Saturday, February 27, 2010

China will have over 1 billion mobile subscribers in 2014

DUBLIN. IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of IE Market Research Corp.'s new report "1Q10 China Mobile Operator Forecast, 2009 - 2014: China will have Over 1 Billion Mobile Subscribers in 2014 with Market Share of China Telecom Increasing Over the Next 5 Years" to its offering.

Mobile Operator Forecast on China provides over 50 operational and financial metrics for the Chinese wireless market and is one of the best forecasts in the industry. We provide five-year forecasts at the operator level going out to 2014. We also provide quarterly historical and forecast data starting in 1Q2003 and ending in 3Q2011.

Operators covered for China include: China Mobile Ltd., China Unicom Ltd., and China Telecom Corporation Limited. Our Mobile Operator Forecasts are updated quarterly and are available for one-time delivery or through regular updates.

Executive summary

Double-digit subscriber growth continues in China's mobile operator space
+15.4 percent industry-average subscriber growth in 3Q.2009.
ARPU levels in China continue declining.
-3.7 percent operator-wide average ARPU growth in 3Q.2009.

Minutes of Use per Subscriber increase in China's mobile operator space
+3.6 percent industry average MOU/Sub growth in 3Q.2009.
Positive EBITDA growth at China Mobile and China Unicom in the latest quarter.
+4.2 percent industry average EBITDA growth in 3Q.2009.

So what is IEMRs forecast?
The number of mobile subscribers in China will exceed 1 billion in 2014.

We forecast that total mobile subscribers in China will increase from 706.7 million in 2009 to 1 billion in 2014.

Our model predicts that the largest operator, China Mobile, will have 686.2 million subscribers in 2014. China Unicom will have 188.1 million and China Telecom will have 105.5 million mobile subscribers by the end of 2014, according to our model.
China Telecom's subscriber market share will be increasing over the next five years

We expect that China Telecom's subscriber market share will increase from 7 percent in 2009 to 10.5 percent in 2014.

On the other hand, China Unicom, which sold part of its operations to China Telecom in 2008, will see its subscriber market share fall from 20.5 percent in 2009 to 18.7 percent in 2014.

We forecast that China Mobile will maintain its high market share in the Chinese wireless market over the next five years. We expect that its share of total subscribers will be 68.1 percent in 2014.

ARPU levels are stabilizing at China Unicom and China Telecom.

We expect that China Mobile will see its monthly ARPU decrease from RMB 76.49 in 2009 to RMB 65.68 in 2014.

On the other hand, we forecast that ARPUs at China Unicom and China Telecom will be stable at approximately RMB 41 and RMB 64 over the forecast period, 2009-2014.

China Mobile will continue to enjoy higher EBITDA margin than China Unicom

According to our forecasting model, China Mobile's EBITDA margin (calculated as EBITDA/reported revenue) will increase from 51.1 percent in 2009 to 57.9 percent in 2014. China Unicom's EBITDA margin will remain lower. Our model predicts that China Unicom's EBITDA margin will be 29.8 percent in 2014.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Global mobile phone sales to end users grew 8 percent in Q4-09

EGHAM, UK: Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totalled 1.211 billion units in 2009, a 0.9 percent decline from 2008, according to Gartner, Inc. In the fourth quarter of 2009, the market registered a single-digit growth as mobile phone sales to end users surpassed 340 million units, an 8.3 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2008.

"The mobile devices market finished on a very positive note, driven by growth in smartphones and low-end devices," said Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner.

”Smartphone sales to end users continued their strong growth in the fourth quarter of 2009, totalling 53.8 million units, up 41.1 per cent from the same period in 2008. In 2009, smartphone sales reached 172.4 million units, a 23.8 per cent increase from 2008. In 2009, smartphone-focused vendors like Apple and Research In Motion (RIM) successfully captured market share from other larger device producers, controlling 14.4 and 19.9 per cent of the worldwide smartphone market, respectively.”

Throughout 2009, intense price competition put pressure on average selling prices (ASPs). The major handset producers had to respond more aggressively in markets such as China and India to compete with white-box producers, while in mature markets they competed hard with each other for market share. Gartner expects the better economic environment and the changing mix of sales to stabilise ASPs in 2010.

Three of the top five mobile phone vendors experienced a decline in sales in 2009 (see Table 1). The top five vendors continued to lose market share to Apple and other vendors, with their combined share dropping from 79.7 in 2008 to 75.3 percent in 2009.

Table 1
Worldwide Mobile Terminal Sales to End Users in 2009 (Thousands of Units)
Source: Gartner (February 2010)Note* This table includes iDEN shipments, but excludes ODM to OEM shipments.

In 2009, Nokia's annual mobile phone sales to end users reached 441 million units, a 2.2 per cent drop in market share from 2008. Although Nokia outperformed industry expectations in sales and revenue in the fourth quarter of 2009, its declining smartphone ASP showed that it continues to face challenges from other smartphone vendors. "Nokia will face a tough first half of 2010 as improvement to Symbian and new products based on the Meego platform will not reach the market well before the second half of 2010," said Ms Milanesi. "Its very strong mid-tier portfolio will help it hold market share, but its ongoing weakness at the high end of the portfolio will hurt its share of market value."

Samsung was the clear winner among the top five with market share growing by 3.2 percentage points from 2008. This achievement came as a result of improved channel relationships with distributors to extend its reach and better address the needs of individual markets as well as a rich mid-tier portfolio. For 2010, the company is putting a focus on Bada, its new operating system (OS) that aims at adding the value of an ecosystem to its successful hardware lineup.

Motorola sold slightly more than half of its 2008 sales and exhibited the sharpest drop in market share, accounting for 4.8 per cent market share in 2009. "Its refocus away from the low-end market limited the volume opportunity, but should help it drive margins going forward. Motorola's hardest barrier is to grow brand awareness outside the North American market, where it benefits from a long-lasting relationship with key communications service providers (CSPs).

In the smartphone OS market, Symbian continued its lead, but its share dropped 5.4 percentage points in 2009 (see Table 2). Competitive pressure from its competitors, such as RIM and Apple, and the continued weakness of Nokia's high-end device sales have negatively impacted Symbian's share.

At Mobile World Congress 2010, Symbian Foundation announced its first release since Symbian became fully open source. Symbian^3 should be made available by the end of the first quarter of 2010 and may reach the first devices by the third quarter of 2010, while Symbian^4 should be released by the end of 2010.

"Symbian had become uncompetitive in recent years, but its market share, particularly on Nokia devices, is still strong. If Symbian can use this momentum, it could return to positive growth," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Table 2
Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2009 (Thousands of Units)
Source: Gartner (February 2010)

The two best performers in 2009 were Android and Apple. Android increased its market share by 3.5 percentage points in 2009, while Apple's share grew by 6.2 percentage points from 2008, which helped it move to the No. 3 position and displace Microsoft Windows Mobile.

“Android's success experienced in the fourth quarter of 2009 should continue into 2010 as more manufacturers launch Android products, but some CSPs and manufacturers have expressed growing concern about Google's intentions in the mobile market,” Ms Cozza said. “If such concerns cause manufacturers to change their product strategies or CSPs to change which devices they stock, this might hinder Android's growth in 2010.”

"Looking back at the announcements during Mobile World Congress 2010, we can expect 2010 to retain a strong focus around operating systems, services and applications while hardware takes a back seat," said Ms Milanesi. "Sales will return to low-double-digit growth, but competition will continue to put a strain on vendors' margins."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Open market for CDMA handsets continues to grow as OMH initiative enters next phase

COSTA MESA, USA: The CDMA Development Group (CDG) announced that the open market for CDMA2000 handsets has grown considerably in India since the CDG-led OMH initiative was launched in 2009, and is expected to expand to new regions worldwide this year.

In addition to the first OMH-enabled handset, the Samsung MPower 699, five more devices are now available: Micromax's C350; Samsung's Corby 339, Duos 259, and MPower Muzik 219; and SIM Technology's C24. Reliance Communications, Sistema Shyam (MTS), Tata Teleservices and Virgin Mobile India are all offering OMH SIM cards and supporting OMH devices on their networks to provide greater user choice and flexibility. Consumers in India can now select the CDMA2000-enabled OMH device, network and mobile data services they desire.

"Over the past six months, we've seen the open market model provide a larger CDMA2000 device selection," said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG. "India has lived up to its promise as an ideal launch market for OMH, and we look forward to expanding the OMH initiative worldwide this year."

OMH, part of the CDG's Global Handset Requirements for CDMA (GHRC) initiative, enables operator-specific network configuration, service provisioning and subscriber-identity data to be moved from the handset's internal memory onto a next-generation OMH SIM card.

By doing so, the handset becomes a generic device that can be sold on the "open market" and used by multiple operators, providing consumers a greater selection of CDMA2000 devices and the flexibility to select the operator and mobile data services they desire. The open market model also improves device time-to-market, expands distribution channels, and reduces inventory risk for manufacturers and operators.

The CDG is working with over 50 CDMA operators, device and R-UIM/SIM card manufacturers and distributors worldwide to bring more OMH devices to market and assist operators to configure their networks to support OMH. In addition to the Indian operators, CDMA operators in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nigeria are also OMH-compliant and will be supporting OMH devices on their networks later this year.

"As a member of the CDG, Qualcomm is working closely with device manufacturers and CDMA operators to implement this strategically important initiative," said Nakul Duggal, Vice President, Qualcomm Corporate Engineering Services.

"Micromax, Samsung, SIM, MTS, Reliance, Tata and Virgin Mobile have all taken a leading role in promoting the value of OMH. As more and more device manufacturers and operators in Nigeria, Indonesia and elsewhere become OMH-compliant, we believe the OMH initiative will increase CDMA device variety and provide greater subscriber flexibility."

OMH SIM cards for CDMA2000 devices are more powerful than traditional SIM cards, enabling the most advanced service features available on the market, including voice services, SMS, MMS, downloadable 3G packet data applications, location-based services and high-speed Internet browsing.

In addition, the broadband data capabilities of OMH devices will take on an increased significance in India, where CDMA broadband data services are already available to Indian consumers and enterprises. OMH SIM cards are also backward-compatible and can support the same quality of services enabled by existing R-UIM enabled devices. OMH-compliant devices and SIM cards are easily recognizable by the trademarked OMH gem logo.

CMAI INFOCOM National Telecom Awards 2010 announced

NEW DELHI, INDIA: CMAI Infocom Business World National Telecom Awards has been announced for 17th May, 2010 at 7.00 PM at Hotel Lalit, New Delhi, with celebration of World Telecom Day to identify and recognize outstanding contributions to the ICT sector for building a robust National Telecom Network to provide an effective means of communications.

Even though the last date is 31st March, 2010, early nomination shall be appreciated.

Awards would be presented by Thiru A. Raja, Hon’ble Minister of Communications & IT and Deputy Speaker Lok Sabha, Shri Karya Munda. Chairman TRAI, Dr JS Sarma and Secretary DoT, PJ Thomas would also grace the occasion.

The awards gala dinner will be held in conjunction with the State IT Secretary’s National Round Table Conference to be addressed by Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia, Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce and Industries.

Cell phones pressure low-end digital still camera market

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The low-end Digital Still Camera (DSC) market is coming under intensifying competitive pressure from cell phones that are sporting increasingly high-resolution image sensors, according to iSuppli Corp.

The average resolution for handset cameras’ CMOS sensors will rise to 5.7 megapixels in 2013, up 171.4 percent from 2.1 megapixels in 2009. In comparison, DSC megapixels will rise to 13.9 in 2013, up only 46.3 percent from 9.5 megapixels in 2009.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast for the weighted average resolution for both mobile handsets and DSCs for the period of 2007 through 2013.Source: iSuppli, USA.

“iSuppli believes that handsets soon may begin to cannibalize the low end of the DSC market as they incorporate higher megapixels and flash capabilities,” said Pam Tufegdzic, consumer electronics analyst at iSuppli.

“This is likely to occur first in Asia and Europe as consumers in these regions seem to be more comfortable with taking pictures using camera phones. As the number of megapixels in these phones rises and as consumers begin to use phones instead of cameras to take photos, iSuppli believes the quality of some handset cameras will rival low-end point-and-shoot cameras, presenting a competitive threat.”

It’s not the resolution that matters
However, while upping the megapixels in a phone’s camera will deliver better-quality images with smoother, less pixelated features, overall image quality actually is determined by a combination of factors, including low apparent levels of noise and strong low-light performance.

“Thus, a high-resolution camera phone may produce poorer image quality than a DSC because it has less sensitivity or poorer dynamic range, resulting in a relatively shallow contrast,” Tufegdzic said. “This may discourage some consumers from risking a precious family photo or another memory-keeping moment on a camera phone.”

These deficiencies can be remedied in a camera phone with the addition of optical zoom, auto focus, an improved flash and more sophisticated image processing electronics. OEMs will be focusing on these areas in order to improve the overall quality of photos in handset cameras. iSuppli also believes features such as image stabilization, automatic judgment and multiple image capture will migrate from DSCs to camera phone modules during the next few years.

Fighting back
Camera makers and their suppliers are responding to the competitive threat posed by handsets.

“Manufacturers of camera modules are firing back with increasing resolutions in smaller form factors to counter the mobile handset’s encroachment on the camera’s territory,” Tufegdzic said. “Will this be enough to fend off the incoming attack from handsets—or is the cannibalization of low-end DSCs inevitable? One thing’s certain: Camera OEMs won’t go down without a fight.”

Source: iSuppli, USA

Mobile location-based services market to exceed $12bn by 2014

HAMPSHIRE, UK: The combination of smartphone proliferation, a surge in application storefront launches and new developments in hybrid positioning technologies are expected to help drive revenues from mobile location-based services (MLBS) to more than $12.7 billion by 2014, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The Mobile Location Based Services report found that while MLBS had experienced in number of false dawns over the 2000-2007 period, improvements in handset user interfaces – exemplified by the iPhone – together with easier consumer access to an array of app distribution channels had led to greater interest from service providers in providing MLBS applications.

In addition, growth was being further facilitated by the deployment of high capacity network infrastructure and attendant increases in mobile Internet adoption, providing greater opportunities for browser-based services.

Furthermore, the Juniper report noted that advertising was likely to form an increasing share of MLBS-related revenues over the next five years.

According to report co-author Dr Windsor Holden: “Location-based applications are extremely interesting for brands and retailers in that they allow those companies to direct consumers to outlets in their vicinity while simultaneously providing information about the products on offer. When these are allied to measures such as mobile coupons and vouchers, you have the combination of information and financial incentive which can be compelling for consumers.”

Other findings from the Mobile Location Based Services Research include:
* Improving the user experience of MLBS on feature phones will be key in driving usage beyond the core smartphone base.

* Despite the confluence of factors driving growth, deployments may still be affected by constraints including privacy and information security.

* While service usage will be highest in Far East and China over the next five years, greatest revenues will come from Western Europe.

Pangaea extends metro Ethernet service to Arbinet

NEW YORK USA: Arbinet Corp., a leading wholesale voice and data telecom service provider and Pangaea Networks, a New York metro area provider of Ethernet local loop solutions, announced the expansion of Pangaea’s network into Arbinet’s IP Exchange Point of Presence (PoP) at 75 Broad Street in the Financial District of Manhattan.

Arbinet’s IP Solutions provide flexible Internet transit options through its exchange platform. With one connection or local loop, buyers gain access to multiple IP backbones requiring no minimum commitments and the option to choose suppliers based on measured quality metrics.

By combining Pangaea’s Metro Ethernet solutions with Arbinet’s IP services, Pangaea now offers the market high quality, flexible IP transit solutions bundled with its metro network offering. By interconnecting its network to Arbinet’s IP Exchange, Pangaea’s customers gain access to a variety of IP solutions including layer 2 access to major Internet backbones and Arbinet’s patented OptimizedIPsm service which offers the highest quality routing solution.

“Connecting our fiber backbone and Metro Ethernet platform to Arbinet’s IP Exchange, enables Pangaea to offer its customers access to a variety of quality Internet solutions,” states Kevin Black, Vice President of Business Development at Pangaea Networks.

“From small financial service firms requiring low latency and redundant IP bandwidth to large institutions running BGP, Pangaea’s PANMetro Virtual GigE Ring offers a single point of connection with custom designed VLAN solutions and IP at a fraction of the cost of individual point to point connections.”

“Pangaea’s extension into Arbinet’s IP Exchange enables its small to large enterprise customers to have access to quality IP transit solutions traditionally available only to customers co-located within large data centers such as carriers and ISPs,” comments Ed d’Agostino, National Sales Director, IP Services for Arbinet.

“Not only does Arbinet provide a redundant, high quality solution, but Pangaea’s enterprise customers now need only one local loop to reach multiple IP providers. In addition, Arbinet’s voice exchange customers that use TDM circuits, can easily access Arbinet’s Voice Network through our IP Exchange or Pangaea’s Ethernet solutions.”

PANMetro Ethernet service enables nearly any end-customer the ability to leverage Ethernet technology to obtain dedicated local access. Pangaea Networks converts legacy network connections, such as TDM and SONET to Ethernet over an area, stretching from Connecticut to Southern New Jersey. The company provides Ethernet access to over 2,700 enterprise buildings and interconnectivity to nearly all of the New York metro area’s datacenter and co-location facilities.

Libelium to demo wireless sensor platform Waspmote and multi-protocol wireless router Meshlium

ZARAGOZA, SPAIN: Libelium, a technology leader in distributed wireless networks, announces their participation in three major wireless industry events.

The exhibitions include CeBIT 2010 in Hannover, Germany, from 2nd-6th March; Sensor+Test 2010 in Nuremberg, Germany, from 18th-20th May; and Sensors Expo & Conference 2010 in Rosemont, Illinois, USA from 7th-9th June. Libelium will demonstrate the Waspmote wireless sensor platform and the Meshlium wireless, Linux-based, multiprotocol mesh router. In addition Libelium CTO, David Gascón, will speak about both products in a series of papers and presentations.

The Waspmote wireless sensing platform is used for environmental monitoring, fire & flood detection and logistics. The platform includes a range of radio ZigBee modules with a choice of protocol versions, radio frequency and range (up to 40 km) as well as a module for GPRS which can connect a sensor network to the outside world.

The Waspmote main board contains an in-built accelerometer and when combined with the GPS module the device can be used to measure speed, direction and location of vehicles or containers. The platform has outstanding power management allowing it to be deployed in very remote locations and adverse conditions; an optional solar panel can allow almost indefinite operation.

Complementing Waspmote, the Meshlium multi-protocol, Linux-based, outdoor router enables mesh networks to be deployed in buildings, arenas, transport hubs (such as railway stations and airports), open spaces and by emergency services. The router is extremely modular with a wide choice of radio modules and a choice of disk capacity.

Meshlium uniquely supports 5 wireless standards - wifi, ZigBee, GPRS, Bluetooth and GPS – as well as wireline Ethernet. The wide choice of modules, and disks, enables the router to be configured into 177 possible variants; allowing it to be tailored to meet the needs of a specific network. With its sturdy IP65 briefcase and its optional solar panel, car battery and car lighter adaptors it can be deployed almost anywhere.

CEO Alicia Asín says: “Libelium now offers a comprehensive product range for implementing mesh and wireless sensor networks. By being present at the main industry events for sensors this spring, users in Europe and North America will have a great opportunity to view Libelium’s outstanding wireless products.”

CeBIT 2-6 March 2010, Hannover, Germany
Libelium will be exhibiting in Hall 13, Stand C84, (13). There will be live demos of the Waspmote wireless sensing platform and the Meshlium Linux multi-protocol router on the stand. Alicia Asín says, “CeBIT visitors will have the first opportunity to view a new software package for monitoring the network, managing domains and configuring Meshlium routers in a centralised way.”

On Thursday 4th March at 15:30-16:00, Libelium CTO, David Gascon, will present “Wireless Sensor Networks with Waspmote” in Hall 6, Institutional Pavilion.

On Friday 5th March at 10:45-11:30, Libelium CTO, David Gascón, will present “Meshlium, the Linux Wireless Multiprotocol Router”. This is part of CeBIT Forum Open Source in Hall 2, Stand F38.

Sensor+Test 18-20 May 2010, Nuremberg, Germany
Libelium will demonstrate its Waspmote and Meshlium products in Hall 12, stand 12-227. Every day at 13:30-13:45, Libelium will show the wireless sensor network Waspmote platform in the Action Area.

On Thursday 20th May at 9:30-10:00, Libelium CTO, David Gascón, will present “Waspmote, a Sensor Device Platform for developing Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN)” as part of Programme Hall 12.

Sensors Expo & Conference 7-9 June 2010, Rosemont, Illinois, USA
Libelium will show its Waspmote and Meshlium products in Booth #500.

On Tuesday 8 June 2010 at13:50-14:30, Libelium CTO, David Gascón, will present the paper “High-performance, low-power WSN: when Nano Amps and Long-Range links shake Hands” in the Conference Hall. This paper is jointly presented with Marco Zennaro from Italy and Antoine Bagula of South Africa.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mobile broadband: Realism sets in; challenges abound

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Ovum, the analyst and consulting company, believes mobile broadband is maturing rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region.

The results from an Ovum/Telecom Asia industry survey completed in January 2010 revealed that although respondents still believe mobile broadband is good news, they are now more realistic about its benefits and challenges when compared to the more overt enthusiasm of last year’s survey. “Margin expectations are more reasonable, the threat to fixed broadband is now viewed as real, while the network is seen as critical for differentiation”, said Nathan Burley, Analyst.

Mobile broadband service matures as enthusiasm gives way to realism
Mobile broadband traffic has been growing rapidly, partly due to the business models adopted - especially unlimited/flat-rate models. Approximately two-thirds of respondents believed both access and backhaul capacity are, or will be in the next 12 months, constraints to services.

Excluding installing more capacity to ease constraints, respondents thought operators should look at off-loading traffic, especially through WiFi and, to a smaller degree, femtocells. “This reflects our belief that there is no silver bullet to dealing with traffic growth and numerous solutions will need to be utilised”, said Burley based in Melbourne.

Additionally, last year, 65 percent expected mobile broadband to be the same or higher-margin business than mobile voice. This year, this is down to 55 percent of respondents, still an optimistic view of the service’s future, but less so than before.

Fixed-to-mobile substitution is a challenge
The survey also revealed that 76% of respondents saw some, significant or large fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution occurring. Burley added, “We agree mobile broadband revenue streams in Asia-Pacific will not entirely be generated from a new product category. Rather the service will steal revenue from the fixed broadband market, as more mobile broadband operators compete directly for fixed broadband users. For many consumers, especially in emerging markets, fixed broadband access will be irrelevant.”

The network becomes critical for differentiation
In a notable change from last year, price is no longer considered the most important differentiator in the Asia-Pacific mobile broadband market. It has been replaced with coverage and quality of service. It has become evident within the industry that cheap mobile broadband pricing alone will not secure customers acquisition, loyalty or differentiation.

Burley concludes: “This is another sign of a maturing industry, and a signal of the need for ongoing network investment to meet growing traffic demands. Coverage and quality of service have been very important differentiators in the mobile voice market. They will also be, if not more so, for mobile data.”

Molex opens mobile product design facility in Beijing

BEIJING, CHINA: Molex Inc. has opened a mobile product design facility located in Beijing, the hub for mobile device development in China. Molex will provide front-end solution support for mobile antenna and connector designs developed in collaboration with customers at the newly established location.

“China is one of the fastest growing markets for the mobile industry and more and more designs for this market are now driven from China,” said Bart van Ettinger, vice president, mobile devices, Molex Incorporated. “The opening of this facility shows our commitment to helping customers capture the mass-market opportunities for this market segment."

Because the antenna is a critical component in the mobile phone design, the design facility supports antenna and connector concept design, antenna RF research and antenna verification testing. It is also equipped with an electromagnetic-anechoic test and measurement chamber and RF lab instruments.

“With the fast design cycles in the mobile market it is important to be close to the device developers. The new facility in Beijing enables our experienced team to provide quick design feedback and prototypes to our customers in this area and link directly to our main design hub and factory in Shanghai,” said Ellen McMillan, antenna business unit director, Molex Incorporated.

In addition, Molex will begin supporting advanced RF research activities from the Beijing facility in the coming months.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

163 million smartbooks likely to ship in 2015

NEW YORK, USA: What is a smartbook? That depends on who you ask. “Smartbook” isn’t a product category, nor is it a brand.

According to ABI Research senior analyst Jeff Orr: “As ABI Research defines it, a smartbook is a low-powered device running a mobile operating system that is always connected, either via Wi-Fi or (more often) using cellular or mobile broadband. Smartbooks can take many different shapes. They are a subset of MIDs (mobile Internet devices) and netbooks, and address the same potential users, usage, pricing, and market needs. The difference is that they don’t use x86 processors.”

By that definition, the analyst estimates in a new research study, 163 million smartbooks will ship worldwide in 2015 – a significant rate of growth given that the very first models only appeared in 2008.

Qualcomm and Freescale have been the largest promoters of the smartbook concept. Other chipmakers such as TI and NVIDIA that are producing ARM-based processors are active in this market as well. The first waves of devices are coming from established vendors such as Lenovo and Sharp (even Apple’s iPad is technically a smartbook) and newcomers such as Always Innovating.

Technical definitions don’t mean much to most consumers, however. “The idea of ‘a smartbook’ doesn’t resonate with anybody thinking of buying such a device,” says Orr. “Vendors should avoid creating a separate market category with a new name, instead accepting that they are competing in an established category. Consumers hear about netbooks as alternatives to laptops and MIDs as alternatives to mobile phones, and can understand that. We believe the best opportunity in this ultra-mobile device market lies in new form-factors.”

Another very important consideration in consumer adoption of new products is price – both of devices and of the connectivity that is such an essential feature. ABI Research believes it will be important for vendors to bring entry-level smartbook prices to $200 or less.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sterlite wins first mega independent power transmission project in India

BANGALORE, INDIA: Sterlite Technologies Ltd has been awarded the Letter of Intent by Power Finance Corp. Ltd (PFC) for its East-North interconnection mega transmission project.

The Ministry of Power, Government of India, has initiated a scheme for development of Independent Power Transmission projects through private sector participation, for evacuation of power from the generation stations, strengthening of the grid and transmission of power from pooling stations to the other grid stations and load centres.

The East-North interconnection mega transmission project, which aims to evacuate power from the North-East and Eastern states to the Northern region of India is the first Mega Independent Power Transmission Project to be awarded in India. The project involves establishment of two 400KV Double Circuit transmission lines that would respectively connect the Indian states of Assam with West Bengal and Bihar.

The project has been awarded to Sterlite Technologies on a ‘Build, Own, Operate and Maintain’ (BOOM) basis, wherein the transmission lines would be commissioned within 3 years and the Company would operate and maintain the same for a minimum tenure of 22 years thereafter. The project, costing about Rs. 800 crores, was won by Sterlite on the basis of its technical and financial credentials through a Tariff based Bidding Process conducted by PFC.

Sterlite Technologies is a significant contributor to the global power sector through indigenous manufacturing of a complete range of high voltage power transmission conductors at Extra High Voltages (400kV - 800kV), High Voltages (66kV – 220kV) and power distribution conductors (11kV- 33kV). The Company is India’s market leader and will be the Largest Manufacturer Globally of overhead transmission power conductors in 2010.

Dr. Anand Agarwal, CEO & Director - Sterlite Technologies, said: "The award of this mega project to Sterlite is a great achievement for the Company. This is in line with our Vision to become a leading player in Power Transmission. The award of this Project provides great scope to diversify into the growing sector of Power Transmission with many similar opportunities available in future.”

Mobile broadband will dominate broadband connections in China in 2014

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Ovum estimates that by 2014, China fixed broadband connections will grow to 174 million, while total broadband connections (including mobile broadband) will exceed 551 million. Bundled offers, the emergence of mobile broadband and the increasing entry of cable operators into the broadband market are boosting competitive pressure.

There were 103 million wireline broadband connections in China with 25% year-on-year growth at the end of 2009 according to China’s telecom regulator, MIIT. “With nearly 250 percent growth in broadband subscribers in China between 2010 to 2014, it is no wonder the incumbents regard broadband as a key growth engine and latecomers are aggressively pursuing a share of this huge and growing market”, said Sherrie Huang, Analyst based in Hong Kong.

In a few cases, competition has been too vigorous, involving criminal damage, defamatory statements and attempts to lock up exclusive access to key infrastructure. In response, MIIT has tightened regulation by explicitly banning illicit competition practices, and has also recently issued an internal consultation paper on the promotion of network and infrastructure sharing.Source: Ovum

The current dominant broadband access technology, DSL (the majority of which is ADSL), will reach its peak in 2011 at 86.6 million and decline thereafter. NGA technologies such as FTTB/H will become the main driver for future broadband access growth. We expect the number of FTTH/B subscribers to catch up with the number of DSL subscribers in 2014.

The mobile broadband is developing fast in China. The Chinese operators has been constructing their 3G networks and launching services after they received 3G licenses in January 2009. The 3G investment and network construction in China has been breaking world records. As a result, the mobile broadband in China is developing fast. 3G subscriber numbers grew to 13 million in less than one year according to the regulator.

In China, the fixed-line population penetration rate is only 24.4 percent, with a wide disparity between cities and rural area. This is a hurdle for fixed broadband development, but provides opportunities for mobile broadband. “We forecast that mobile broadband will grow faster than fixed broadband, and will account for almost 70 percent of total broadband connections in 2014”, said Huang.

Although we expect to see fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution in the future, the experience will vary depending on the availability of fixed broadband infrastructure and between customer segments. In rural areas where fixed infrastructure is limited, we expect mobile-only households to be common as 3G networks are rolled out.

In urban areas where fixed infrastructure is available, we expect to see a more complex picture which will vary between customer segments. In much of the enterprise segment, fixed and mobile broadband will both be needed, and bundling will be common. In some consumer segments such as students, fixed and mobile broadband will compete.

Trends in telecoms change our lives

BARCELONA, SPAIN: About 50,000 telecoms and media professionals gathered in Barcelona last week for the GSMA Mobile World Congress. Ericsson presented its telecoms vision and latest solutions.

"The industry is defining a lot of our futures," says Michael O'Hara, chief Marketing Officer of the GSM Association. "If you think about connecting every object in the world, everything in our lives is affected by mobile, whether it's our health monitors, cars, or smart grids. We're entering the era of the connected lifestyle," he said.

Ericsson has been preparing its presence at the huge industry fair for about six months. Ben deVries, head of Experience Marketing for Ericsson, says: "We start by thinking about what we want to communicate, and from there we develop the content. The theme for this year is Time to Act, Space to Think."

Ericsson has demonstrations of how telecoms can transform five industries through telecoms: transport, health, government, media and utilities.

"The industry needs to move, and fast, right now. The world is changing and we need to lead the change. Visitors will experience this in every aspect of our communications, from online to in person," says deVries.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Report on Android smartphone marketplace

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Android Smartphone Marketplace" report to its offering.

Smartphone sales have skyrocketed, led by Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's (RIM) Blackberry Storm devices. Among the major players in the smart phone market are the companies developing to the Android OS.Android is an open source OS platform for smart phones that was released in 2008.

Android is backed by Google, Intel, HTC, ARM, and eBay, among others and these companies form the Open Handset Alliance. The Open Handset Alliance (OHA) defines and maintains the Android specifications.

Android Smartphone Marketplace evaluates Google and OHA smart phones and their impact on the growth of the smart phone market. This research compares and contrast the features and forecast the market outlook for the Android market leaders only.

The following Android smart phones are reviewed:
* HTC Dream (branded for distribution by T-Mobile as the G1).
* Motorola CLIQ.
* Google Nexus One (plans announced in mid-December with January, 2010 release date).

"Google's entry into this market brings visibility to the OHA and the Android product (that none of the other partners could do). Trying to emulate Apple's iPhone success, the big issue is that they are entering a new business (cell phones). Will they develop a following and brand loyalty with their phones? (Or applications?). It will not matter if they cannot support their customers and get them operational."

Key findings:
* The smartphone market forecast is a $350 billion revenue opportunity over the next few years.
* Apple has defined and driven this market to its current state. All other players in this market are reacting to Apple and playing catch up.
* Led by Google, members of the Open Handset Alliance, which supports the Android handset technology, are trying to gain control of this market. OHA members have released 16 Android handsets by end of 2009, with eight more due for release in the coming months.
* Google, which only released its first smartphone in December, 2009, has taken some calculated risks in marketing and supporting their phone. To date, this strategy has caused problems.
* In general, the Android phones are late to market and trying to catch up to the iPhone and Blackberry. OHA has been counting on the Android OS to bring name recognition and success. To date, that has not happened.

Over 1 billion mobile workers globally by year's end

FRAMINGHAM, USA: The world's mobile worker population will pass the one billion mark this year and grow to nearly 1.2 billion people – more than a third of the world's workforce – by 2013. According to a new forecast from IDC, the most significant gains will be in the emerging economies of Asia/Pacific, where a strong economic recovery and new interest in unified communications will drive healthy growth in all aspects of mobility spending.

"Vast opportunities exist for bringing a variety of mobile technologies to the world's workforce," said Sean Ryan, research analyst, Mobile Enterprise Software. "Outside the United States and Japan, where mobile worker population penetration has essentially peaked, there are large worker populations that are still growing. Underserved mobile workers across all regions stand to benefit from the reach and flexibility offered by mobile solutions. While some barriers to adoption will still have to be overcome, the potential market for mobility solutions is enormous."

Among the key findings from this forecast are the following:

* The United States has the highest percentage of mobile workers in its workforce, with 72.2 percent of the workforce mobile in 2008. The US will remain the most highly concentrated market for mobile workers with 75.5 percent of the workforce, or 119.7 million workers, being mobile in 2013.

* Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) represents the largest total number of mobile workers throughout the forecast, with 546.4 million mobile workers in 2008 growing to 734.5 million or 37.4 percent of the total workforce in 2013. At the end of the forecast, 62 percent of the world's mobile workforce will be based in the APeJ region.

* Western Europe's mobile workforce will enjoy a healthy CAGR of 6 percent over the forecast period to reach 129.5 million mobile workers (50.3 percent of the workforce) in 2013, surpassing the total number of mobile workers in the United States.

* Japan's mobile worker population will total 49.3 million in 2013, representing 74.5 percent of its total workforce. Like the US, this is essentially the sustainable limit of Japan's mobile worker penetration.

* The rest of the world (ROW), which is comprised of Canada and the emerging market countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMA), and Latin America, will see its mobile worker population grow to 153.2 million by 2013. As with APeJ, the low penetration of mobile workers in the total workforce (13.5 percent) signals significant growth potential in these markets.

Friday, February 19, 2010

SMC and NYCE Networks in strategic home networking products partnership

IRVINE, USA: SMC, a specialist in providing high-quality, reliable Customer Premise Equipment to Broadband Service Providers, NYCE Networks, a leading provider of innovative Plastic Optical Fiber to Ethernet products, and Firecomms, a leading supplier of high speed optical components, today announced an industry-changing partnership that will result in accelerated innovation and manufacturing efficiencies within the Plastic Optical Fiber products market.

SMC, in partnership with NYCE Networks, has launched its first Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) product, the SMCEPM-2. Using Firecomms' leading technologies, SMCEPM-2 is a leading Fiber-to-Ethernet Media Converter Switch that allows broadband service providers to quickly and easily create Ethernet networks for their residential and business class customers.

Through the partnership, SMC will manufacture, support and market the SMCEPM-2 to Broadband Service Providers worldwide, NYCE will research, develop and supply new POF products for SMC, and Firecomms will supply OptoLock plugless Fiber Optic Transceivers.

"Many of our valued Broadband Service Provider customers serve residential and business class customers that need a Fiber to Ethernet product to create a high speed network but their customers' premises have outdated wiring and cabling. The SMCEPM-2 is the fastest, easiest, and most inexpensive product to deploy to customer premises with old wiring," says Todd Babic, Vice President of Sales, Broadband Business Development for SMC.

"Our partnership with NYCE allows us to bring a highly valuable POF product to market quickly to meet our customers' needs. SMC continues to respond to the needs of our customers with versatile and innovative products like the SMCEPM-2."

More and more residential and business class customers are being connected directly to last-mile Fiber Optic networks in North America. This has created a great opportunity for Broadband Service Providers to deliver much faster Internet services and acquire new customers.

Broadband Service Providers need reliable CPE products that will convert the Fiber connection into an Ethernet network within the customer premises. The SMCEPM-2 is an ideal solution as it plugs into existing electrical outlets and uses Plastic Optical Fiber to create a high bandwidth network.

Plastic Optical Fiber is only millimeters thick, highly durable and flexible, easy to cut, and is much easier to install and conceal than traditional CAT-5 cabling. POF is also highly immune to cable electrical noise and provides a higher Quality of Service (QoS) than traditional CAT-5 electrical cable networks.

This means that POF experiences minimal network congestion that is common from bandwidth-intensive applications like VOIP, IPTV, and online gaming. Many Broadband Service Providers service customer premises that have old communications cabling and face expensive upgrades to deploy traditional home networking products. The SMCEPM-2 allows Broadband Service Providers to service premises with old cabling without having to make an investment in upgrading the premise's existing wiring.

The SMCEPM-2 is now available for Broadband Service Providers to test and deploy in field.

ZigBee Alliance begins certification for sub-1 GHz platforms

SAN RAMON, USA: The ZigBee Alliance, a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, residential, commercial and consumer electronics applications, today announced it is now offering certification for ZigBee platforms designed to operate in the regional sub-1 GHz unlicensed frequencies. The move ensures original equipment manufacturers a source of tested platforms for use in sub-1 GHz applications.

More semiconductor manufacturers and Alliance members are seeing a growing market for a range of ZigBee device options using the proven ZigBee specification. The Alliance recently completed its first series of multi-vendor interoperability tests for sub-1 GHz platforms. These platforms will become the Golden Units against which all other platforms seeking certification will be compared. They offer the same underlying functions and robust capabilities as existing ZigBee Compliant Platforms operating at 2.4 GHz.

"Adding sub-1 GHz ZigBee compliant platforms meets rising market demands for frequency choice," said Tom Herbst, engineering director at Cisco Systems. "Having these new ZigBee platforms will give product manufacturers more opportunities, and encouragement to use ZigBee in many inventive ways."

Atmel Corp., Exegin Technologies and ZMDI are leading this effort in conjunction with ZigBee Alliance's accredited test houses, National Technical Systems, TRaC Global and TUV Rheinland.

"The sub-1 GHz platforms will give our customers more choices to create customized ZigBee solutions," said Magnus Pedersen, marketing director of Microcontroller Wireless Solutions at Atmel. "We expect these new ZigBee platforms to be an important part of our growing list of ZigBee solutions."

The ZigBee specification has always supported sub-1 GHz platforms, but offering certification of platforms built to the specification requires at least three independent implementations for initial testing and validation. This rigorous certification requirement ensures that Alliance members only deliver interoperable solutions to the marketplace.

"The ZigBee Alliance is committed to offering product manufacturers with certified interoperable solutions," said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. "Our certification process clearly demonstrates to product manufacturers that platforms from different vendors, operating in the same European and US sub-1 GHz frequencies, will interoperate."

Mobile communications industry demos momentum at 2010 Mobile World Congress

BARCELONA, SPAIN: The GSMA reported that over 49,000 visitors from 200 countries attended the 2010 GSMA Mobile World Congress, the premier event for the mobile communications industry.

The four-day conference and exhibition attracted executives from the world’s largest and most influential mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies and media and entertainment organisations, as well as government delegations. 54 per cent of Mobile World Congress attendees hold C-level positions, including more than 2,800 CEOs.

“It’s a hugely exciting time to be in the mobile communications industry and the extremely strong attendance at the 2010 Mobile World Congress underscores that,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd.

“The innovation that is the hallmark of our industry was on display front and centre this week, from the insightful presentations in our conference programme to the demonstrations of new devices, technologies and services in the exhibition halls. Once again, Mobile World Congress stands out as the must-attend event for the global communications industry.”

During the event, leaders from companies including Alcatel-Lucent, BBC, Bharti Airtel, China Unicom, Ericsson, Huawei, KDDI, RIM, Samsung, Spotify, Telstra and Vodafone, among others, discussed and debated the trends and issues which are shaping the mobile industry today and into the future.

In a Mobile World Congress first, Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt delivered a Mobile World Live keynote to a standing-room only crowd in Barcelona; the session has also been viewed by more than 35,000 people to date via the Mobile World Live portal. To access the replay of the Mobile World Live keynote, as well as interviews with the industry’s leading executives, please visit www.mobileworldlive.com.

More than 20,000 people visited the inaugural App Planet, a focused event designed to bring together the many critical elements of the broad mobile application ecosystem together in one location. Google, Motorola, RIM, Sony Ericsson, Vodafone and WIPJam each held application developer conferences (ADC) within App Planet. Overall, more than 6,000 developers attended Mobile World Congress this year.

The 2010 Congress featured 1,300 exhibiting companies and occupied more than 56,000 net square metres of exhibition and business meeting space. Nearly 2,400 international print, Web and broadcast media attended the event to analyse and report on the many significant industry announcements made at the Congress.

“The GSMA is committed to holding the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona through 2012,” continued Hoffman. “We thank the city of Barcelona, Catalonia, Fira de Barcelona and all our Barcelona partners for being such warm and efficient hosts, and we look forward to being back here next year.”

Sponsors for the 2010 Mobile World Congress included LG Electronics as Platinum Sponsor and Generalitat de Catalunya as Mobile Innovations Platinum Sponsor.

Samsung Wave features new Picsel File Viewer

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Picsel UK Ltd., a leading provider of business productivity applications, announced that the Samsung Wave will be the world’s first phone to feature the latest version of Picsel File Viewer.

The function delivered by the application will act as a showcase for the Wave’s class leading processing capabilities and screen quality, and set the user experience standard for the Bada platform.

Picsel File Viewer is one of the most popular business productivity applications in the world, having shipped more than 280 million software units globally. The application delivers seamless support for Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Power Point), Adobe PDF, Text and Images, through Picsel’s signature Zoom and Pan Interface which actively encourages users to engage with more content on smaller screens.

New features added to Picsel File Viewer include:

Multiple page views - allowing more than one page to be displayed on screen at any one time, aiding more coherent and informative document navigation.

Continuous page scrolling – enabling inertia for faster navigation through documents.
Faster panning and zooming – improved response times for both panning and zooming to enable faster page navigation.

Higher quality screen update – continuous high quality page rendering, ifying requirement for fuzzy redraw while users navigate the page.

Imran Khand, Picsel’s Chief Executive Officer said: "We are happy to have supported Samsung in its effort to deliver what we believe to be a market changing product. We are driven to expand the boundaries of what can be achieved on a mobile device, and this extension to Picsel File Viewer’s capability is a clear indication of our intent to re-energise the business productivity market place."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

LACS to make real-time interactive-information-access on-the-move a reality

BANGALORE, INDIA: Imagine that one could watch live streaming cricket matches or their favorite television serials on a mobile platform that has a larger screen than mobile phones, has touch screen technology, is small enough to carry in one’s pocket, and most importantly, is available at very affordable prices.

Such type of technologies, services or devices, which are usually a stuff of ‘James Bond’ movies, will very soon be available for everyone to own, in India, for the first time, and before the rest of the world. In today’s scenario, when awareness towards access for real-time information and media content is increasing, such technology is yet to penetrate the Indian market and offer a platter of convincing on-demand and infotainment services to the common man. Consider the following examples:

* On daily commuter traveling, the user could access traffic updates live from the LACS community of users to plan the route/trip for the day. A regular commuter, while stuck in traffic, could tap an icon/button on the vehicle’s TID music system to send out an automatic jam-buster. This message goes out to the all the radio stations and his/her community of contacts as an SMS stating, “Stuck in a jam at such-and-such location/road, will be delayed by so many minutes.” The LACS in-built server functionality will have already calculated the estimated time of arrival to the destination that the user prefers to reach. This particular feature is LACS’ approach to Corporate Social Responsibility.

* If a housewife is busy shuttling between her kitchen and the TV in the hall (to catch up with her saas-bahu serials), instead she could use a connected Touch Infotainment Device. She could simply affix such a device onto her kitchen cabinet, close to the cooking area, and not miss either cooking or her favorite TV show.

* If a regular bus commuter/passenger, wants to pass his/her time by watching a movie or some song videos, he/she can do so by using a Touch Media Devices to play stored media content (up to 32GB storage).

* If a professional has GPRS and Bluetooth on the mobile phone but can’t really use the small mobile phone screen for browsing the Internet, he/she can pair one of our TMD/TID units with his/her phone using Bluetooth and surf the internet on a larger touch screen.

* If a person is driving and will not be able to take calls while driving (for safety purposes), such devices can be affixed on the car dashboard/windscreen, and paired with his Bluetooth phone. If he receives a call on the phone, any music being played through the device (which is connected to car music system) will pause and the call will be taken over by the car’s music system at the touch of a finger (on the TMD or TID). The music will continue after the call is ended.

A Bangalore based start-up, LACS, is all set to make the above a reality for the Indian consumer. Lakshmi Access Communications Systems Pvt Ltd (LACS) is the Wireless Infomedia Services division of the Multi-Crore Devraj Group of Companies. This group has evolved over six decades systematically expanding its portfolio of products and services through subsidiary companies.

LACS, earlier known as Sagar Info Distributors Pvt Ltd, had evolved from plain IT distribution towards Wireless Infomedia Services (for enterprise and retails segments).

LACS, in its previous avatar was involved with IT distribution for the HP range of consumer products across India, for over four years. As a direct result of needs in its operational environment, LACS entered the Telematics domain as an enterprise customer. However, noticing the lack of standardized approaches to providing such solutions and services, the core team at LACS decided to investigate and research this domain.

On significant assessment and analysis of the telematics industry, LACS made this move of redefining such solutions and services aimed at the retail consumer and to evolve this technology to the next level, creating the new domain of Wireless Infomedia Services.

Wireless Infomedia Services (WIS) leverages the potential across a variety of technology domains ranging from telecommunications, telematics and digital broadcasting, on a single platform to deliver a wide array of services for an end consumer, at affordable prices.

LACS’ approach to introducing WIS to the retail consumer opens up a new world of product and services sales for Retailers across the country.

Speaking about the LACS range of products and services, Mahendraa Kumar D. Jain, CEO, says: “LACS products offer a whole host of features ranging from utilitarian, infotainment, connected and location based services, entertainment such as games and social networking. LACS is set to revolutionize the market for location access information services on a wide range of platforms. The service aims to empower the Indian consumer to access interactive information on-the-move across products such as Mobile Infotainment devices, Automotive Interactive devices and multiple level security devices for vehicles and other requirements.”

Elaborating on the concept of WIS, Sharat Satyanarayana, Director, Marketing & Services explained about the evolution of the ‘Fourth Screen’: “On average, every consumer has access to three screens on a daily basis, starting with the TV, the computer screen and finally the mobile phone. However, there are a number of situations where consumers would not be in a position to access one of these specific screens despite having a need or want. This is where the LACS range of Touch Media (TMD) and Touch Infotainment (TID) Devices allow consumers to have all of the above screens in a single device operating on a single platform, without necessarily replacing any of the 3 gadgets themselves. LACS’ offerings will complement the consumers daily needs for information, entertainment and connectivity.”

Jain further added: “Our flexible business model will make us an effective and efficient service provider. With our diverse channel management strategy we will appoint as many as 35 Branchisees across the country”. He said, “The product is for every one of us and it is designed with the Indian user in mind; it is very rugged and some of its functionalities are crucial for the common man.”

Satyanarayana added: “The key challenge of this business is deployment and distribution of telco-grade services, as the products will subsequently be available with a host of on-demand infotainment services provided by LACS. WIS is just being introduced and is in its nascent stage in India. LACS intends to make this a profitable, growth oriented business with technology as an enabler. LACS is expanding its footprints across India to cover tier-I, tier-II and tier-III cities along with the metropolitan markets.”

LACS will be introducing these unique products and services to the Indian retail consumer through five different retail verticals: IT distribution, telecom products channels, automotive accessories sales, large format retail/modern trade and consumer electronics.

Mobile banking subscriber numbers doubling every year

NEW YORK, USA: New forecasts from ABI Research indicate that in 2015 about 244 million people worldwide will carry out financial transactions with their banks using their mobile phones. Of those, some 66 million will be in North America.

According to senior analyst Mark Beccue: “It’s not the North American market that is moving fastest to mobile banking: that crown goes to the Asia-Pacific region, which accounted for the lion’s share of the world’s 30 million mobile banking subscribers in 2009. The global number of subscribers more than doubled between 2008 and 2009, and is expected to almost double again in 2010. This growth can be seen everywhere, but Asia – led by India – is pushing it particularly hard.”

Growth of this market in Europe and North America has been somewhat limited so far because – in contrast to banks elsewhere – the financial institutions in those areas offered mobile banking primarily to existing users of their online banking services.

Wide access to computers and easy access to physical bank branches lessened consumers’ motivation to adopt the mobile banking model. However Wells Fargo – long a pioneer in electronic banking in the US – recently lifted that restriction, and also launched text-based mobile banking, which greatly expands the number of mobile devices that can access such services.

Moves of that kind will mean, says Beccue, a new wave of mobile banking growth outside Asia: “North America and Europe are still a long way from what anyone would call a ‘mass market’ uptake of mobile banking, but those regions offer the best long-term conditions for that to occur.”

Powerwave launches MCPA booster systems to improve network efficiency, site performance

Mobile World Congress 2010, BARCELONA, SPAIN: Powerwave Technologies Inc., a leader in end-to-end wireless coverage and capacity solutions, has announced the expansion of its popular OS Micro Cabinet family of Multi Carrier Power Amplifier Booster systems to include two new models.

Designed to help operators improve network efficiency, site performance and call statistics, Powerwave’s MCPA Booster Systems amplify the downlink signal for coverage and capacity enhancement while providing an optional low noise amplifier and RF filtering to improve overall uplink noise figure and receive sensitivity.

OS-1 2100 MHz UMTS and 900 MHz E-GSM Single MCPA Booster Cabinet
The new products include the OS-1 2100 MHz Single MCPA Booster Cabinet for use with WCDMA (UMTS) IMT/AWS frequencies. This product is also available for the 900 MHz GSM frequencies for 2G and 3G deployments.

The OS-1 provides a high power and highly efficient solution with remote monitoring and configurability in a compact (620mm x 284mm x 716mm) package, housed in an IP54-rated cabinet with forced air cooling.

The system also provides remote monitoring and configuration through a web-enabled Graphical User Interface, DHCP client and via SMS messaging through optional wireless modem. Additionally, the product has the requisite government and regulatory certifications for operation in most parts of the world, and also adheres to various standard industry safety ratings, including IEC 60950-1 (safety), TUV GS Mark, ETSI (radiated and conducted), FCC (radiated and conducted) and CE Mark.

OS-3 Multi-band Three-channel Booster Cabinet
Also newly added to the OS Micro Cabinet family is Powerwave’s OS-3 offering, which provides a multi-band booster solution in a single cabinet. The three-channel booster cabinet accommodates up to three MCPA modules and three RF conditioning units.

The three RF channels are independent of one another and can operate at GSM, DCS, PCS, UMTS and AWS frequencies. As such, the system can operate in a tri-band mode for an overlay solution to boost 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz in EMEA and 1900 MHz and 2100 MHz in North America. The cabinet features a compact form factor (997mm x 406mm x 965mm) in an-IP55 rated cabinet with forced air cooling.

The product also adheres to various standard industry safety ratings, including UL 60950-1 (safety), ETSI (radiated and conducted), FCC (radiated and conducted) and CE Mark.

As with all of Powerwave’s MCPA Booster Systems, both new products leverage Powerwave’s latest MCPA module designs which offer industry-leading power and efficiency. The product also provides internal fail safe RF bypass and incorporates a modular architecture design for easy system installation and component field replacement.

“Powerwave’s MCPA booster line of products offers cost-effective solutions to typical coverage and capacity challenges faced by wireless network operators,” said Khurram P. Sheikh, chief product and development officer, Powerwave Technologies, Inc. “These products are ideal for network operators looking to resolve site or network coverage and capacity issues, and also provide a unique antenna consolidation solution to overcome combining losses for 3G and 4G migration.”

F5’s BIG-IP edge gateway solution provides breakthrough approach to unifying and optimizing access to data center

INDIA: F5 Networks Inc. has announced the new BIG-IP Edge Gateway product, providing enterprise organizations with a high performance, next-generation remote access solution that delivers LAN-speed application performance for remote and mobile workers.

This solution effectively solves the challenges that enterprise IT staff face due to the massive growth of mobile and remote users. With BIG-IP Edge Gateway, F5 provides the first Application Delivery Controller (ADC) on the market that unifies secure SSL VPN access, dynamic access and optimization control, and application acceleration for remote users—regardless of the device or access network—on a single, scalable platform.

With this release, F5 continues to deliver on its vision of unifying its ADC solution set and redefining how customers implement, share, and cost-effectively extend their Application Delivery Network all the way to the client. With approximately five times the scaling capability and up to eight times improvement in application performance at less than half the cost of alternative, disparate technologies, the BIG-IP Edge Gateway offers enterprises a significant RoI.

Juniper announces academic alliance with PSG College of Technology

INDIA: Juniper Networks has announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, to help students obtain high-performance networking skills and receive Juniper Networks certification while still in college.

As a participant of Juniper Networks’ Academic Alliance program, PSG College has received high-performance networking equipment, including J2320, J2350 enterprise routers and EX 4200 switches, along with the cabling and interface cards. Some selected PSG faculty members will also get opportunities to be trained by Juniper partners in operating the state-of-the-art equipment.

The alliance offers the college:
* Juniper Networks Education Services Enterprise Networking courseware, lab guides and diagrams, and technical manuals.
* Discounts on courseware, technical support, and router and switch hardware.
* Course design templates that provide a guideline for translating our day-based courses into semester or trimester-based curriculum.
* Access to the Juniper Networks Education Services staff of professional course developers and teams that will assist with tips and feedback, as well as certified instructors who are industry recognized IP and security networking experts.
* Full access to Juniper Technical Assistance Center (JTAC) for any hardware or software with an active service plan.

“The alliance is an opportunity for Juniper to emphasize the importance of a highly scalable, reliable and efficient network for future network engineers,” said Sridhar Sarathy, vice president, India Operations, Juniper Networks. “Partnering with a college of PSG’s reputation is also a chance for Juniper to bridge the gap between industry and academia.”

“The alliance is an invaluable opportunity for students to take advantage of Juniper’s expertise in high-performance networking,” said Dr. R.Rudhramoorthy, Principal, PSG College of Technology. “The exposure to state-of-the-art Juniper equipment that they will receive at a very early stage in their careers is unparalleled.”

The Juniper Networks Academic Alliance program is designed specifically for colleges and universities to offer Juniper Networks Enterprise Networking courses to their students. Certified networking professionals are now in greater demand than ever, commanding higher salaries and adding more value to high-end enterprises. Because of this increased need, Juniper is pleased to provide PSG with the opportunity to offer students courseware that aids them in becoming certified in Juniper Networks Junos software.

Instructors will have access to the Juniper Networks Education Services staff of professional course developers and teams that will assist them with tips and feedback, as well as certified instructors who are industry-recognized IP and security networking experts.

SIP trunking, wireless poised to bolster UC market

SCOTTSDALE, USA: Two trends are poised to enhance the richness of unified communications, reports In-Stat.

SIP trunking, now touted as a cost-saving mechanism, will ultimately enable interconnection of unified communications islands, thus enriching communications across suppliers, business partners, and customers. Second, the wireless industry’'s evolution toward higher data rates is enabling the extension of unified communications to smartphones and other wireless data devices.

“The market is shifting to unified communications as a “cloud” service,” says David Lemelin, In-Stat analyst. “Infrastructure providers, like Avaya, Cisco, BroadSoft, and Microsoft, are working closely with hosted VoIP service providers to enable this shift.”

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

* Unified communications service revenues will rise to reach over $17 billion by 2013.
* The product side of unified communications is continuing to grow as well. Revenues will grow nearly three-fold between 2009 and 2013.
* Survey respondents ranked collaboration (file sharing) while in conference as the application of most importance.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BSNL selects Tekelec for mobile number portability and SIP routing

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the world’s seventh largest telco, has selected Tekelec to provide mobile number portability and session initiation protocol (SIP) routing.

BSNL will implement Tekelec’s number portability solution for signaling system 7 (SS7) and SIP-based networks, supporting the operator’s multi-vendor network environment.

The deal extends Tekelec’s relationship with BSNL, which has more than 55 million mobile subscribers and 35 million fixed-line subscribers. The service provider will add SS7 number portability to the EAGLE 5 signaling platform, which BSNL had previously deployed for Tekelec’s signal transfer point (STP) advanced routing application.

BSNL also selected Tekelec’s SIP Signaling Router (SSR), an application residing on the EAGLE XG IP signaling platform, for number portability for next-generation network customers. The EAGLE XG extends the capabilities of the EAGLE 5, providing a natural evolution to manage and help solve the routing and interoperability issues that occur as networks transition to 3G and long term evolution (LTE).

In addition to the SSR, the EAGLE XG platform supports other applications including: Service Broker to blend intelligent network (IN) services with new next-generation applications; Home Location Register (HLR) Router; and Electronic Number Mapping (ENUM) Server.

BSNL selected Tekelec’s solutions through ITI Ltd, an Indian telecom manufacturer offering switching, transmission, access and mobile equipment.

Tekelec had 97 number portability customers – including eight in India – in 33 countries at the end of 2009. It has won eight out of the 10 number portability bids in India it has entered. The company also has the largest market share for real-time connection number portability solutions, according to the Number Portability Research Note published by Analysys Mason. Tekelec deployed the first integrated number portability solution in 1997 with Bell Atlantic (now Verizon).

Tekelec’s number portability solution supports number portability for voice, short message service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS) and pre-paid calls, and covers GSM, CDMA, fixed networks, and cable, as well as intra-carrier number retention.

The SSR provides a unified SIP signaling layer across BSNL’s disparate network technologies and equipment. This approach prepares BSNL’s network for future growth by establishing a next-generation network signaling and session control layer.

In addition to number portability, BSNL is now equipped to add new network technology and offer multimedia services as subscribers’ needs evolve.

“Tekelec has extensive experience with complex number portability deployments for both mobile and fixed-line networks,” said Mark Main, senior analyst at industry research and consultancy firm Analysys Mason. “SIP routing also provides operators with the ability to scale networks efficiently, a critically important issue in fast-growing markets like India, which add millions of new subscribers each month.”

Nine Tier 1 operators have ordered the EAGLE XG through fourth quarter 2009 and seven of the nine have purchased the SSR application. The EAGLE XG SSR offloads signaling and session routing functions from softswitches, reducing network complexity and enabling operators to expand and evolve their network while introducing new services.

Built to support both Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards, the SSR enables multimedia services over broadband access such as LTE and WiMAX.

“The SIP Signaling Router addresses service providers’ needs to cut costs while growing their networks, and also lays the foundation for future evolution,” said Ron de Lange, executive vice president at Tekelec. “BSNL is at the forefront of network innovation and customer service by solving multiple network needs with a cost-effective single product.”

Mobile WiMAX subscribers surpass fixed for first time

MONTREAL, CANADA & BARCELONA, SPAIN: 4.73 million active BWA/WiMAX subscribers were reached by the end of Q3 2009, and for the first time, the number of mobile WiMAX (802.16e-2005) subscribers surpassed the number of fixed WiMAX (802.16-2004) subscribers worldwide, according to the 10th issue of the 4GCounts Quarterly Report from Maravedis.

WiMAX embedded devices are slowly growing their share of the installed base. “77 percent of CPEs installed in Q3 2009 were indoor CPEs with over 3.6 million units, followed by USB dongles (595,000 units or 13 percent) and, PCMCIA cards (244,000 units or 5 percent),” said Cintia Garza, co-author of the report and 4GCounts team leader.

On the LTE side, the second half of 2009 showed progress in terms of new LTE operator commitments – 51 by the end of the quarter – but also in terms of device certification scheme and the chipset development.

“Although dual mode devices including GSM, EVDO, and LTE are not yet commercially available, the first engineering samples of dual-mode chipsets were shipped in early 2009. Devices will become available in the second half of 2010 for dongles/embedded applications, but not until 2011 for handsets and lower power devices such as MiFi WiFi routers,” commented Esteban Monturus, 4GCounts analyst for Europe.

This quarter's summary findings
* The average residential and business ARPU generated among operators during Q3 2009 across all regions was $41 and $121, respectively.
* BWA/WiMAX base station sectors installed as of Q3 2009 totaled 201,355 – an increase of 25 percent from 160,882 the previous quarter.
* Eight-five percent of WiMAX operators offer unlimited data usage compared to 41 percent of 3G operators. That proportion will gradually decrease as operators look for new ways to manage data consumption.

Google leverages wireless supply chain to reshape mobile business

EL SEGUNDO, USA: By pursuing a strategy of working with the mobile chain rather than against it, Google Inc. has a strong chance of success in its bid to transform the wireless business from its traditional voice-subscription model to one supported by broadband-based mobile advertising revenue, according to iSuppli Corp.
If Google can execute this strategy, it stands to rewrite the rules in the $1 trillion wireless industry.

“During the past three years, Google has continually targeted the mobile communications industry with a series of initiatives,” said Dr. Jagdish Rebello, director and principal analyst at iSuppli.

“From offering free Wi-Fi services, to developing a free and powerful open operating system for smart phones—Android—to offering free maps and turn-by-turn navigation services, to introducing a Google branded phone—the Nexus One—the Internet search giant is revolutionizing the mobile value chain in an attempt to unlock new value and to expand an industry desperately searching for the next inflection point.”

Like much of the rest of the mobile value chain, Google is seeking to uncover new user behavior patterns and to drive social networking services through the promotion of cloud storage and computing, mobile advertising, and a variety of location-based services. All of the free Google offerings are driving toward this goal.

“While all the facets of this multipronged strategy will not be successful, it is clear that Google is pushing toward the strategy of monetizing mobile search by leveraging its leadership in Internet search with relevant location-based services and mobile advertising,” Rebello said. “iSuppli believes that if the company executes this strategy correctly—by working with and not against the rest of the mobile value chain—the wireless industry will be well positioned to unlock the next trillion dollars of value by the end of this decade.”

Google strategy: free is good
As part of its wireless strategy, Google has actively promoted and shaped the development of the Android open-source operating system. Google claims that there are now about 20 smart-phone models that support Android.

A unique and compelling characteristic of the Android OS is the integration of many of Google’s popular Web-based services and cloud computing/storage applications, as well as the synchronization of a user’s e-mails, contacts, calendar and other information with smart-phone devices.

Google also has encouraged the adoption of the Android operating system among device OEMs, mobile operators and application developers by creating an ecosystem where everyone benefits.

While OEMs pay no licensing fee for incorporating the Android operating system and have the capability to customize the User Interface (UI) to their own specific requirements, the application developers and mobile operators split the revenue from the sale of downloaded applications at a ratio of 70:30. This is a variation from the present industry norm, where application developers evenly split revenue with the operating system platform provider.

In another paradigm-shifting move, Google in November announced that it will include Google maps and turn-by-turn navigation applications for free in all phones with the Android operating system. Although the application will at first be available only on Android 2.0 handsets, the fact that Google Mobile Maps for BlackBerry integrates functions like Street View, Layers, Latitude, Traffic, Wikipedia, and the like is proof that Google Maps Navigation eventually will also come to other smart phones.

“The beauty of Google’s navigation initiative is that its offering, while free, will result in profits via mobile search and advertising,” Rebello said. “These moves by Google are intended to drive the increased use of mobile searches and prompt new social networking behaviors that leverage cloud storage and mobile advertising. Given its overwhelming dominance in the Internet search application market, Google is now poised to leverage its search capabilities with Location Based Services (LBS) to drive mobile search results targeted at the location of the mobile consumer.

“Clearly, Google’s strategy is to expand into areas where it has a competitive advantage due to its dominance in search and advertising. This, coupled with mobile advertising and mobile commerce, has the potential to unlock tremendous value for the mobile user and to drive new revenue opportunities for Google.”

Because of all these factors, Google is well positioned to reshape the wireless business in its own image, Rebello added.

Nokia weathers smart-phone onslaught, maintains industry-leading profitability

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Defying rising competitive pressures in the smart-phone segment, No.-1 mobile handset brand Nokia managed to achieve industry-leading profitability in 2009, according to iSuppli Corp.

The Finnish cell-phone giant finished 2009 with an operating profit of 12.3 percent, compared to an average of 0.7 percent for all the Top-5 wireless handset brands. Samsung came in second with an operating profit of 10.5 percent.

“Facing severe competition from slick rivals including the iPhone and Google Android-based models, Nokia’s leadership position in the global smart-phone market began to erode starting in the second quarter of 2008,” said Tina Teng, senior wireless communications analyst or iSuppli.

“By the third quarter of 2009, Nokia’s share of shipments had declined to 34.5 percent, down from a recent high of 44.2 percent in the first quarter of 2008. However, by the fourth quarter of 2009, Nokia’s share of smart phone shipments recovered to nearly 40 percent, at 39.5 percent.”

Nokia managed to stanch its smart-phone market share losses because of its launch of more compelling models with appealing features like touch-screen displays and QWERTY keyboards.

“Enhanced features like touch screens deliver a better user experience and slick operation, putting the ‘smart’ in smart phones,” Teng said.”

Despite the strong finish, Nokia was not unaffected by the wireless industry’s downturn. Operating profit was still down from 17 percent in 2008. Likewise, Nokia's device and service revenue declined to $27.9 billion, down from $35.1 billion in 2008.

Nokia’s shipment of 431.8 million mobile handsets for all of 2009—down 7.8 percent from 468.4 million in 2008—was also slightly worse than the 6.7 percent decline for the entire handset market. However, Nokia maintained its dominant position in the global handset market with a 37.8 percent share of unit shipments, nearly double that of the second-largest player, Samsung.

The table presents iSuppli ranking of the world’s Top-5 mobile handset brands in order of unit shipments.Source: iSuppli, USA

No.-2 Samsung of South Korea was the star performer in the global mobile handset market in 2009, being the only company among the Top-5 brands to increase both its market share and operating profits. For the year, Samsung expanded its share of unit shipments by 3.8 percentage points and boosted its profit margins by 1.6 points.

Samsung was able to achieve this strong performance because of its deeper penetration into emerging regions with models tailored to local tastes and its diversified distribution channel that was able to reach new areas.

iSuppli expects that Samsung will further improve its profit margins in 2010 as it gradually increases its vertical integration by sourcing more key components from its internal semiconductor business unit.

Similarly enjoying a good year was No.-3 LG Electronics of South Korea as it gained 2.1 percentage points of market share. It also was the top performer among the Top-5 in terms of shipment growth, with a rise of 17 percent in 2009 compared to 2008. However, the company’s operating profit suffered a 4.2 percentage point decline.

No.-4 Sony Ericsson was able to maintain its market share at around 5 percent in 2009, even though the company suffered operational losses throughout the year. Since mid-2008, Sony Ericsson has moved to reduce its workforce and to consolidate resources to cut costs. This has resulted in a 21 percent decline in operating expenses, equal to a $772 million savings.

Nonetheless, the company’s 40 percent drop in revenue—compared to a 10.4 decline for the entire industry—has put Sony Ericsson in a tough financial position.

“Sony Ericsson’s sparse smart-phone portfolio has caused it to miss out on the robust growth in this segment of the industry,” Teng said. “The company’s lack of touch-screen-based devices and its late entry into the low-end handset market limited its capability to capitalize on the growth in some emerging segments.”

No.-5 Motorola, which has been operating at a loss every quarter since 2007, managed a slight improvement in the second half of 2009. The company enhanced its operating margin by 6.7 percentage points in 2009 as a result of $1.5 billion in cost cuts.

Seeking to regain market share and to strengthen its position in higher-profit margins, Motorola has also announced several high-end devices outside of the United States, especially in China. The launch of Motorola’s app store in China will help the company to improve its brand value, iSuppli believes.

Source: iSuppli, USA

Mobile ecosystem partners support Ecrio’s FastTrack framework

Mobile World Congress 2010, CUPERTINO, USA: Ecrio, a client software company focused on enabling communications-rich IP opportunities, has named five mobile industry leaders – AFD Tech, Aplix, CIBER, L&T Infotech and Persistent Systems – as partners who are working with Ecrio’s new FastTrack framework to accelerate the creation and rollout of new services and applications that tap rich IP communications.

This cross-section of industry leaders includes both application platforms (Aplix) and developers (AFD Tech, Cyber, L&T Infotech, and Persistent Systems.)

The FastTrack client framework lets developers add rich IP communications, such as VoIP, rich messaging and content sharing, to applications written in Java, Flash, Android and other popular environments. Developers can do so without coding in ‘C’, or having specialized knowledge of SIP, IMS or RCS technology. The Ecrio Applicator™ interface, a significant breakthrough within the FastTrack framework, lets developers simply add commands for functions (such as messaging or calling) using unmodified run-time application environments.

Diane Myers of Infonetics, regarded as one of the VoIP industry’s top analysts and a recent judge at GSMA’s 2010 RCS Dev Challenge, said, “Creative approaches like Ecrio's new FastTrack framework, along with RCS and other industry initiatives, will help operators to deploy a new range services that use rich IP communications."

Ryu Koriyama, Aplix CEO, said: “The industry has been looking for breakthrough ways for developers to quickly build compelling offers, on mobile platforms such as Aplix’ JBlend, that tap rich communications. Ecrio’s FastTrack is a big step forward, particularly when paired with JBlend and services made possible by MIDP 3.0.”

Vir Bhanu, Vice President and Area Director for CIBER India, said: “Ecrio has enabled an ecosystem where mobile application developers, operators, and ODMs can quickly deploy innovative and evolving rich IP communications. CIBER is well positioned to develop, integrate and deploy these solutions.”

“As an Ecrio partner, Persistent was able to leverage the FastTrack framework to quickly build innovative applications, the recent ones being the Ecrio J2ME and Flash clients for the mobile handset and PC,” said Dr. R. Venkateswaran, Head - Telecom Business Unit, Persistent Systems Ltd. “Ecrio’s FastTrack is a creative way to build communications-rich applications in days, not months."

“Ecrio is pleased to see our partners in the mobile ecosystem recognize FastTrack as an exciting new option within the world of rich communications,” stated Ecrio founder and CEO Nagesh Challa. “RCS, One Voice and other industry initiatives are on the right track, with FastTrack now offering an operator and developer shortcut to new services. We look forward to working with these partners and adding new ones in the months ahead.”

Almost 1 billion consumer devices to be powered wirelessly by 2019

WELLINGBOROUGH, ENGLAND: Shipments of consumer devices that can be powered or charged wirelessly are forecast to grow from just 1.5 million in 2009 to almost one billion in 2019, according to the latest analysis from IMS Research.

According to IMS Research’s recent report, “The Growth Potential for Wireless Power and Charging”, activity in the wireless power industry has increased significantly over the last two years and the market is now poised for explosive growth. There are numerous start-ups offering solutions using conductive, inductive, magnetic resonance, RF and infrared wireless power technologies and although their shipments were very low last year; this is forecast to grow rapidly driven by the adoption in high volume applications such as cell phones.

Research Analyst Ryan Sanderson commented, “Initial adoption of wireless power will be for aftermarket add-on solutions, though we predict mass adoption will occur as major cell phone and notebook OEMs are intending to integrate the technology into their products.”

In 2009 Dell’s Latitude Z notebook was introduced with integrated wireless charging. At CES 2010, Palm announced that its Palm Pre Plus would ship with the Palm Touchstone Back Cover, making it compatible with its inductive charging dock.“Other applications, in particular cell phones, will follow suit in 2010, fuelled by industry standards such as the low power interoperability standard, which is under development by The Wireless Power Consortium, and due for release in early 2010.

“These interoperability standards will allow enabled equipment to be used with any wireless power transmitter and will be the ignition for mass adoption” Sanderson added.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Communology unveils instant messaging and visual voicemail for Android

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Communology, a Cologne, Germany-based software house specializing in mobile applications, is launching two new messaging solutions for Android onto the market at the Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona (Hall 2, Stand 2B68).

Mobile operators that need to deliver functionally advanced, high-quality applications to the rapidly growing community using Google’s smart phone operating system can now achieve this much faster with LiveMedia Visual Voicemail for Android and LiveMedia Mobile IM for Android.

Visual voicemail offers a convenient user interface that revolutionizes how they interact with voicemail. With LiveMedia Visual Voicemail for Android, Communology is making its user-friendly client software available for Android devices. Communology ensures interoperability with a variety of voicemail servers used by mobile operators. The company already offers visual voicemail clients for Symbian, Windows Mobile and Java ME devices, along with implementation services and, if customers require, patent licenses, all from a single source.

For icq, msn, Yahoo and other instant messaging (IM) communities, Communology offers convenient, pre-configured Java ME and Symbian clients. With LiveMedia Mobile IM for Android, Communology is adding another popular platform to its portfolio. With auto login functionality and the ability to work with multiple IM communities through a single interface, LiveMedia Mobile IM offers users maximum convenience. Mobile communication features like click-to-call and click-to-text extend the base messaging functionality.

Proven white label model
Communology’s quality-tested, pre-configured LiveMedia clients are available as white label products that can easily be customized and branded to mobile operators’ requirements and ported to specific models of mobile device. This reduces time-to-market significantly.

The carrier-grade apps meet the stringent requirements of network operators and support voicemail servers and IM gateways from leading vendors. The white label model of developing mobile communication applications has proven itself repeatedly.

Customers who have purchased LiveMedia clients include several major mobile communication industry players such as Sony Ericsson, Nokia, T-Mobile and Vodafone, media companies like Astra, and businesses using mobile advertising, including Daimler.

VoLGA provides fastest call-setup times for LTE

MILPITAS, USA: Recent Voice over LTE testing confirms that VoLGA (Voice over LTE via Generic Access) outperforms current 3G network call-setup times by nearly 40 percent.

The testing, conducted with Deutsche Telekom'’s next generation mobile test network using LTE technology and a VoLGA solution from Kineto Wireless, delivers call-setup times up to 65 percent faster than alternative LTE voice technologies, such as CS Fallback.

“We were confident that VoLGA would deliver a superior user experience, and now we have the test results to prove it,” said Franz Seiser, head of core network technology at Deutsche Telekom. “Customers who subscribe to next generation network services will expect performance to exceed today’s technologies, and it’s clear VoLGA can meet those expectations.”

The low latency of LTE access networks results in very high-speed message exchanges between the handset and network, enabling VoLGA to outperform even standard UMTS-based call-setup times. For operators intent on touting the overall speed of new LTE networks, this is a key performance metric.

“VoLGA is very focused on delivering a better user experience than 3G. Our testing has already shown quantitative improvements over CS Fallback in the areas of faster call-setup times, lower dropped call rates, and the ability to talk and surf the Internet at the same time,” said Patrick Tao, vice president of technology for Kineto Wireless. “VoLGA takes full advantage of emerging LTE technology to help operators deliver a truly compelling user experience for the LTE subscriber.”

Qualcomm connecting new market segments with Gobi 3G technology

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Qualcomm Inc. announced that the company is expanding its focus to target new markets with its Gobi connectivity technology.

Building on the success of Gobi technology in PC markets, Qualcomm is collaborating with a wide range of companies to serve the needs of market segments such as e-readers, gaming devices and M2M commercial applications, in addition to continuing to enable connected computing beyond Wi-Fi hotspots with embedded modules and USB modems. The roadmap for Gobi technology also now features support for technologies such as HSPA+ and LTE.

“As a leading innovator in the consumer electronics industry, our choice for 3G connectivity is Gobi technology,” said Ryosuke Akahane, deputy president of VAIO Business Group, Sony. “We are pleased to be working with Qualcomm to expand the market for connected consumer devices while reaping the benefits of having a consistent software platform across our wireless products.”

Qualcomm will be working with multiple module and software companies on an expanded portfolio of flexible Gobi solutions across multiple chipsets that feature a consistent platform for application development to spur greater innovation across all Gobi-connected devices.

Device manufacturers will benefit from a common software API across all of their Gobi-enabled products, thereby simplifying their software requirements while addressing a wide range of module requirements. The common software API also translates to a larger addressable market for independent software vendors (ISVs), which can take advantage of the inherent connectivity of Gobi-equipped devices to bring new types of mobile applications to market.

Qualcomm’s Gobi technology is currently in more than 50 notebook and netbook models. Next-generation Gobi2000 modules are being launched in more than 100 notebook and netbook designs. Gobi technology is also already found in e-readers, such as IREX’s DR 800SG, and in routers for M2M and enterprise applications. Gobi-enabled routers currently available include the Top Global MB7900, which was was recently launched by Sprint, and the Digi WR44.

“Gobi has become synonymous with reliable, transparent and ubiquitous 3G connectivity for the laptop and netbook markets, and we are now expanding to include new market segments,” said Barry Matsumori, vice president of connectivity and wireless modules at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. “We are very excited about working with our Gobi partners to bring connectivity to new types of devices, helping to make instant access to real-time information more integral and seamless than ever before.”