Siemens Networks Indonesia. “Our solution to strengthen Indosat’s network enables its subscribers to enjoy a faster mobile broadband experience.”

The Nokia Siemens Networks Flexi BTS is not only globally recognized for its energy efficiency, but also for operating at much higher temperatures than other similar products available in the market. In addition to this, Nokia Siemens Networks energy solutions offer a fast, cost-effective and efficient way for CSPs to transform the way energy is used to run the network, regardless of whether it is a new power supply system, a customer upgrade, or a total renewal of existing telecom equipment power supply. /Nokia Siemens Network

Verizon Expanding Skype Beyond Smartphones

  • Posted: Monday, June 14, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Skype

By Phil Goldstein

Verizon Wireless is broadening the reach of its Skype Mobile application beyond smartphones, and plans to make the Internet calling application available on more phones later this year.

To date the free Verizon/Skype app has been available only to users of Android smartphones or BlackBerry devices from Research In Motion. The app, currently available on 12 devices, will be made available on more handsets, including the carrier's 3G multimedia phones. Verizon spokeswoman Debi Lewis told FierceWireless that the app will launch on more handsets "hopefully over the next couple of months," and noted the carrier has seen a positive reaction to the app so far.

In addition to the expanded handset lineup, Verizon is going to make the app available in Spanish, Korean and simple Chinese. The app also is going to get a refreshed interface, with a drop-down menu and flags for international dialing.

Verizon routes every Skype Mobile call over its existing, circuit-switched network, rather than delivering VoIP over its EV-DO network. Skype Mobile calls go to a Skype gateway upon exiting the Verizon network. Thus, the app does not enable voice-over-WiFi calls from WiFi-equipped Verizon smartphones. Verizon announced its deal with Skype at the Mobile World Congress trade show earlier this year, and launched the app in March. [FierceWireless]

Nokia Siemens Networks Gets Smartphone Friendly at CommunicAsia 2010

  • Posted: Monday, June 14, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: LTE

Solutions that offer vastly improved mobile broadband on show in Singapore

Nokia Siemens Networks is demonstrating its leadership in smart device-friendly networks at Crowne Plaza hotel, Changi Airport, during CommunicAsia 2010. On show is a combination of the best hardware, software and expert consulting that together help communication service providers (CSPs) gain an edge over their competitors by focusing on a superior experience for people using smartphones and other mobile devices. The new LTE and all-IP capability being demonstrated addresses the challenge of delivering profitable, reliable always-on mobile connectivity.

“With an estimated 600 million mobile broadband users globally in 2009, and sales of smart devices increasing across Asia, there is an urgent need for networks that support the surging consumer demand for ubiquitous connectivity to devices of all kinds,” said Ricky Corker, head of Asia-Pacific, Nokia Siemens Networks. “We are the only vendor with a complete ecosystem of LTE and all-IP solutions that bring together voice and data cost-effectively to deliver a faster, more seamless and individualized user experience, while making mobile broadband services profitable for operators.”

Nokia Siemens Networks is showcasing a range of solutions that demonstrate its LTE and all-IP capabilities. Key amongst them is its Self Organizing Network (SON) suite that improves network efficiency by making the most of existing network equipment and automates processes previously done by people, to reduce costs and improve the experience for people using mobile services. Nokia Siemens Networks SON suite for 4G – LTE - is being launched at the event.

Another key highlight is the launch of the Carrier IP Migration Index (CIMIX), which is the industry’s first independent methodology to evaluate a carrier’s position on the IP migration curve. Co-developed by Nokia Siemens Networks and Heavy Reading, CIMIX covers over 30 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that measure the degree of IP penetration and sophistication in the areas of connectivity, service control, operations and end-user services. CIMIX also captures business performance indicators such as network operating expenses and other areas strongly correlated with IP technology. Visitors to the Nokia Siemens Networks’ CIMIX booth can run a short CIMIX assessment on the spot.

Nokia Siemens Networks provides in-depth demonstrations of today's most compelling solutions for enhancing end-user experience including:

  • Smart Services for the smart device experience: Network optimization services and quality measures to address network congestion caused by always-on devices and apps.
  • All-IP mobile backhaul for 2G, 3G and LTE that enable end-to-end services, excellent quality of service and easier rollout of differentiated service packages.
  • Customer Insight and Experience: It offers real-time insights into smart device users’ individual needs, quality of experience and satisfaction, to help carriers boost ARPU by delivering an individually targeted experience. It gives CSPs the ability to differentiate their smart device offerings from the competition by utilizing the wealth of subscriber information, instead of merely competing on price.
  • Multi-screen TV: A holistic approach combining fixed and mobile world to enable TV service convergence across different types of IP networks and devices. /Siemens

Asia Pacific Fixed-broadband Market to Hit 200 Million Subs in 2010

  • Posted: Saturday, June 12, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Fixed-Broadband

China drives growth in fixed-broadband subscribers in Asia Pac region

According to the latest figures from Informa Telecoms & Media, the Asia Pacific fixed-broadband market is looking certain to hit the 200 million subscriber mark by the end of 2010, mainly powered by China which is set to add at least 20 million new subscriptions this year.

“China’s fixed-broadband subscriber growth will receive a huge boost from China Mobile’s extensive rollout of FTTH services in key urban markets, thereby introducing competition to the fixed-broadband market for the first time in many areas of the country,” says Tony Brown, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.“What’s more, competition in the Chinese market will be further boosted by the country’s cable operators expansion of their cable modem services as they look to cash in on the government’s Three Network Convergence policy aimed at promoting convergence.”

The other major growth market in the Asia Pacific region, India, was the second biggest market in the region in 2009 in terms of adding new subscribers, with the market adding 2.15 million subscribers, down from 2.35 million in 2008, with the Indian market finishing 2009 with just over 10 million subscribers – representing household penetration of just 3.5%.

“On its current growth rates India will very likely pass 10 million fixed-broadband subscribers by end-2010, although subscriber growth will be further boosted once WiMAX licensees begin to launch commercial services in 2011,” says Brown.

Elsewhere, Vietnam is rapidly establishing itself as one of the fastest growing countries in the region’s fixed-broadband market adding 916,000 subscribers in 2009, up from 815,000 in 2008, to take the total to 2.96 million subscribers. Indeed, on its current growth rates the Vietnam fixed-broadband market looks set to increase to well beyond 4 million by end-2010, taking household penetration towards the 20% mark, with increasing take-up fuelled by the rollout of services in new areas.

Meanwhile, the Japanese and South Korean markets continue to be among the fastest growing in the region in terms of new subscribers joining the market, despite the fact that both markets are already heavily penetrated.

For its part, the Japanese market added 1.5 million new subscriptions in 2009, down from 1.8 million in 2008, to take its total subs base to 31.6 million at end-2009, representing household penetration of 65%.

Meanwhile, the South Korean market added 966,000 in 2009, up from 616,000 in 2008, to take its total fixed-broadband subs base to 16.4 million, a household penetration of 97.2%. [Informa Telecom]

Android 2.2 coming to Motorola Droid, HTC myTouch 3G

By Jason Ankeny

Version 2.2 of Google's Android mobile operating system is poised to arrive on both Motorola's Droid and HTC's myTouch 3G in the weeks ahead. Slashgear reports a Motorola representative confirmed Android 2.2's imminent touchdown on the Droid (available in the U.S. from Verizon Wireless), noting "While I can't comment on specifics, we do expect Droid by Motorola users will receive Android 2.2 as a software upgrade in the near future." As for the myTouch 3G, a recent memo issued by T-Mobile USA confirms its plans, stating "Coming soon, we plan to update existing myTouch 3G phones--not just our new Slide--to the latest software version, Android 2.2."

Google introduced Android 2.2 last month during its annual I/O developer conference. Codenamed "Froyo," the update boasts an increase in processing speed, an improved browser, support for Adobe's Flash technology and a raft of other upgrades.[FierceMobileConten]

LG will Unleash 20 Android Phones by Year-end

  • Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Android Phone, LG

By Phil Goldstein

LG is going to release 20 smartphones running on Google's Android platform by year-end as part of a wider effort to increase its smartphone presence.

Though LG is still the world's No. 3 handset maker by market share, it has struggled to gain a foothold in the fast-growing smartphone market. Like its larger South Korean rival Samsung, LG has been eclipsed in smartphones by the likes of Apple and HTC.

The Android push is significant because LG had previously committed significant resources and attention to building smartphones running on Microsoft's Windows platform. LG has said previously that it plans to have around half of its smartphones running on Android this year, though the company is also expected to be a strong supporter of Windows Phone 7 when the platform launches later this year. The figure of 20 Android phones is also significant from a competitive perspective--that is the number of smartphones Motorola is expected to release this year, most of which are expected to be running Android.

According to unnamed sources cited by the Korea Times, LG's handset division is going to have a "disappointing" second quarter. An LG spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. LG had a less-than-stellar first quarter, with sluggish sales and margins. LG CFO David Jung said in April that improving the company's mobile business was a "top priority." He said the company plans to introduce more competitive handsets, though LG will take "a bit more time" to improve profitability. [FierceWireless]

Ebooks, Media Apps Top iPad Developer Efforts

By Jason Ankeny

With Apple poised to release its iPad tablet device on April 3, developer interest remains strong, with 80 percent of developers telling open-source platform provider Appcelerator they plan to build iPad applications within the next year. Among more than 1,000 developers surveyed by Appcelerator, 53 percent said their overall interest in iPad as a development platform is "very strong," behind only iPhone and Android--by comparison, just 12 percent expressed similar interest in the rival Amazon Kindle ebook platform. Ebooks, entertainment and media applications, business apps, healthcare apps and education apps lead as likely candidates for forthcoming iPad software projects.

Appcelerator notes that interest in Android is also surging--in January, 68 percent of developers expressed interest in writing Android apps, compared to 86 percent proclaiming similar desire to build for iPhone, but Android interest has since jumped to 81 percent, with iPhone edging up to 87 percent. In addition, developer support for BlackBerry increased from 21 percent in January to 43 percent in March, while interest in Microsoft's Windows Phone leaped from 13 percent to 34 during the same timeframe--Appcelerator credits the renewed interest to recent improvements to both platforms.

Interest in rival operating systems is waning, however. In January, 17 percent of developers expressed support for Palm's webOS, but that number has now slipped to 14 percent, due in large part to Palm's recent financial woes. Sixteen percent of developers remain interested in Symbian, trailed by Meego at 12 percent.[FierceMobileContent]

Sling Media targets iPad with HD mobile video app

  • Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Android Phone, iPad

By Jason Ankeny

Placeshifting technology developer Sling Media confirmed it is working on a new HD version of its SlingPlayer Mobile video application for Apple's forthcoming iPad tablet device, promising an improved viewing experience optimized for larger screens. "When it makes a noticeable difference in quality, we will definitely provide higher resolution streaming," Sling Media mobile product marketing manager Dave Eyler tells Zatz Not Funny.

"The iPad is a good example of a device where we are hard at work on this, but unfortunately it won't be there at the April launch." Eyler adds that Sling is "actively moving" towards the H.264 video compression standard for its upcoming Android OS application, while its planned Windows Phone 7 app will run on Microsoft's Silverlight framework.

SlingPlayer Mobile enables users to stream live and recorded television content from their home entertainment system to their smartphone. Sling Media first issued SlingPlayer Mobile for Apple's iPhone in May 2009, but the $29.99 app was the subject of considerable debate because it did not include 3G support--although Apple operator partner AT&T took the fall for the controversy that followed, contending 3G streaming would consume too much network capacity, Sling said the service was WiFi-only at Apple's request. In early February 2010, AT&T announced it would support SlingPlayer Mobile across its 3G network following a series of tests, and Apple approved the application for sale in its App Store days later. [FierceMobileContent]

iPad as Versatile Content Device

  • Posted: Monday, March 29, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: iPad

Many potential users willing to pay for content

The launch of the iPad has advertisers and publishers excited about the possibilities of presenting their content on a bigger, shinier iPhone but also wondering whether consumers will warm to a device that defies easy categorization.

According to data from comScore, consumers are well aware of Apple’s tablet, with just as many saying they have heard of the iPad as Amazon’s Kindle. The iPad beat out all other e-readers when it came to purchase intent.

That could be because Internet users are also turned on to the fact that iPads are more versatile devices that can do much more than present black-and-white text. Asked what they would do with an iPad if they had one, respondents were more likely to think of Web browsing, e-mail and listening to music than reading.

Relatively few respondents said they would download apps for the device. However, the larger screen size of the iPad would make for easier traditional Web browsing, possibly alleviating some of the need for native apps.

With or without apps, many Internet users told comScore they would pony up for content specially formatted for e-readers, including 68% of 25- to 34-year-olds and 59% of 35- to 44-year-olds. Owners of iPhones or iPod touches were more likely than average to say they would pay for newspaper and magazine content on e-readers, at 52% versus 22%.

“The tablet and e-reader market is developing at a breakneck pace right now, and Apple’s entry into the market is sure to accelerate mainstream consumer adoption,” said Serge Matta, comScore executive vice president, in a statement. “These devices have the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the way consumers currently access digital content.

“Our research suggests that not only will a variety of markets be impacted by the introduction of these devices but also that there are substantial opportunities for those in the digital content ecosystem,” Mr. Matta said. [eMarketer]

Apple Unveils Tablet, Dubbed iPad, Starting at $500

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Apple, iPad

By Phil Goldstein

Apple's worst-kept secret is finally out in the open.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the company's breathlessly anticipated new tablet device, called the iPad, at a media event in San Francisco. The device, which looks like a larger version of the iPod touch, will come with both WiFi and 3G wireless data from AT&T. There is a microphone on the device, but no cellular voice component. Users will be able to surf the Web, check email and watch videos on the iPad, among other features.

Hailing the device as something that could bridge the gap between laptops and smartphones, Jobs said the iPad is "so much more intimate than a laptop, so much more capable than a smartphone."

Jobs said there will be two 3G data plans from AT&T available for the iPad: $14.99 per month for 250 MB and an unlimited data plan for $29.99 per month. The services will be prepaid, allowing users to cancel at any time, and will include access to AT&T's WiFi network. Users can activate the wireless service directly on the device.

A WiFi-only version of the iPad will be available in two months, while the WiFi/3G version will be available in three months. A physical keyboard will be available separately.

The WiFi-only devices will be sold for $499 for a 16 GB model, $599 for 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB. The 3G models will run at $629 for the 16 GB model, $729 for the 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB version. Jobs said the company would detail international 3G carrier deals by June or July. The device is fully unlocked and supports GSM micro-SIM cards.

The iPad has a 9.7-inch capacitive, fingerprint-resistant touchscreen display, is 0.5 inches thick, weighs 1.5 lbs. and sports a 1 GHz processor built by Apple. The device has built-in speakers and a microphone, but no camera, and can get up 10 hours of battery life when surfing the Web on WiFi. The iPad syncs to PCs and Macs like iPhones do, and users can upload photos, videos and contacts in much the same way as they do for the iPhone.

Jobs said the device will have built-in access to Apple's App Store, and will be able to run iPhone apps out of the box. Additionally, it will have access to iTunes and a new store, called iBooks, which will deliver ebooks from from major publishers. The device also allows users to use iWork, Apple's desktop software. Individual iWork applications will be sold for $9.99 each.

"The question has arisen lately: Is there room for a third category of device in the middle, something that's between a laptop and smartphone," Jobs said. "Those devices are going to have to be far better at doing some key tasks. What kind of tasks? Well, things like browsing the Web, doing e-mail, enjoying and sharing photographs, watching videos, playing games."

Some analysts were skeptical of the market for such a device. "My question is how big of a market this is, and it's probably reasonably big," Michael Yoshikami, an analyst at YCMNet Advisors, told Bloomberg. "I'm still getting my hands around how many people are going to want something of this size.

"Others questioned whether or not the iPad could lure potential netbook buyers. "Apple might still be right that there is meaningful demand for a device that resides between the phone and the laptop, but if they are, the iPad-- despite its beauty and impressiveness as a feat of hardware and software engineering--isn't it," Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin said. "The significant discount on 3G connectivity versus netbooks won't be enough to sway the majority of pending netbook buyers, especially considering the price premium for a well-equipped and always-on version of the iPad."

Mark Lowenstein, the managing director of Mobile Ecosystem, said there appears to be no value-added services from the wireless connectivity, other than its role as a "pipe." "The structure is actually more like the Nexus One (minus the subsidy/ contract option) than the iPhone, and shows that wireless operators are now running two businesses: a full-service retail business with their own stamp on devices, the user experience, content, and applications," he said, "and a wholesale business, where there will be myriad devices connected to their networks, each with a distinct business model."

Apple introduced the iPad two days after its posted a record quarterly profit. Apple shares were up $2.94 to $208.88 per share in late-afternoon trading. [FierceWireless]

Pictures and Specs: Apple's iPad

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Apple, iPad

Size and weight
--Height: 9.56 inches (242.8 mm)
--Width: 7.47 inches (189.7 mm)
--Depth: 0.5 inch (13.4 mm)
--Weight: 1.5 pounds (.68 kg) Wi-Fi model; 1.6 pounds (.73 kg) Wi-Fi + 3G model

--9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
--1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
--Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
--Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously

Wireless and CellularWi-Fi model
--Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)
--Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technologyWi-Fi + 3G model
--UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
--GSM/EDGE (850, 900,1800, 1900 MHz)
--Data only2
--Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)
--Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology

Source: Apple

Pictures and Specs: Apple's iPad

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Apple, iPad

--Wi-Fi--Digital compass
--Assisted GPS (Wi-Fi + 3G model)
--Cellular (Wi-Fi + 3G model)

In the Box
--Dock connector to USB cable
--10W Power Adapter

--16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive

--1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip

--Ambient light sensor

Source: Apple

Pictures and Specs: Apple's iPad

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Apple, iPad

Audio Playback
--Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
--Audio formats supported: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
--User-configurable maximum volume limit

TV and Video
--Support for 1024 x 768 with Dock Connector to VGA adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Composite A/V Cable, 576i and 480i with Apple Composite A/V Cable
--H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

Mail attachment support
--Viewable document types: .jpg, .tiff, .gif (images); .doc and .docx (Microsoft Word); .htm and .html (web pages); .key (Keynote); .numbers (Numbers); .pages (Pages); .pdf (Preview and Adobe Acrobat); .ppt and .pptx (Microsoft PowerPoint); .txt (text); .rtf (rich text format); .vcf (contact information); .xls and .xlsx (Microsoft Excel)

--Language support for English, French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Russian
--Keyboard support for English (US) English (UK), French (France, Canada), German, Japanese (QWERTY), Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, Italian, Simplified Chinese (Handwriting and Pinyin), Russian
--Dictionary support for English (US), English (UK), French, French (Canadian), French (Swiss), German, Japanese, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, Italian, Simplified Chinese (Handwriting, Pinyin), Russian

Source: Apple

Pictures and Specs: Apple's iPad

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Apple, iPad

--Support for playback of closed-captioned content
--VoiceOver screen reader
--Full-screen zoom magnification
--White on black
--Mono audio

Battery and Power
--Built-in 25Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
--Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
--Charging via power adapter or USB to computer system

Input and Output
--Dock connector
--3.5-mm stereo headphone jack
--Built-in speakers
--SIM card tray (Wi-Fi + 3G model only)

External buttons and controls
--On/Off, Sleep/wake
--Volume up/down

Mac system requirements
--Mac computer with USB 2.0 port
--Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later
--iTunes 9.0 or later (free download from
--iTunes Store account
--Internet access

Windows system requirements
--PC with USB 2.0 port
--Windows 7, Windows Vista; Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later
--iTunes 9.0 or later (free download from
--iTunes Store account--Internet access

Environmental requirements
--Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C)
--Nonoperating temperature: -4° to 113° F (-20° to 45° C)
--Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
--Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet (3000 m)

Source: Apple

NTT DoCoMo to demo LTE handset

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: NTT DoCoMo

By Phil Goldstein

NTT DoCoMo will demonstrate a prototype LTE handset later this month at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, according to NEC, one of the operator's LTE development partners. The prototype marks a significant step forward for the industry, which has thus far focused its attention on LTE modems for computers and other non-phone gadgets.

The Japanese carrier is one of a handful of wireless operators around the world making aggressive strides to deploy LTE this year. TeliaSonera has the world's first commercial LTE network online in Oslo and Stockholm, and Verizon Wireless plans to deploy LTE in the United States this year in 25-30 commercial markets, covering 100 million POPs.

Much of the industry's LTE rhetoric to date has been spent on network buildouts and technical specifications, rather than bringing commercial phones to market. LTE handsets are not expected to be widespread until 2011, and likely won't reach mass market appeal until sometime after that.

NTT DoCoMo has been working with Fujitsu, NEC and Panasonic on prototype LTE handsets and other terminals, and plans to spend between $3.3 billion and $4.4 billion to deploy LTE over the next five years. In a release, NEC said that concept device will demonstrate the "transmission of high resolution video through its 'LTE-PF' equipped communications platform and showcases the advantage of high-speed LTE communications." [FierceWireless]

Google’s Android OS to Continue Growth

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Android Phone

report, Smartphone market forecast 2009-2015, outlines a number of reasons for the continued adoption of the Android OS. As manufacturers try to push the costs of smartphones down, the continued commoditization of mobile software platforms through large open source projects such as Android help to make this feasible. A large number of ODM and OEMs are using Android as a basis for their low-cost devices.

In 2009, Symbian Foundation’s Symbian OS recorded a market share of 48% of the smartphone market. This is down from 58% in 2008. Though Ovum expect Symbian to reach 168M units in 2015, it’s market share will continue to drop to 30% due to growing shipments from all vendors and particularly rapid adoption of the Google Android OS.

All but one of the top five handset vendors is using Google’s Android OS. This usage has grown from a standing start in 2008 and looks to continue. Ovum expects Android shipments to reach 110.8M units by 2015 and expects Android will overtake shipments of Windows Mobile by 2014.[PR/OVUM]

Four Million Media Tablets in 2010 Will Rise to 57 Million in 2015

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Digital Media, iPad

The high-profile launch by Apple last week of its long-rumored iPad tablet computing device highlights the real start of a new market segment for media tablets that according to analysts at ABI Research will see four million units shipped this year. By 2015, shipments are forecast to reach about 57 million annually.

“Apple’s iPad is not the first media tablet,” says senior analyst Jeff Orr. “But it does help define this new device category. The main focus of media tablets is entertainment. A tablet will not replace a laptop, netbook or mobile phone, but will remain an additional premium or luxury product for wealthy industrialized markets for at least several years.”

ABI Research defines media tablets as having a touch-screen interface, 5-11 inches in size, with Wi-Fi Internet connectivity and video and gaming capabilities. Other features are available in some media tablets.

A number of other tablets were announced at the International CES 2010. Players in this new field fall into two camps: traditional computer vendors such as Lenovo, HP, and Asus; and a number of new, smaller vendors such as ICD and Notion Ink. The vendors in the latter category are often quite small and little known, and they see this market as an entry-point. Apple is one part of the mix, says Orr, and will probably be a fairly sizeable player.

“The biggest challenge faced by the media tablet category is how they will reach the market and generate awareness among potential buyers,” Orr believes. “New entrants to this market are at a disadvantage since they lack the retail relationships and network operator agreements already built by the more mature vendors. Surprisingly, Apple may have done them a favor by raising the public profile of the whole media tablet category.” [ABI Research]

Qualcomm to open R&D center in South Korea

  • Posted: Monday, February 01, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Qualcomm

By Phil Goldstein

Qualcomm will launch a research and development facility in South Korea to work on next generation mobile chip technology, striving to forge ahead in a country where it was stung by antitrust regulators last year. The company also is going invest around $4 million in local chip maker Pulsus Technologies.

Qualcomm said it will open the R&D center with the cooperation of the South Korean government, researchers and academics, but it did not provide details on the amount it would invest in the facility. The company will be working on new mobile communication technologies, including mobile applications and multimedia, at the facility. The chip maker has a similar R&D plant in China.

The investment in the country is not entirely a surprise. Last spring, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said the company was looking at potential investments in South Korean wireless and health care companies. However, the investment is a visible signal that the company is looking to continue to expand its presence in the country months after antitrust regulators at the South Korean Fair Trade Commission fined Qualcomm $208 million for engaging in "unfair" business practices related to its chipset sales.

Last week, Qualcomm posted revenues of $2.67 billion for its fiscal first quarter, up 6 percent year-over-year and down 1 percent sequentially. The company's stock took a hit though after Qualcomm lowered it fiscal year revenue expectations due to what it said was tightened competition and economic struggles in Europe and Japan.[FierceWireless]

Google Image Search for Mobile Adds Popular Images

  • Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Google Android

By Jason Ankeny

Google announced the addition of a Popular Images feature to its Google Image Search for mobile service, promising iPhone and Android smartphone users tools to more easily and effectively browse visual media. Offering categorized lists of image searches and corresponding photos and graphics, Popular Images initially encompasses subjects like Movies, Sports, Cars & Bikes, Music and Cartoons--users may click on individual categories to see related images corresponding to what's popular on Google Image Search, with queries automatically categorized according to an algorithm Google says will continue to improve over time. In addition, the special Trends category will generate image queries from Google Trends with especially high recent activity. [FierceMobileContent]