Monday, February 20, 2006

hutch catapults skype!

While UMTS providers continue to offer their wireless internet service over smartphones, VoIP provider (skype) has already carved it's little space for cheap broadband calls. The high-speed 3G networks realize this with an open-mind and opt for a symbiotic existence, just like how operators acquiesce to the MVNO's segmented markets.
Hutchison's '3' announced partnership with Skype recently. Although controversial for several operators (such as Vodafone, who owns even powerful high-speed HSPA network), this ready-to-cannibalize-mobile-plan offers a new streak for integrating VoIP over 3G network.

and what were those UMA providers talking about last week - end of VoIP??

I got to make a choice now - 3G phone(with VoIP), UMA phone, a wi-fi handset or plain CDMA?

Monday, February 13, 2006

stay tuned GSMers

(source - 3GSM Congress)
The first day at 3GSM saw it's first day today. Due to failing communications channel on the first day (as reported by Rueters), the news flash was limited to a few events - HSDPA developments, MS's venture with Voda that threatens Blackberry's push e-mail, VoIP dominant strategies et cetera.
More news and announcements to be made this week by the biggest and hottest mobile companies. I can't get much of it on telecoms site or even technorati.

The next 3 days will also include the conspicuous operator issues, MVNOs and dual mode 3G/Wi-fi handsets - This should help the impending 50 MVNOs in Americas and atleast the VoIP companies who have such mobility plans. It interests me how the competing platforms that I talked about earlier are now collaborating. And also, how 3G migrates successfully to upgrades with HSPA that most infrastructure vendors claim is ready for installations.
Wonder how HSDPA has taken a front seat compared to the other sibling w-CDMA that got dumped today by Chinese. Its' superiority is displayed with the HEDGE-compatible phones/powerbooks that were announced last month. (4G>HEDGE>HSDPA>EDGE>3G> 2.5G)

Performance + Speed + Quality = Instant Adoption!

It still raises questions how the networks will perform, price, handset issues, battery life, cross-service discounts, rate plans and bill accuracy. Nonetheless, cornucopia of data, mobile internet, video and m-VoIP attract a giant pool of enthusiasts.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

3GSM kickstarts in Spain

It is a cold morning at 9am in Barcelona. The exhibitors are awaiting visitors in their perfect backdrop displays, high-tech gadgets and immaculately dressed representatives. (um....nostalgic:)
3GSM Congress begins right now in Barcelona.... 50K people this year and over 900 companies in telecommunications world. The hot topics are handsets, MVNOs and migration to 4G. There is a lot to be explored and spoken about in this year.

I subscribed to alerts from Informa group today, until I discovered Helio and Xero!! These two new MVNOs were launched in less than a week's difference, one of which is XERO Mobile in LA. It has raised $300mn from European investors. Now, we are talking...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Why can't Austin be telecom savvy?

The sad part is that only semiconductor, realty or such industries take top priority. Wait, no, top companies are in a completely different domain. With the constriction in the mobile market, CLECs and other operators and replacement of 'uncool' landline phones there is still very little or no effort towards attracting service providers such as MVNOs or 3G/wi-fi phone SPs here. How many people call from wi-fi handsets in Austin? Why would Google choose San Franciso over Austin?
People in other states, think that Austin is not a cool mobile market, because they have been bitten here in the past - a company called Mobiluem started and shut down immediately the facility here. Fate of Hillcast or such others was the same and the rest are selling blackberries or other such suches. Broadwing filed for bankruptcy.

People, that was years ago, the telecom industry is challenged now. We need to bring back the telecom buzz in Austin, by organizations such as AWA, ATC, MOMO to talk about more than mobile internet and SMS/MMS. We must invite speakers and decision makers from Operators and forthcoming MVNOs. I am quite convinced that we can make the change and there are several

From a different perspective, the sleeping telecom market in a
smaller, economical and tech savvy city diverges interests from a potential investors, service provider, telecom software vendor and wireless telephony aficionados elsewhere.

We need a start. For example, if google sets-up a wifi-mobility service here, things will change dramatically. Or perhaps an MVNO?

Monday, February 06, 2006

how smart is MS smartphone?

Carriers both GSM and CDMA have launched smartphone services for their users - Cingular (2125) and T-mobile(SDA) rolled out their non-touch screen windows-enabled smartphones in the US market while MS plans more than 3 types designed for customers of different profiles. Thats really ambitious, expensive and time-consuming, but MS wants to play the market, while Motorola's Q smartphone awaits a launch with Verizon. Atlast CDMA segment is blessed with good devices - Smartphones with Palm and now Moto!

Microsoft's 'Photon' is still under covers after alerting the market about their convergent plans. PocketPC, PDA, Mobile device - all in one. Hmmm... I do admire the concept of wireless convergence, but I prefer the 'agility of fingers' than a boring stylus and ofcourse the ease of my Apple for docs, spreads, detailed e-mails, presentations and the works. I can't imagine how sleek the device would look on the photon OS (i completely dread the look of giant I-PAQs).

'Rundo' by MS, a new cool device leverages the bluetooth GPS antenna is targetted at runners, skiers and other out-door people who can keep a track of their workout, sync with along with a map of say the mountain/lake that you ran at. MS is asking partners such as HTC to build cool devices.

This is a clear MS's competitive strategy when compared to most of the other handset or any smartphone vendor. Let us see how people adopt these smartphones and would they prefer it over any like Symbian, Linux(popular outside the US), Palm Treo or RIM's blackberry! Will price alone be a deciding factor?

Here is a tid-bit from a user - I used 'I-mate' Smartphone 2002 two years ago. It was compatible in GSM environment in Europe and Asia. I was a happy customer, got my GPRS, and MMS set-up with the Hutch operator in India. The easy-to-use UI, decent screen size, cool apps(yes, 2 years ago I liked the idea over Mobile IM), mobile internet, voice capability and PDA capability was satisfying. Though, it needed another $100 for the attachable camera(moderate output), it did give me more than satisfactory results connecting, transferring heavy data(most of which was missing in it), photos, recordings and sync features.
Only if I could re-use it in the US for calling purposes than simply connecting it to my laptop for browsing, it wouldn't have been given away. I still cherish the images and the voice clips (some are even 10 minutes of excellent voice quality) over my i-Tunes. I tried to sync it with i-Pod too, but somehow it never plays on it. Well, it was a big give-away for me:( Given a choice over Blackberry, I would still opt for a smartphone. If Microsoft has better features - you bet I will grab it, only if the prices don't hurt!

Note -The first smartphone was called Simon designed by IBM in 1992 and shown as a concept product at COMDEX. It was released to the public in 1993 and sold by BellSouth. Besides a mobile phone, it also contained a calendar, address book, world clock, calculator, note pad, e-mail, and games. Customers could also use a stylus to write directly on its screen to create facsimiles and memos.