Monday, February 28, 2011

ConnectSoft launches Qwarq developer program

Game Developers Conference 2011, SAN FRANCISCO, USA: ConnectSoft, Inc., a leading provider of wireless software for PC’s, smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronic devices, launched its Qwarq Developer Program and SDK for third party ISVs.

Qwarq enables games and mobile applications to easily and securely connect, share and play using wireless peer-to-peer technology including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct without the need for a hotspot, cellular data service or cloud-based connection.

“As a recognized developer of multiplayer casual games, we wanted to add peer-to-peer features and gameplay to our applications,” said Lars Jolstad, CEO at EasyBits Media. “With Qwarq, local users can easily find each other, connect and enjoy our EasyBits games anytime, anywhere using free, local, and efficient wireless PAN connections.”

Qwarq is a wireless platform for developers to quickly integrate peer-to-peer capabilities into their mobile applications on a variety of operating systems and hardware platforms using a standard API. Qwarq handles the “heavy lifting” including device and service discovery, security, identity, and transport regardless of wireless radio technology, vendor, driver stack, or protocol, allowing developers to focus on their application features and content instead.

“Until now, trying to program for a direct wireless connection has been difficult and time consuming,” said Konstantinos Prouskas, CEO of InterAction Studios. “Using the Qwarq SDK, we easily added PAN support to our popular multiplayer Chicken Invaders game in just a few hours.”

The Qwarq SDK includes a common API service layer in C/C++, Flash, Java or .NET on Windows along with documentation, sample code, and the Qwarq platform binaries. Use of the Qwarq SDK is royalty free for registered members of the Qwarq Developers Program and includes access to support tools and the Qwarq development community.

LANCOM Systems, Sierra Wireless and Rohde & Schwarz demo LTE live

CeBIT, HANOVER, GERMANY: Networking specialists LANCOM, LTE modem manufacturer Sierra Wireless, and Rohde & Schwarz, a leading provider of wireless test technology, present at CeBIT the first live public demonstration of an LTE business router with a fully integrated multi-mode radio module and pan-European network support. The demo rig can be viewed throughout the exhibition on the LANCOM CeBIT booth in Hall 13, C28.

At the heart of the live demonstration is a pre-production model of the LTE router LANCOM 1681-4G. The device features an integrated Sierra Wireless AirPrime™ MC 7700 multi-mode LTE modem (LTE 700). The production model of the LANCOM 1681-4G is due to be launched mid-year and will support all European frequency bands including LTE 800, LTE 1800 and LTE 2600.

Acting as the LTE peer is the R&S CMW500, the wideband radio communications tester from Rohde & Schwarz. This multi-technology platform supports LTE FDD and TD-LTE, all currently available 3G and 2G standards, and also wireline technologies. The R&S CMW500 emulates an LTE FDD base station for this demonstration.

To simulate a realistic networking scenario, a multi-channel cellular connection (2x2 MIMO) is established between the LANCOM 1681-4G and the R&S CMW500. The connection is used to transmit the type of user data typically generated by an Internet connection, such as FTP uploads and downloads, video streaming and browsing through a web site. The end-to-end connection to the R&S CMW500 allows the achievable LTE data rates of the LANCOM LTE router to be measured in the upstream and downstream directions.

The LANCOM 1681-4G is the first LTE business router for the European market to be presented to the public. The major distinguishing features over previously introduced consumer models include an integrated multi-mode LTE module with fallback options to slower cellular standards such as HSPA+ or UMTS/3G, and its professional VPN functions.

Ex-factory the router supports 5 IPsec VPN channels (25 optional), high-security AES encryption and digital certificates. VRRP facilitates the virtual combination of two devices to achieve the highest reliability.

Mobile augmented reality to generate 1.4 billion downloads by 2015 as major brands and mobile developers embrace concept

HAMPSHIRE, UK: A new report from Juniper Research has found that the increasing focus on incorporating augmented reality (AR) elements within mobile applications will lead to nearly 1.4 billion annual downloads of such apps worldwide by 2015, up from just over 11 million last year.

The new Mobile Augmented Reality report found that the number of AR capable apps on offer had already risen dramatically, while the breadth of products available had widened significantly from the initial wave of location-based search apps and browsers, to cover games, social networking, education, lifestyle and personal healthcare apps. These developments have been accompanied by the surge in the installed base of AR capable smartphones.

In addition, the report noted that brand interest in, and awareness of, AR rose dramatically over the latter half of 2010, with a number of leading brands either creating apps with AR content or else utilising existing mobile AR apps to enable end users to access the AR elements of advertising campaigns.

Report author, Dr. Windsor Holden, said: “High-profile companies such as Carlsberg are integrating branded AR apps into wider campaigns, while others – Time Out, Royal Mail, Coca Cola - are using B2C applications such as junaio to facilitate AR content. These initiatives are indicative of a growing desire amongst brands to use AR as a key tool to engage with the consumer.”

Other key findings of the Mobile Augmented Reality report include:
• Annual revenues generated by mobile AR applications and services are expected to approach $1.5 billion by 2015, up from less than $2 million in 2010.
• Enterprise apps with AR elements are expected to account for the third-largest proportion of revenues by 2015, after location-based search and games.
• Governments and mobile content regulators may need to revise or update existing regulations pertaining to privacy, libel and copyright to take AR applications into account.

Friday, February 25, 2011

CSR announces merger with Zoran

UK: CSR PLC and Zoran Corp. have entered into a merger agreement under which Zoran will merge with CSR for an equity value equivalent to approximately $679 million.

Under the terms of the nerger agreement, it is proposed that Zoran shareholders will receive 1.85 ordinary shares of CSR in the form of American Depositary Shares for each share of Zoran common stock held. In addition, CSR announces that it intends to return up to $240 million to shareholders via an on-market share buyback program.

CSR is a global leader in wireless connectivity and location. Zoran provides market-leading imaging and video technology for digital camera, home entertainment and multifunction printer products. In 2010, Zoran had total pro forma revenues of $441 million.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Motorola Solutions includes Bluetooth link in its wireless scanner products’ FIPS 140-2 validation

SCHAUMBURG, USA: Motorola Solutions Inc. announced that the DS6878 and MT2000 series of hand-held scanners have been successfully validated to meet the US Government Federal Information Processing Standards FIPS 140-2 requirements.

Used across Motorola's award-winning family of Mobile Computers, RFID Readers and Bar Code Scanner products targeted at enterprise and government markets, FIPS 140-2 testing ensures the product successfully implements approved algorithms, separates roles and services and has completed comprehensive security analyses.

FIPS 140-2 enables Federal Department of Defense (DoD) and civilian agencies to deploy cryptographically secure hand-held scanner solutions. Even the Bluetooth link utilizes the FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic module to ensure secure data transmissions.

The DS6878 family of cordless 2D imagers offers complete data capture functionality required to help streamline error-proof everyday processes. This cordless device can capture all common bar codes (1D, 2D and PDF417) on labels as well as on mobile phone displays and patient wristbands. The disinfectant-ready DS6878-HC extends the secure access of sensitive clinical information to a patient’s bedside, the nurse’s station, operating room and beyond with the highest levels of reliability and performance, now enhanced with FIPS 140-2.

The MT2000 family of products includes cost-effective mobile terminals for inventory and asset management. These products combine state-of-the-art data capture technology with an easy-to-use keyboard and QVGA user interface to run simple applications.

Spice Digital signs exclusive agreement with PPL for voice-based music streaming services

MUMBAI, INDIA: Spice Digital has entered into a historic exclusive arrangement with PPL for Voice based Music Streaming Services. It is a long term exclusive agreement for India's top three private mobile operators.

Spice started Music streaming services four years back and today has made it into the second largest VAS service for most of the operators. As you may recall, Spice Digital launched yet another innovative service "Mirchi Mobile" to provide a unique music proposition for the mobile users.

Shehzad Azad, Head - Business Development & Alliance for Spice Digital said: "We are delighted to join hands with PPL in bringing a much richer music listening experience to our customers. Spice along with its telecom partners has pioneered mobile music streaming service in India and has continuously worked to provide innovative and feature rich experience to listening music whenever, wherever and whatever.

":With such an exclusive tie-up with one of the India's largest music societies having access to over 10 lakh songs, right from 1950' to date, we will be able to provide much more enhanced and richer music listening experience to all the music loving people. We would be working closely with PPL to bring out lot of musical works for the first time on the mobile platform, which today is not easily available on any other format as well as provide a platform for all the new artists to reach out to over 600 million mobile customers across India."

Aircel launches 3G services in India

BENGALURU, INDIA: Aircel, which made its presence felt in the year 2010 with an impressive pan India network rollout, continues its growth momentum by announcing the much awaited launch of its 3G services. Aircel is the undisputed market leader in Chennai and Tamil Nadu, besides Assam and North-East.

Year 2010 was a watershed in the company's history as it crossed an all-India subscriber base of over 50 million subscribers and was among the fastest growing mobile companies in the country with its strong focus on youth, emerging markets and innovative date offerings.

During the year, Aircel made a strong commitment to the potentially fast growing data market in India, by grabbing a strong suite of 3G and BWA licenses. Aircel has already been the first Telco to get consumers to experience 3G, by creating a 3G experience zone in November, 2010.

Aircel is the fastest growing telecom service provider having rolled out 2G services in the shortest time frame in recent times. Aircel has recorded the fastest growth in revenue. In year 2010, revenue grew by 44 percent over 2009 and the incremental revenue market share grew by 19 percent in year 2010.

Aircel is a joint venture between Maxis Communications Berhad, a leading regional telecom group headquartered in Malaysia and the Apollo Hospitals Group. Maxis Berhad, its Malaysian subsidiary, the no. 1 operator in Malaysia, was recently voted among the five best run Telcos in the world and has the distinction of being among the top global Telcos with a fine mobile data record.

Sandip Das, Group CEO of Maxis, said: "This has been an important year for us in the Indian market, where we finally established our pan India presence, while keeping a date with India's future by successfully gaining a foothold on 3G and BWA licenses at the auctions. The Aircel team has shown strong execution skills staying much focused on our strategic intent in a crowded market, where we were given little chance to succeed.

"Our commitment to the market is underlined by the investment of over $8 billion we have made already and a further 3 bn USD we plan to spend in the next three years. Maxis has been outstanding data player and Aircel has the unique opportunity to take advantage of this by accessing content on a real time basis, besides building on its own inherent data pedigree. We see ourselves as a leading player in the next phase of India's telecom, internet and broadband play. We see mobile terminal devices giving Internet a new lease of life in a data starved environment as wide band data networks, starting with 3G, shrink distances."

Data has been at the core of Aircel‘s strategy, built on its astute PocketInternet positioning which captured the imagination of the youth, resonating almost instantly. Aircel represents the modern face of India's contemporary youth market, championing the future of telephony in India around the growing potential of the multi-functionality of the ubiquitous mobile terminal device and 'the world of possibilities' it will unleash across multiple segments, with the inclusion of underserved geographies.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bharti airtel and other global telcos launch EIG for Commercial use

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Bharti airtel announced the launch of Europe India Gateway (EIG) cable system that will enhance diversity and capacity between Europe and India.

The 15,000 Km cable has received investment of around $700 million and has a capacity of 3.84 terabits per second. EIG stretches from Mumbai in India to London UK, with landings enroute in UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Monaco & Marseilles, Gibraltar, Portugal and the UK. Apart from the segment of EIG in Egypt, the remaining cable is now available for commercial use.

With the launch of EIG, Bharti airtel added 3rd state-of-the-art cable to its existing infrastructure on India-Middle East- Europe route. The seamless connection and combination between landing stations of IMEWE, EIG and SMW4 will allow Bharti airtel to offer enhanced redundancy and network resilience to the customers in India, Middle East and Asia Pacific region. The company has been elected by the consortium to provide services relating to Network Administration and Network Operations Control functions for EIG.

The deployment of EIG will also boost the connectivity requirements of the African continent by complementing the largest existing submarine cable in Africa, the EASSy cable in which airtel has investments. airtel will have the capability to connect its capacities in EIG and EASSy seamlessly – this will offer customers enhanced international connectivity and network diversity.

New mobile security suite from McAfee

USA: McAfee Inc. announced that it is furthering its commitment to securing devices for work, personal life and commerce with enhanced mobile device offerings.

These new consumer to business-ready solutions, which are part of the McAfee mobile security portfolio, make it easier for device manufacturers and service providers to differentiate their offerings with security safeguards against device loss, data theft and malware.

McAfee is helping to set a new standard in mobile device security with its new Mobile Security Suite and Business Ready Program. McAfee has now bundled its WaveSecure and VirusScan Mobile technologies as a single license for partners, allowing users to remotely lock, locate, back-up, wipe and restore their stolen or lost devices, while at the same time protecting them against malware threats that originate via email, instant messaging and Internet downloads. This McAfee® mobile security offering is available immediately to McAfee partners.

The McAfee “Business Ready” program, which is set to launch in Q2 2011, will enable partners to pre-load or load McAfee® Enterprise Mobility Management (McAfee EMM) client software with the McAfee Mobile Security consumer client technology.

With every device that is loaded with WaveSecure, VirusScan Mobile, or the mobile suite, McAfee will also include the McAfee EMM client, making the device ready to be connected to the enterprise secured by McAfee EMM software. This enables consumers to purchase a device that is “business ready,” making it easier for them to bring their device to work, while also enabling McAfee partners to better serve their consumer and enterprise customer segments.

MCW2011: Creation of GTI to boost LTE TDD

AUSTRALIA: The creation of the GTI will likely boost the LTE-TDD technology.

Launch of GTI accelerates ecosystem development
In February 2011, China Mobile, Bharti Airtel, Softbank Mobile, Vodafone, Clearwire, E-Plus, and Aero2 officially launched the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI). The organization will focus on promoting the fast development of LTE TDD technology, promoting the convergence of LTE TDD and FDD modes to maximize economies of scale, and sharing the ecosystem with other TDD technologies, such as the Japanese eXtended Global Platform (XGP) technology.

In the mobile telecoms industry, scale is vital – something that WiMAX can testify to. A certain scale for LTE TDD was guaranteed by strong support from China Mobile, the largest operator in the world. However, as TD-SCDMA proved to its cost, this is not necessarily enough to make LTE TDD technology a global success.

China Mobile consequently considered it strategically vital to garner support from other key players. Attracting vendors’ interest was the easy part given China Mobile’s size, but making sure that other operators would consider the LTE TDD option required more imagination. This LTE TDD evangelism started years ago, often behind the scenes, and finally came to fruition with the creation of the GTI.

As a consequence, the main merit of the GTI announcement really lies in the official support for LTE TDD (and better harmonization with LTE FDD) from a number of international players. With heavyweights such as China Mobile, Bharti Airtel, Softbank Mobile, and Vodafone Group – serving more than 1.1 billion subscribers in total at the end of 2010 – the GTI is certainly heading in the right direction.

However, to further contribute to the virtuous cycle that the GTI aims to fuel, the organization remains fully open to all operators and technology vendors interested in promoting LTE TDD.

China Mobile will not be the first to launch commercial LTE TDD services
The GTI launch event in Barcelona confirmed what we expected: with a launch expected in 2012, China Mobile will not be the first operator in the world with commercial LTE TDD services. However, it is true that the operator’s large-scale trial networks to be deployed in seven cities in 2011 will be much bigger than the majority of LTE (TDD and FDD) commercial networks available at that time.

Among the LTE TDD frontrunners, the GTI event confirmed Aero2 from Poland as a candidate to become the first with commercial services, in as early as May 2011. The operator will use equipment from Huawei to construct a converged LTE FDD/TDD network. Softbank Mobile also unveiled plans to commercially launch LTE TDD services in Japan before the end of 2011.

Like Aero2, the Japanese operator will use the 2.5GHz spectrum band. Softbank Mobile recognizes that the timeline set for its LTE TDD project is aggressive, but claimed that it has full confidence in vendors to overcome the various challenges. In Softbank’s opinion, LTE TDD is better suited to handle mobile data services. This is because the technology’s asymmetric nature fits well with mobile broadband data usage patterns and because of the greater technical efficiency of LTE TDD versus LTE FDD in terms of smart antenna systems. Finally, the official support of LTE TDD by Bharti Airtel means that there are now three 2.3GHz broadband wireless access spectrum owners committed to rolling out the technology in India.

Speaking at the event, the CEO of Bharti Airtel, Sanjay Kapoor, stated that support from operators in India and China will ensure scale for LTE TDD and definitely signals the end of WiMAX’s hopes.

Ovum encourages operators in developed countries to be pragmatic
So far, operators have continued to favor the FDD variant of LTE, especially in developed markets. However, we recommend that these operators, which sometimes own unused TDD spectrum, closely monitor the development of the LTE TDD market. The reason is simple: given the rise of data traffic, all spectrum is valuable. They should continue to adopt a very pragmatic approach to LTE TDD.

This consists of ensuring LTE FDD/TDD integration into network equipment now and into devices once the LTE TDD device ecosystem is sufficiently mature. If LTE TDD becomes widely adopted, by 2014-15 LTE FDD operators may well be tempted to leverage LTE TDD cost benefits to add extra capacity to their networks.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mobile music revenues to reach $5.5 billion by 2015

HAMPSHIRE, UK: A new report by Juniper Research forecasts that music consumed on mobile handsets will generate $5.5 billion annually in 2015, a rise of $3.1 billion from 2010.

The report finds that mobile music is becoming an increasingly important part of the digital music sector, which is propping up a failing industry hit by over a decade of widespread online piracy.

Since the popularisation of P2P file sharing at the end of the last century, the music industry’s sales have gone into free fall, as consumers rejected the physical distribution of music in favour of easier, but illegal means of acquiring it. The industry response was initially slow, but legal digital distribution services, such as Apple’s iTunes are now blossoming, and mobile handsets are increasingly becoming the key platform for them.

Mobile Music Opportunities report author Daniel Ashdown argues: “Initially, PC downloading and sideloading to MP3 players was the only way to go; but the development of mobile devices has now reached the point where they match the technical specs of dedicated MP3 players. Add in connectivity – just one click to buy and download – along with all the other smartphone features, and there is no competition between the two. This is why sales of Apple’s iPhone are going to outstrip its iPod in the not too distant future.”

However, the report warns that piracy still remains a significant threat – both online and on the mobile. Juniper Research finds that P2P file sharing is slowly migrating to the mobile, with BitTorrent applications now available on Android Market, for example. With the rollout of 4G networks about to increase, the report recommends that the graduate response – enacted by legislation in many countries – be strongly enforced and expanded to mobile networks.

Vodafone chooses Huawei for complete network swap out

Nicole McCormick, senior analyst, Ovum.

AUSTRALIA: Chinese vendor Huawei has scooped its first radio access network deal in Australia with Vodafone, dealing a big blow to incumbent vendors Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks.

Under the deal, Huawei will replace Vodafone’s entire 2G/3G network with its SingleRAN solution, which can accommodate 2G, 3G and LTE technologies in a single base station.

It was not a surprise that Huawei, as a price leader, was on the shortlist for this contract. But it is surprising that Huawei has ousted Vodafone’s long-standing vendors. Price has played a key part in this decision.

Vodafone is not out of the woods yet. This network overhaul is long overdue, and Vodafone and Huawei will need to proceed quickly to deploy the network infrastructure, which includes 42Mbps HSPA+ at 850MHz, to address Vodafone’s network capacity issues. While LTE will launch at 1800MHz by year-end, the completion of the network swap out is still some 18 months away.

Mobile trends and their impact on app market

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Some major trends about the mobile apps market were clearly visible at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. How will trends like new operating systems, new devices, new technologies, developer migration, etc. affect the global apps market? Here is a quick rundown:

Symbian is dead! Long live Windows7: This is probably the biggest single piece of news to emerge from last week’s event. Windows 7 will be used as the primary OS for Nokia’s smartphone portfolio. According to Elop (Nokia CEO) there will be a two year transition time before all new devices are being shipped with the OS from Microsoft, but from our discussions with Microsoft and Nokia we realize that there is a large amount of pressure to make that period as short as possible, especially as it will become even more difficult to convince developers to develop for Symbian, a dead end platform.

The co-existence of Nokia phones running on WindowsPhone 7, Symbian and MeeGo presents a challenge. The future of MeeGo seems to be very uncertain even though Nokia and Intel stated their intent to offer an alternative platform especially for non smartphone devices. Windows 7 will definitely become a very interesting platform for developers in the future. If it will meet the expectations of those two giants is not clear just yet.

Tablets are everywhere: All major and quite a few smaller OEMs presented their answer to the iPad. They were probably the most touched and intensively tested devices at the MWC. Apple created this new market and sold almost 15 million iPads in only nine months. Not many analysts forecasted this tremendous success (including us).

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Tab’s successor the Galaxy Tab 10.1 based on Android’s avatar for tablets: Honeycomb. LG, HP, HTC, Motorola, RIM, Lenovo and Toshiba all announced devices at the MWC 2011. RIM plans to release its super Playbook’s WiFi version late in Q1 2011, and HSPA+ and LTE, office software capability, multitasking OS, along with Flash, HTML5 and open internet standards in H2 2011. HP also unveiled Touchpad, a webOS based tablet.

ZTE will accelerate its expansion on smart devices by launching lightweight tablets based on Honeycomb, which will be due in Q3 2011. Malata, a smaller Chinese vendor, only showed its portfolio of tablets in Barcelona. What it shows: There will be hundreds of tablets launched by the end of 2011. It is going to be the year of the tablets. Make sure your apps look good on them.

Broad awareness for mHealth and home monitoring: mHealth was clearly the biggest cross industry topic on the conference. Most of the OEM and operators as well as big fishes like Qualcomm and IBM showed some of their solutions which make use of a mobile device to support the treatment of a patient. Interesting that most of the mHealth solutions where not smartphone centered but made use of a specific device. Only smaller players which showed their solutions in the health care pavilion where mainly smartphone focused.

Home monitoring has been another interesting cross industry area which caught a lot of attention during the week. Telco companies used an entire pavilion, the “Embedded House”, to showcase their offerings. It became clear that the Telco industry will compete against the energy industry in that promising market.

Cross platform development is becoming more visible: It is clear that in the following years developers will face increasing challenges in developing apps for multi app platforms. There are some promising cross platform development tools and platforms out there which should gain more attention in the near future. There are a growing number of companies concentrating on those services such as Service2Media, Mobile Distillery, ideas2mobile and Geniem. Another interesting concept that showcased at the event is Kinoma by Marvell. This could be described as an app store within an app store. Marvell claims that apps running in the Kinoma environment must be developed only once and work on Android and Windows 7 operating systems.

Nokia launches Ovi Store with Reliance Communications in India

MUMBAI, INDIA: Nokia and Reliance Communications, in a first of its kind partnership in the country, announced the launch of the India chapter of Ovi Store, Nokia’s immensely popular mobile application store.

Reliance Communications will be the first service provider to offer integrated operator billing for their consumers in India enabling access to a host of paid for content on the Ovi Store. The amount will be either included in their monthly mobile phone bills or deducted from the pre-paid balance, per their data plans.

The Ovi Store is a one-stop-shop for mobile content to help consumers personalize their Nokia devices. It supports the widest range of content and file types including applications, games, videos, podcasts, productivity tools, web and location-based services and much more.

Launched in 2009, the Ovi Store has 4 million downloads per day globally, a milestone spurred by overall global demand and a recent update that gives users a friendlier look and feel as well as more popular apps and games. India currently sees more than 4.5 million downloads a week.

Prashant Gokarn - 3G head, Reliance Communications, said: “Nokia and RCOM have had a longstanding and an extremely fruitful association, and this new venture will only strengthen our joint mission to offer enriched services to our loyal consumers. This relationship brings exclusive apps through Ovi Store coupled with a convenient purchase process. This service will usher in significant growth in adoption and usage of apps in India. This service is a big step in a series of innovation led products from RCOM.”

V Ramnath, director - Operator Channels, Nokia India, said: “Our partnership with Reliance Communications is a big step towards providing Indian consumers easy and simplified access to Ovi Store content through operator billing. The response from consumers in India has already exceeded our expectations, with the number of weekly downloads crossing 4.5 million. We believe our partnership will help accelerate this further.

“Ovi Store is focused on providing relevant and useful content to our consumers to help them get the most out of their mobile lifestyle. For Reliance consumers, we have especially made available over 17,000 pieces of locally relevant paid for content,” he added.

Mobile operators should fear threat from Facebook

AUSTRALIA: Facebook is shaping up to be a strong competitor to mobile operators that are in danger of underestimating the threat it poses, according to Ovum.

In a new report* the independent telecoms analyst states that Facebook is much more than a social network – this is just a starting point and its domain spreads much wider. However operators are being slow to wake up to the extent of Facebook’s ambitions and tend to view it as benign, non-competitive presence that they are keen to form partnerships.

Eden Zoller, author of the report and Ovum principal analyst, said: “Facebook is encroaching directly on mobile operator territory and should not be underestimated.”

“It has come a very long way since it first launched Facebook Mobile in 2006. It is now a force to be reckoned with in mobile with over 200 million users interacting with the service via mobile phone. It is much more than a social network and is better viewed as an increasingly rich platform for communications and content. Facebook wants to integrate with everything and be the main way that people consume and share information, anywhere and on any device.”

Facebook has made several moves that have placed it in competition with mobile operators. It has an integration deal with Skype for voice communications and in November 2010 unveiled an email offering. Meanwhile, it is turning increasing attention to location-based services with its Places platform and is pushing into mobile advertising in the shape of the Facebook Deals ‘check-in’ service. Facebook apps dominate app stores across most smartphone operating systems.

Zoller continued: “There is also intense ongoing speculation that Facebook will come out with its own phone, which in some respects would be the final piece of the puzzle. However, we don’t think that Facebook is any rush to launch its own hardware just yet, although it could be interested in working with partners on a customised device platform. This would in effect make Facebook a social operating system.”

Despite this competition from Facebook, mobile operators are keen to partner with it, for example by offering easy access to its services and address book integration.

Zoller added: “While there are good reasons why operators should wish to partner with Facebook, they should be more alert to the fact that it is shaping up to be a strong competitor. It is only by understanding Facebook fully that operators can engage with it effectively, be that on a collaborative or competitive basis.”

Monday, February 21, 2011

Madura Mobile Micro Markets (m4) launched through Madura Carnival

MADURAI, INDIA: In a path breaking and significant initiative, Madura Microfinance Ltd will provide mobile connectivity to its members across Tamil Nadu to enable them in expanding their business operations beyond limiting boundaries. The Madura Carnival, will launch this “upwardly mobile” initiative while also celebrating Madura Microfinance’s fifteenth year of operations.

Under the banner of m4 (Madura Mobile Micro Markets), the Micro-Markets division of Madura will dial into 3000 villages across Tamil Nadu with the aim of providing connectivity and mobile-based market linkages to its members. This initiative will run for a period of two months from February 20th to April 25th. Further, there are several activities from road shows (at the village level), events (with a group of villages), and carnivals (fun-filled events at the cluster level) that will take place with the aim of reaching 1 million people.

Partnering with Vodafone and Nokia, the m4 initiative will empower members with Mobile, SIM and Voice based services while also providing the rural populace with health and business tips through Voice alerts. Each member will be provided with a good mobile handset that can be purchased with an interest free loan along with a prepaid calling plan.

Calls will be priced at nominal rates so that the mobile is affordable. Education on how to use the mobile and benefits of business opportunities through mobile will be explained to all members so that they connect to the initiative to take their businesses beyond their villages.

“We at Madura believe in the power of technology and its inherent capability to be a great leveller. The “upwardly mobile” initiative is one in a series of our efforts to empower rural communities to be truly successful. Being connected via mobiles will enable building of market linkages for our members,” said Sunder Thiyagarajan, head of Madura Micro-Markets.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

ZTE exclusively demos LTE-A CoMP-based services

Mobile World Congress 2011, SHENZHEN, CHINA: ZTE Corp. has demonstrated video call, video streaming and ftp services based on LTE-A CoMP (Coordinated Multipoint) technology at the Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, Spain, which makes ZTE the first and only telecoms vendor to demonstrate LTE-A CoMP-based services in the world.

During the demonstration, the system achieved downstream peak speed of over 1Gbps, enabling participants to become the first to experience the blazing fast speeds offered by fourth generation wireless communications technologies. ZTE also unveiled plans to introduce commercial LTE-A products in 2012, to meet the growing need for high-speed data communication.

ZTE’s LTE-A CoMP prototype incorporates a number of key technologies such as multi-antenna enhancement, MU-MIMO, and multi-point joint coordinated transmission. Through the use of CoMP technology in the solution, throughput on the edge is dramatically increased.

In recent years, ZTE has accumulated technologies in the LTE-related core areas. For example, in the research of standards, as of November 30, 2010, ZTE held 235 ETSI essential patents (EPs), accounting for 7 percent of the total number of EPs for LTE that had already been declared, showing that ZTE has entered the “Tier-1 Camp” in terms of EPs for the 4G standards. To date, ZTE has contributed about 550 proposals to the 3GPP RAN Working Group in the LTE-A field.

LogMeIn Rescue intros remote support for Android tablets, smartphones

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, SPAIN & WOBURN, USA: Mobile operators, device manufacturers, and IT helpdesks can now remotely diagnose and troubleshoot Android smartphones and tablets virtually anywhere with a mobile network connection with the new release of LogMeIn Rescue.

LogMeIn Inc. is extending its focus on supporting mobile consumers and workers, by addressing the rapid rise of Android tablets and smartphones. The Android features build on Rescue’s mobile capabilities, which also include support for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile devices. Demonstrations of the new capabilities can be seen at LogMeIn’s product blog, or by visiting the LogMeIn booth (booth #1G31) and the Google booth (booth #8C25) at Mobile World Congress 2011.

A major North American mobile operator and two leading Android device manufacturers have already signed up to provide the new on-demand support features, and pre-deploy Rescue on select smartphones and tablets. These LogMeIn Rescue-enabled Android devices are expected to ship in the first half of 2011. LogMeIn Rescue is currently used by more than a dozen of the world’s top mobile operators, including Orange, Telstra, Telus, Telenor, as well as four of the top five US operators, to support to their remote users and customers.

Two versions of the new capabilities are available – one for mobile operators and device manufacturers, and one for businesses. The mobile operator/OEM version introduces the ability to remotely control customer devices, over the air, directly from a computer, as if the device were in a support technician’s hands.

A business version designed for IT helpdesks provides the ability to remotely support Android tablets and smartphone users. Both include a diagnostic dashboard that clearly displays device information, the ability to transfer files between the technician and the end user’s device as well as an ability to chat with a user. Remote control capabilities will initially be available only on the operator/OEM version.

“With hundreds of different Android device types in the market and a multitude of manufacturers announcing the pending arrival of new Android tablets in 2011, consumers and mobile professionals are the likely beneficiaries of this healthy competition. But this extensive selection introduces significant, potentially costly support challenges for mobile operators and IT helpdesks,” said IDC analyst, Stephen Drake, Program VP, Mobility and Telecom. “Tools that provide the ability to remotely diagnose and troubleshoot problems across multiple mobile OSes and device types are rapidly become an essential part of the modern helpdesk.”

"Mobile operators and device manufacturers want to make sure their customers have the absolute best experience with their Android smartphones and tablets, and good, fast support is a critical part of keeping those customers happy," said Lee Weiner VP, Support Products at LogMeIn. "By working closely with our mobile and OEM customers, we've created a new version of LogMeIn Rescue that is now shipping on many of today’s most popular tablets and smartphones to provide Android users with a highly efficient customer support experience."

Android has also had a significant impact on businesses, IT providers, and MSPs, who are looking for ways to support the myriad of devices running the popular OS in the work environment. The new release of LogMeIn Rescue, which also provides remote support for PCs and Macs, introduces a variety of capabilities to address internal and external IT helpdesk needs.

“The growth of Android and other smartphones represents new implications for IT support of consumer devices in the workplace as the edge of the network is further extended. Whether companies decide to standardize on an OS or simply adopt a ‘bring your own device’ policy, a world-class Service Desk like that at CompuCom must support an increasingly wide range of device-types,” said Thomas Vetterani, Vice President at CompuCom, the leading IT outsourcing specialist that uses LogMeIn Rescue to support a wide-range of clients across the globe. “LogMeIn Rescue manages a variety of computers, smartphones and tablet devices through a single tool — a compelling proposition for the flexibility needed to evolve the way we support our clients.”

Sybase extends global mobile IP connectivity between RIM's Blackberry infrastructure and mobile operators

BANGALORE, INDIA: Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase Inc., the global leader in mobile messaging and mobile commerce services, has announced the availability of its comprehensive suite of IPX (IP eXchange) services for RIM’s BlackBerry infrastructure.

Sybase 365 provides connectivity between RIM’s BlackBerry Infrastructure and mobile operators around the world using the secure private Sybase IPX 365 network. The global service gives mobile operators a scalable, reliable and cost-efficient solution for connecting to the BlackBerry Infrastructure.

The Sybase IPX 365 network is designed to serve both fixed and mobile network operators with the premium quality of service and security required in the conversion to IP networks. The full suite of IPX 365 services includes global data roaming (GRX), SMS and MMS messaging hubs, IPX Voice and roaming signalling —all run over a leading, high quality Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network.

“With the proliferation of smartphones worldwide, connectivity is a key service for mobile operators, who historically had to connect their customers using international private circuits or through a secure tunnel over the public internet,” said Howard Stevens, senior vice president, International Operations, Sybase 365. “By hosting connectivity to RIM’s BlackBerry Infrastructure through an IPX network, which is vastly superior to the public internet, the service is more scalable and efficient.”

Operator benefits of Sybase IPX service for connecting to RIM’s BlackBerry Infrastructure include:
Service quality and availability – Sybase IPX 365 network is engineered for high performance and resiliency. Contrary to private line circuits, if there is a fault anywhere in the network, it will simply result in packets being rerouted without loss of service. And unlike the Public Internet, performance parameters for packet loss and latency are guaranteed.

Security – Sybase IPX 365 network is completely isolated from the Public Internet, providing a highly secure environment, designed and managed according to best industry practice.

Scalability – Sybase’s solution for connecting to RIM’s BlackBerry Infrastructure is highly scalable. Mobile operators can easily upgrade the bandwidth within the capacity of the port at which they are connected to the Sybase IPX 365 network.

Cost efficiency – Connectivity to RIM’s BlackBerry Infrastructure is provided as a separate VPN over the Sybase IPX 365 network, in addition to the other IPX services including Sybase GRX 365, Sybase IPX Voice and Roaming Signalling. This means a cost-efficient use of network connectivity.

Friday, February 18, 2011

LogMeIn to demo popular Android app running on Honeycomb tablets

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, SPAIN & WOBURN, USA: LogMeIn Inc. will be demonstrating a new, preview version of its popular remote access app, LogMeIn Ignition, running on the Motorola Xoom Android Tablet.

Designed for the tablet-optimized Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform, the app will be featured with a select handful of popular developer titles at the Android stand at Mobile World Congress (Hall 8, Stand C25) in Barcelona, Spain.

LogMeIn will also be demonstrating a new release of its flagship remote support product, LogMeIn Rescue, and a preview of its join.me Android viewer running on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform at both the Android and LogMeIn stands. The new version of Rescue gives mobile operators the ability to remotely control, diagnose and troubleshoot subscriber’s Android devices over the air. The join.me Android viewer expands the mobile capabilities of LogMeIn’s free screen sharing service, join.me.

LogMeIn Ignition lets users remotely access and control PCs or Macs directly from a mobile device or tablet, providing easy access to files, data and applications, from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection. The Android version of the app, originally released in July 2010, is currently among the top paid productivity apps in Android Market.

In January 2011, LogMeIn released a significant update designed to take advantage of early Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and introduced a variety of new features for tablet and/or Android smartphone users.

Femtocell deployments more than double in 12 months

Mobile World Congress, BARCELONA, SPAIN: Informa Telecoms & Media issued its latest femtocell market status report which revealed that deployments have more than doubled in the past 12 months.

The report found that although residential services represent the overwhelming majority of femtocell deployments, the market has also started to see particularly strong growth in the enterprise sector. Almost a third of femtocell deployments now include enterprise offerings, contrasting strongly with the situation 12 months ago when there were no non-residential deployments. It also highlighted the importance of the first urban and rural rollouts over this period.

In total there are now 19 femtocell deployments globally compared with nine at Mobile World Congress 2010. These include six enterprise offerings, two urban deployments from Vodafone Qatar and Telefonica Spain as well as an outdoor rural service from SoftBank in Japan. These demonstrate that operator interest is not limited to residential services alone.

Non-residential femtocell services focus on the high-value enterprise market, public places such as metropolitan environments where they provide a capacity boost, and rural areas where network coverage has traditionally been uneconomical.

Furthermore, the past quarter has also seen important progress in femtocell technology. In addition to more powerful models that cover larger areas, new low power USB-connected femtocell designs promise to open up new service opportunities for operators. The second femtocell plugfest also took place, indicating that the industry is close to seeing widespread standardised femtocell deployments.

“While residential femtocell deployments continue to grow we are seeing changes in the market as a whole with operators realising the technology can extend to the enterprise, rural and urban markets. Enterprise offerings are rapidly becoming a standard component of all femtocell deployments. Beyond this, operators have already started to embrace urban femtocells to overcome the coverage challenge, and outdoor designs for rural markets which could also revolutionise developing markets too,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Informa Telecoms & Media expects the femtocell market to experience significant growth over the next few years, reaching just under 49 million femtocell access points (FAP) in the market by 2014 with 114 million mobile users accessing mobile networks through femtocells during that year. Healthy growth is anticipated throughout the forecast period with femtocell unit sales reaching 25 million in 2014 alone.

The expansion of the femtocell industry is also reflected in the growing membership of the Femto Forum, the femtocell industry association, which now includes 74 vendors and 61 mobile operators representing over 1.71 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, across multiple wireless technologies (WiMAX, UMTS and CDMA) and accounts for 33% of total mobile subscribers worldwide.

Final IEEE 1901 broadband over power line standard published!

MUMBAI, INDIA: IEEE, the world's largest professional association advancing technology for humanity, announced that the final IEEE 1901 Broadband over Power Line (BPL) standard finalized in December 2010 is now published and available online at: http://standards.ieee.org/findstds/standard/1901-2010.html or through the IEEE Xplore Digital Library at: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/articleSale/Sarticle.jsp?arnumber=5678772.

Sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society (www.comsoc.org), this globally recognized BPL standard is designed for use in a wide range of applications including smart energy, transportation and Local Area Networks (LANs) in both the home and the enterprise.

Networking products that fully comply with IEEE 1901 will deliver data rates in excess of 500 Mbps in LAN applications. In first-mile/last-mile applications, IEEE 1901-compliant devices will achieve ranges of up to 1500 meters. The technology specified by IEEE 1901 uses sophisticated modulation techniques to transmit data over standard AC power lines of any voltage at transmission frequencies of less than 100 MHz.

In the transportation sector, for example, the standard's data rates and range make it possible to deliver A/V entertainment to the seats of airplanes, trains and other mass transit vehicles. Electric vehicles can download a new entertainment playlist to the A/V system while the car is charging overnight.

In the home segment, PLC will complement wireless LANs by providing a link through walls and other RF impediments as well as over distances beyond the normal range of wireless networks. It will also complement wireless networks in hotels and other multistory buildings by carrying multimedia data over the longer distances and allowing wireless to complete the communication link over the last few meters.

IEEE 1901 will also benefit utilities, service providers, and consumer electronics companies - anyone with a stake in smart grid technologies - as well as smart-meter providers and home appliance manufacturers.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mercury provides integrated ATCA subsystems to edge South Korean 4G telecom system

CHELMSFORD, USA: Mercury Computer Systems Inc. announced that it provided powerful subsystems for the world’s first operational Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) system demonstrated outside lab conditions.

The fourth-generation (4G) mobile telecommunications system, developed by South Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), can transmit data 40 times faster than the current 3G wireless network and 6 times faster than the 3.9G LTE systems currently being deployed.

The new LTE-A system uses a low-latency processing subsystem that combines multiple types of elements, leveraging Mercury’s unique capability as a provider of integrated data plane platforms. The subsystem is based on Mercury’s flexible, open standard Ensemble™ AdvancedTCA® Application Platform.

“It was exciting to support ETRI in its impressive achievement of successfully demonstrating a market-leading 4G solution,” said Ken Kimura, director, Asia-Pacific region, Mercury Computer Systems. “Our engineers worked closely with ETRI engineers to architect and integrate an optimized solution that met the extremely demanding LTE-A processing requirements. The final result is a testament to effective cooperation.”

South Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy said that the new system from ETRI allows users to view high-definition, three-dimensional TV images while in a car moving 40 kilometers per hour and to transmit 600 megabits of data per second (Mbps), which enables a regular 700 megabyte CD to be downloaded in 9.3 seconds.

This class of performance is enabled by Mercury’s ATCA subsystems, which provide high density, multi-core processing power and next generation serial RapidIO®, allowing systems to perform complex calculations and deliver deterministic, low-latency responses and exceptional Quality of Service capabilities.

The broad technology content in Mercury’s subsystems, including numerous DSPs, FPGAs, and QorIQ and control processors, coupled with integrated configuration and management tools, is ideally suited for developing and deploying leading-edge communications applications.

Mercury’s Ensemble AdvancedTCA Application Platform is a standards-based solution built around the power, functionality, and scalability of serial RapidIO, AdvancedMC™ (AMC), and AdvancedTCA (ATCA). The platform supports a variety of I/O sources and heterogeneous processing endpoints, thereby reducing integration costs, improving efficiency, and minimizing risks in design of next-generation applications.

“Mercury looks forward to supporting ETRI and other South Korean entities in this on-going effort to develop and deploy commercial LTE-Advanced wireless communications,” Kimura added. Building on ETRI’s system solution, South Korea can anticipate being an early adopter of LTE-A, with local commercial service beginning as early as 2015.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nokia unveils stylish C-Series mobile phones

BANGALORE, INDIA: Nokia India has unveiled two stylish and affordable devices, Nokia C1-01 and Nokia C1-02 in Bangalore.

Setting a new standard all over again, Nokia blends affordability with style and introduces power-packed devices with features that are relevant for the entry consumers. Enabling consumers to store up to 32 GB of music, photographs and videos, the Nokia C1-01 and Nokia C1-02 are available at exciting price points of Rs. 2,789 and Rs. 2.394 respectively.

Nokia C1-01 specifically, has been launched with an exclusive offer from India’s largest mobile services provider, Bharti airtel. As part of airtel’s ‘all in one’ offer for Nokia C1-01, customers will get 250 night minutes of airtel-to-airtel talktime, 50 MB data usage and 500 SMSes (local and national), as well as local and STD call rate of 40p/min. Night minutes/data usage/SMS and call rate is valid for 30 days.

In addition, Nokia C1-01 and Nokia C1-02 provide consumers easy access to internet and key multimedia functionalities and helps them share data easily through Bluetooth, MMS and USB slot. Nokia C1-01 and Nokia C1-02 also come with one month free access to Ovi Life Tools service.

TS Sridhar, regional GM (South), Nokia India, said: “Mobile devices coupled with Internet are opening millions of opportunities to people around the world. Nokia is leading the market by introducing affordable devices with tools specifically tailored for customers in emerging markets helping them do more with their phones. We are excited to add two new devices to our C-Series portfolio, offering powerful features like 32 GB expandable memory and enabling easy access to information, news and entertainment.”

The Nokia C1-01 offer by airtel will be the first to leverage “Over-The-Air” (OTA) platform, which will reduce logistical challenges in SIM bundling and allow self provisioning of the offer upon insertion of SIM in customers’ Nokia C1-01 handsets – thereby ensuring maximum customer convenience.

Sudipto Chowdhury, CEO, Mobile Services – Rajasthan, Bharti airtel said: “As the country’s leading mobile services provider, it is our constant endeavor to combine the power of our strong network presence - with best value, ecosystem partnerships and service experience for our customers. The exclusive Nokia C1-01 offer on airtel will further deliver on this promise for airtel customers across Rajasthan”.

Bringing in aesthetic designs with exciting colours, Nokia C1-01 and Nokia C1-02, give consumers an opportunity to enjoy listening to music on the in-built music player and FM radio with recording. In addition, owners of the Nokia C1-01 will also be able to take video and photographs using the built-in VGA camera.

Huawei extends license with SPIRIT DSP for HD voice and video

SHANGHAI, CHINA & MOSCOW, RUSSIA: SPIRIT DSP, the world's top voice and video over IP engines provider, has announced that Huawei Technologies has extended its license with SPIRIT DSP for HD voice and video to carriers.

Huawei's product and services are deployed in over 100 countries and serve 45 of the world's top 50 telecom operators, as well as one third of the world's population.

Under terms of the agreement, Huawei, an existing SPIRIT customer since 2007, will use SPIRIT's TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine PC in its IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem), Unified Communications (UC) and Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) solutions to carriers from the Huawei core network, delivering a PC video softphone to Huawei's carrier customers.

"Today, traditional carriers and service providers are under competitive pressure from the over-the-top providers like Skype, Google, etc., and they need innovative and cost-effective solutions to gain new revenue streams and meet the growing demand for a quality IP communication experience across all devices," said Wind Min, product manager of Huawei's VOIP product. "We're pleased to be extending our relationship with SPIRIT, a world leading provider of innovative, carrier-grade voice and video over IP software, to deliver this core functionality to carriers, who are well positioned with their managed networks and massive enterprise and consumer customer base to gain majority share of this rapidly growing market."

“We're proud that Huawei as turned to SPIRIT, once again, to deliver this much-needed functionality to its carrier customers,” said SPIRIT's Chairman Andrew Sviridenko. "By leveraging our TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine, Huawei can quickly offer service providers the highest quality IP communication solution so they can aggressively compete against others, and remain the No. 1 source for voice and video services."

The TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine is an SDK for real-time communication over IP networks. The engine includes highly optimized standard voice codecs, such as G.711, G723, G.729, etc. and a patent-free wideband SPIRIT IP-MRTM codec optimized for voice transmission over IP networks.

The engine also includes an H.264 SVC video codec that addresses video packet loss and includes other video quality improvements, including a network adaptation module that compensates for network jitter and packet loss, allowing service providers to offer HD quality voice and video communication services to millions of users.

Alcatel-Lucent, Sequans to accelerate development of global LTE ecosystem

Mobile World Congress 2011, BARCELONA, SPAIN: Sequans Communications announced that it is working with Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) to ready TD-LTE solutions in all frequency bands, to support large-scale trials and commercial deployments worldwide in 2011, including China and India.

Thanks to the synergy between the two companies and advanced interoperability testing (IOT) between Sequans’ 4G/LTE chipset and Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE infrastructure, operators will benefit from new products developed by Sequans’ manufacturing partners that will support mass market deployment in 2011.

The new products include low-cost devices such as USB dongles, indoor and outdoor CPE, portable Wi-Fi routers, connected tablet and notebook computers fully interoperable with Alcatel-Lucent network equipments that will enrich the global LTE ecosystem and contribute to accelerate its development.

”As numerous LTE operators prepare to scale their networks, Sequans and Alcatel-Lucent’s TD-LTE solutions are providing an accelerated time-to-market solution in response to the dynamic demand of operators who are looking for a diverse selection of high-performance, economical devices to unlock new revenue streams and innovative 4G business models,” said Doug Wolff, VP, 4G LTE Solutions at Alcatel-Lucent.

“Our collaboration with Sequans supports our efforts to foster a rich and open LTE ecosystem of devices that are fully integrated with our leading end-to-end LTE solution. Our joint efforts will leverage both companies’ capabilities to address the high growth potential of TD-LTE in China and India.”

“By working with Alcatel-Lucent, we are extending our TD-LTE leadership by optimizing the performance and features of our LTE chipsets, enabling our manufacturing partners to supply a diverse set of cost-effective end-user devices, and enabling operators to launch their networks successfully in 2011,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “We are proud to partner with Alcatel-Lucent and are excited to work with them to provide solutions for both TDD and FDD network operators as they deploy.”

Sequans and Alcatel-Lucent supported China Mobile’s TD-LTE trial network at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai last year. Sequans was among the first chipset providers to support China Mobile’s TD-LTE demonstration network for the expo.

Tata Docomo to trial Xius' NFC-enabled mobile touch transition active poster solution

HYDERABAD, INDIA & WOBURN, USA: XIUS, a leader in delivering innovative mobile transaction solutions for mobile operators and MVNOs worldwide, announced that it has recently signed agreements with Tata Docomo to deliver its Mobile Touch Transaction (MTT) solutions, offering Tata Docomo the unique opportunity for optimization of revenue by providing anytime, anywhere electronic talk time recharge, bill payment, and other value-added services in self-service mode using near field communications technology.

Tata Docomo will trial the MTT services within Hyderabad, offering a number of customers access to this new retail mobile experience via the Tata Docomo distribution channel. Initial transactions will include mobile phone top-up, download of ringtones (Polytones), and download of wallpaper.

The MTT solution addresses the mobile operators’ desire to increase its retail points of presence, provide self-service to more non-traditional top-up and other value-added service points (coffee shops, etc) through self-service Active Posters, which are intuitive and easy to use. As well, the solution provides the mobile operator with the security and controls expected of a carrier-grade solution while integrating to billing systems as well as multiple value-added service platforms, ensuring delivery of purchased product as well as the receipt of payment for the same. The solution is an innovative end-to-end purchase, delivery, and payment solution – all in one.

The network-agnostic Mobile Touch Transaction (MTT) solution works through a network of multiple touch points, such as RFID Sticki, Contactless-SIM, Touch Pads, In-car services and Active Posters. Active Posters or APs are a type of printed electronic technology with paper-thin-self-service terminal device and glass touch sensing. The APs act as virtual malls, enabling as many as 18 retail touch points at any customer gathering point.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

3LM and partners announce plans to launch enterprise manager solution for Android

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Three Laws Mobility Inc. (3LM), a subsidiary of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., in conjunction with HTC Corp., Sony Ericsson, Pantech CO. Limited and Sharp Electronics Corp. (Sharp), has announced plans to launch a complete end-to-end mobile management solution based on the 3LM Android enterprise platform.

3LM will offer the first mobile management solution for Android devices that supports all of the critical IT device policies commonly requested by businesses and governmental entities, and is designed to enable the adoption of Android devices among enterprise users by addressing ease, cost-of-management and security concerns of IT managers and chief information officers.

"We are extremely pleased to announce this series of partnerships that will significantly enhance the capabilities of Android devices for enterprise businesses," said Tom Moss and Gaurav Mathur, co-founders of 3LM. "The 3LM solution was developed for three reasons: first, to enable next generation mobile devices such as tablets and phones to become the primary computing devices at enterprises, replacing laptops without sacrificing security or functionality; second, to help enterprises reduce IT costs while at the same time increasing user choice and satisfaction; and finally, to unleash innovation in enterprise applications and services."

3LM, which was acquired in 2010 by Motorola Mobility, expects to launch its mobile device management services for enterprises in the second quarter of 2011, in conjunction with devices from Motorola Mobility, HTC, Sony Ericsson, Pantech, Sharp and additional Android original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that will leverage the 3LM platform.

"We are very excited that the 3LM solution, and this set of partners, will enable a broader set of customers to enjoy our Android products," said Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president of software and services product management for Motorola Mobility. "3LM gives us access to an exciting new set of customers within the enterprise space that have a unique set of requirements."

CSR connectivity, audio and location platforms brought to life at Mobile World Congress

NEW DELHI, INDIA: CSR will be opening the doors to its Mobile World Congress ‘Experience Room’. Located on the CSR stand (1E51), the Experience Room is packed with interactive, hands-on demos which bring to life the plethora of consumer use cases and end-user experiences made possible by CSR’s market leading connectivity, audio and location platforms.

Open for the duration of the show (14-17th February 2011), CSR’s advanced demos will showcase the full breadth and diversity of the company’s leading edge technology, covering the revolutionary Bluetooth low energy, GPS and deep-indoor positioning, advanced audio solutions and many more. Visitors will also be able to see many examples of pioneering new mobile handsets, tablets and other consumer electronics products with exciting new ‘must have’ features and functionality enabled by CSR’s technology.

“The Experience Room at Mobile World Congress this week is a glimpse into our vision of the future of the Location-aware Wireless Connected World” said Kanwar Chadha, chief marketing officer at CSR.

“The sheer diversity of CSR technology on display in our Experience Room reflects CSR's status as a global player in the realms of connectivity, location and audio platforms that significantly enhance consumer experience. At home, at work, or out and about, CSR's technology is already integral to many of the products from leading brands that consumers use in their daily lives. These demonstrations show how we’re collaborating with our customers to help them differentiate their products and create the next wave of desirable new features and functionality that consumers will be desperate to have in their electronic devices.”

Viber turns to SPIRIT for quality HD mobile VoIP calling

BARCELONA, SPAIN: SPIRIT DSP, the world's top voice and video over IP Engines provider, has announced that its TeamSpirit Voice Engine Mobile is powering the new Viber application that offers free HD Voice over IP (VoIP) calls from the iPhone.

"Within three days of launching Viber on the iPhone late last year, we received one million downloads, and seven million within the first month, quickly becoming the No. 1 free app in the Netherlands, Spain, Singapore, Taiwan, Israel and several other countries, validating the enormous demand for quality, free mobile VoIP calling," said Viber Media's CEO Talmon Marco. "We're incredibly pleased with this massive uptake and can credit SPIRIT's Voice Engine Mobile for the quality of the Viber voice experience."

Available in the Apple App Store, Viber's free mobile VoIP app can make calls over 3G and Wi-Fi connections, bypassing the use of any cellular voice minutes; calls are free worldwide. Unlike other VoIP services such as Skype, Viber requires no registration or need to log-in to make calls. Viber product releases for Android, BlackBerry and Symbian are now in the works supported by SPIRIT.

“The new Viber application is wildly popular in the mobile VoIP market as a serious Skype alternative, and we're thrilled that Viber Media chose SPIRIT's Voice Engine Mobile to ensure a quality calling experience for their users,” said SPIRIT's Chairman Andrew Sviridenko. “Viber's success amplifies the growing sophistication and demand for quality mobile VoIP, anytime, anywhere.”

SPIRIT's TeamSpirit Mobile enables HD-quality voice and video communications on a broad range of mobile devices, addressing all impairments inherent with IP networks - such as congestion, echo, noise suppression, latency, delay (jitter), packet loss, lip synchronization, etc. - to secure high quality voice over Wi-Fi, LTE/WiMAX and 3G/4G networks.

It includes highly optimized standard voice and video codecs, such as G.711, G.723, G.729, iLBC, SILK, H.263, H.264 and SPIRIT's patent-free wideband IP-MRTM codec. TeamSpirit mobile voice engine is available on all popular smartphone operating systems including iPhone iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian.

HTC becomes more than just friends with Facebook

Ovum analyst Nick Dillon

AUSTRALIA: “While not officially known as ‘Facebook phones’, HTC’s socially oriented ChaCha and Salsa smartphones certainly raise the bar in terms of mobile implementations of Facebook. It is also somewhat ironic that the devices use Google’s Android platform to enable that experience.

“A dedicated Facebook button on the front of both devices offers much more than a shortcut to a Facebook application – the button is contextually aware, changing function depending on the application the user is currently in. The integration also includes easy access to Facebook Messaging and Chat – functions that could threaten the hegemony of RIM’s wildly popular BlackBerry Messenger in the minds of teens – as well as the promise (not yet delivered) of extending Facebook’s third-party apps to mobile for the first time.

“This deeper level of integration could make the mobile experience of Facebook more compelling than other mobile versions of the application and, potentially, even more so than the full web version.

“This possibility will not have been lost on Facebook, or for that matter Google. It’s hard to imagine Google being overly happy that HTC is using its Android platform to provide an improved experience and greater access to arguably its biggest rival. If Google does ever seek to exert greater control over the Android platform, we would imagine that this could be a trigger point for it.

“Either way, HTC and Facebook’s initiative does at least illustrate that there are still opportunities for hardware providers to differentiate themselves outside of offering their own services. Equally, it also demonstrates a compelling means by which web application providers can influence buyer behaviour without needing to own or control the software platform on a device themselves.

“Under the circumstances, it’s inevitable that the ChaCha and Salsa will become known as Facebook phones, even though they are not a result of a joint venture with Facebook but rather a clever outgrowth of a partnership dating back to 2009. But in a very real sense they deserve that tag.”

mHealth app developers won’t make money with current pay per download business models

BERLIN, GERMANY: Despite the hype around mobile health applications and big market projections mobile health app developers will not be able to create big revenues with a pay per download business models. But how will mHealth apps generate enough sustainability to meet the rising expectations during this hype phase? And how will mHealth business models evolve in the next five years?

Mobile health applications are experiencing a second hype phase after first enthusiasm in the early 2000s. By looking back a few years we can see how the business will evolve in the future. Business models of traditional mHealth solutions which long existed before the smartphone app market hype already showed the revenue sources which will become important in the future.

Traditional mHealth solutions from 2000-2008 have typically been sold in bundles, which include connectivity charges, a device, and the application and/or service charge. In the more sophisticated traditional mHealth solutions the price for the application and the application sales revenues were minor contributors to the total revenue generated by the solution. Frequently the price for the app was not even disclosed.

The first generation of mHealth solutions in the new smartphone applications market have adopted a narrow range of business models, concentrating on revenues generated from application download sales, and subscriptions for content access over a period of time; average of 4-8 USD per download depending on the app store. In a very few cases publishers have linked the application to a device/sensor or service, such as the WiThing Scales Sync which provides a free application for use with a scale which is sold through the publisher’s website.

The business model will broaden once more when the enabling technology becomes sufficiently advanced. Sensors and special devices that are designed to take advantage of the smartphone interface will facilitate more advanced applications, and at the same time healthcare industry players with the capability of providing complex service offerings will enter the market.

These factors will allow revenue generation through multiple sources apart from application downloads including for example through service charges for HCPs remotely monitoring patients’ health condition, or through product sales for special devices and sensors that relate to an application’s functionality.

As the market develops, applications will facilitate the sale of products and services such as medications through a compliance application or a mobile pharmacy application. These device and service sales will become the major revenue source for mHealth application providers by 2015.

Advertising revenues will become a revenue stream, as it will across the smartphone application market and will add to the mHealth providers’ income but only to a little extent.

As opposed to the traditional model, connectivity will not be part of the bundle, as most smartphone users will already have some kind of data plan.

Today’s dominant pay per download business model will give way to those other revenue stream. Developers of mHealth applications should be aware of that and adopt their products and service accordingly.

Top five hot topics at Mobile World Congress 2011

HAMPSHIRE, UK: As MWC gets underway in Barcelona, Juniper Research reveals the hot topics at this year’s show:

1. Wave of tablet launches in wake of iPad
iPad competitors gear up to launch their own devices: the Congress is showcasing a raft of new arrivals, including Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2, the LG Optimus Tab and the HTC Scribe. Meanwhile, the surge of interest in consumer tablet devices – allied to the accelerated adoption of smartphones - has brought further urgency to the debate on how to tackle mobile network congestion.

2. LG’s Optimus 3D in the vanguard of stereoscopic revolution
LG’s announcement that it would be unveiling the world’s first 3D smartphone at MWC generated significant pre-event buzz: the handset, which enables both stereoscopic image and video capture, is expected to be the trailblazer for an array of imitators, with vendors anxious to translate the wider consumer enthusiasm for 3D experiences in the cinema and on TV to the smaller screen.

3. NFC to see real, live usage in 2011
In Juniper’s view, NFC is going to see real, live usage in 2011. Over the last few months we have seen major announcements from several key players such as Orange and Google along with growth in the rollout of the contactless readers at merchants’ POS plus announcements of retrofit interim solutions.

4. Mobile industry moves to grasp mHealth opportunity
mHealth has a dedicated stream at MWC this year, indicating the scale of the opportunity presented by this sector and the increasing industry interest. Certainly, the nascent markets for mobile services such as remote monitoring are expected to grow strongly in the short/ medium term; Juniper expect the number of deployed services will rise dramatically during 2011.

5. Vendors and brands invest in augmented reality
2011 is the year in which AR will hit the mobile mainstream. There has been innovation and investment across the value chain – Qualcomm has launched an Android AR SDK; Samsung is preloading AR browsers on selected handsets. Expect to see greater breadth and depth of AR apps this year, with significant numbers of brands such as Carlsberg utilising AR platforms in their ad campaigns.

Vantrix takes quantum leap in video optimization

Mobile World Congress 2011, BARCELONA, SPAIN: Vantrix, the global leader of mobile video optimization and delivery solutions, announced the launch of three new innovations - Visual Quality Metrics, Internet Content Adaptation Protocol and Dynamic Bit Rate Adaptation – enabling network operators to effectively manage capacity and to better manage video traffic growth in a cost-effective manner.

“Vantrix is the market leader in video optimization. These technology innovations further underscore our dedication to providing network operators with best-in-class technology to deal with network congestion and user experience,” said Jean Mayrand, CTO and co-founder of Vantrix. “Operators want intelligent solutions to their increasing network congestion issues and Vantrix has the most innovative and efficient solutions.”

Apple maintains dominance of mobile apps store market in 2010

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Despite the flood of so-called “iPhone killers” entering the market in 2010, Apple Inc. largely maintained its dominance of the global mobile application store market for the year, IHS Screen Digest research shows.

The Apple App Store in 2010 generated $1.8 billion in revenue, giving it 82.7 percent share of the total market, down from 92.8 percent in 2009. Revenue for the Apple App Store rose 131.9 percent from $768.7 billion in 2009.

Global revenue for the total mobile application store market in 2010 increased by 160.2 percent to reach $2.2 billion, up from $828 million in 2009.

“In 2010, competitors managed to close the gap with Apple’s iPhone in terms of providing smart phone products with compelling user interfaces,” said Jack Kent, analyst, mobile media, for IHS. “However, in terms of mobile application stores, Apple remains far ahead of the competition, with the other stores so far unable to replicate Apple’s success in generating revenue from users. Apple, in contrast, has been able to maintain advantage by leveraging its tightly controlled ecosystem—combining compelling hardware and content with the capability to offer consumers a trusted, integrated and simple billing service via iTunes.”

The Apple App Store in 2010 also benefitted from the introduction of the iPad. While the iPad’s installed base in 2010 was small compared to the iPhone, iPad apps cost more than iPhone apps, giving them a disproportionate impact on Apple’s revenue. By 2014, about 50 percent of Apple App Store revenues in the United States will be generated by iPad users, up from less than 20 percent in 2010.

Competition in store
Apple’s competitors, despite their struggles, managed to make some market share inroads in 2010.

Google’s Android Market made the most dramatic advance, with revenue soaring 861.5 percent for the year. This allowed Android Market to take 4.7 percent share of global mobile application store revenue in 2010, up from 1.3 percent in 2009. The company came within a hair’s breadth of displacing the Nokia’s Ovi Store to take the No. 3 rank in the market.

As competitors refine their stores, they will continue to eat into Apple’s dominant share, Kent said. However, Apple is expected retain more than half of market revenue at least through 2014.

Nokia’s OVI Store posted the second strongest growth in 2010, with revenue rising by 719.4 percent, giving it 4.9 percent share of the application market business, up from 1.5 percent in 2009. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry App World retained its No. 2 rank with 360.3 percent growth. The company’s share increased to 7.7 percent in 2010, up from 4.3 percent in 2009.

The\ figure presents the IHS Screen Digest global ranking of mobile application stores in 2010 and 2009 based on revenue in U.S. dollars.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Freemium isn’t free
Following massive growth in 2010, the global mobile applications market will continue to expand in 2011. Revenue is expected to rise by another 81.5 percent in 2011 to hit $3.9 billion.

A key driver of growth is the “freemium” business model, wherein a basic application is offered free of charge but fees are charged for premium features.

“As application stores become more and more crowded, with hundreds of thousands of apps available on the leading stores, developers increasingly are opting to release their content for free. They do this in the hope that they can monetize their apps by offering additional content or functionality via in-app purchases and advertising,” Kent said.

Freemium purchases will count for around half of all North American app revenues by 2014, up from 24 percent in 2010. Freemium’s share will be even higher for games.

The games game
Games remain the dominant category for mobile applications stores, accounting for 52.2 percent of revenue in 2010.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Nokia/Microsoft alliance carries downside for cell phone giant

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Nokia Corp.’s agreement with Microsoft Corp. to make Windows Phone 7 its principal operating system is likely to have a negative near-term impact on the mobile handset leader’s smart phone shipments.

With the announcement of the deal, Nokia is eliminating any incentive for consumers and developers to buy into its existing smart phone products, which are based on its Symbian and MeeGo operating systems.

With the Microsoft deal unlikely to yield any products for nearly one year, Nokia will have no choice except to remain awkwardly reliant on the Symbian and MeeGo platforms in 2011. This will have a further negative impact on the Nokia’s already eroding position in smart phones.

The Microsoft deal also could have negative implications for Nokia’s smart phone business during the long term. Unrelated to this news, IHS recently cut its Nokia shipment forecast significantly during every year through 2014. Although Nokia’s immediate prospects are definitely negative, the longer-term implication of the deal is to add uncertainty to Nokia’s overall outlook. This forebodes ill for Nokia, which doesn’t need additional doubt in its story as it strives to maintain consumer and developer interest.

With the news, Nokia issued new guidance for its smart phone sales, saying that 2011 and 2012 will be transition years but that it will grow faster than the market thereafter. Nokia said it still expects to sell 150 more million Symbian devices in years to come, giving an indication of how it expects the Phone 7 handoff to work. IHS now forecasts that Nokia will ship 122 million smart phones in 2011. Assuming Nokia’s internal forecast is similar to ours, Nokia’s Symbian sales guidance implies the Windows Phone 7 transition will occur in early 2012, although a Phone 7 model is likely to arrive before the end of 2011.

Nokia’s Intel Corp. relationship, which centers of the MeeGo operating system, has taken a serious beating with the Microsoft agreement. Nokia said it still expects to ship a MeeGo-based smart phone later this year. However, it’s difficult not to view the Microsoft deal as anything other than an abandonment of MeeGo.

If Nokia wanted to leave mobile operating system development to another company, IHS thinks Google Inc. and its Android software would have been a better choice. Nokia could have reaped many of the benefits it expects with the Microsoft relationship from either Google or Microsoft. But clearly, the unspecified billions in Microsoft cash payments were an important motivating factor in entering into the deal.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Telstra tries to hold on to network lead with LTE launch

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Telstra’s plans to launch Australia’s first commercial LTE service by year-end is clearly intended to maintain its mobile network advantage over its rivals.

“Telstra will launch its LTE network six to 12 months earlier than expected, based on their earlier indications,” said Ovum senior analyst Nicole McCormick.

“While Telstra’s Next G network advantage has been gradually eroded over the past couple of years, its first-to-market LTE launch provides the carrier with another point of differentiation against its competitors.”

McCormick believes the move will pressure second-ranked Optus to respond. The LTE risk for Optus is that Telstra will not only retains its high-end corporate mobile broadband customers, but will also poach some of Optus’ high-end users as well.

Symbian is dead, long live Windows phone!

CAMBRIDGE, USA: The recent partnership of Nokia and Microsoft announced Nokia's adoption of Windows Phone (WP) as its primary smartphone strategy.

Symbian smartphones will still be shipped during its transition to WP7 over at least the next 6 to 8 quarters, and the long-awaited MeeGo device will eventually see the light, but there will be only one MeeGo device, according to a new research note from Stela Bokun, Senior Analyst at Pyramid Research.

According to Steven Elop, Nokia's success will depend on two paths of differentiation, notes Bokun in a research note posted at Pyramid Points. The first one will be differentiation of the WP platform from those of Apple (iOS) and Google (Android). To that end, Nokia will invest its resources and focus on growing the WP ecosystem.

The second level of differentiation will be within the WP ecosystem itself by leveraging Nokia's unique navigation, LBS and local advertising capabilities to effectively compete with other vendors that already use WP7 on their devices, notes Bokun. It remains to be seen how the today's announcement will affect Nokia, Microsoft and the industry as a whole.

$42 billion market for mobile infrastructure equipment by 2015!

REDWOOD CITY, USA: According to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group, the trusted source for market information about the networking and telecommunications industries, the mobile infrastructure equipment market is forecast to resume positive growth in 2011 following the double-digit revenue decline in 2009, and single-digit decline in 2010. The overall mobile infrastructure market is expected to grow from $34 billion in 2010 to $42 billion in 2015.

"The growing use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets will continue to challenge operators and vendors for years to come," said Stefan Pongratz, financial analyst at Dell'Oro Group.

"We believe this increase in data demand will require operators to continue investing in their 3G/3.5G networks throughout the entire forecast period. While we have seen several successful LTE launches and we expect LTE revenue to see strong growth, we believe WCDMA networks will carry the majority of the traffic throughout the forecast horizon. In addition, we anticipate some recurring 2G investments in fast-growing markets such as China and India to deal with the large 2G installed base," continued Pongratz.

The report shows that WCDMA revenues are expected to grow from $16 billion in 2010 to nearly $30 billion in 2015. LTE revenues are expected to grow from $350 million in 2010 to almost $7.7 billion in 2015.

Qualcomm delivers faster mobile broadband experience with new, higher speed LTE devices

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Qualcomm Inc. has introduced its newest Mobile Data Modem (MDM) chipsets, the MDM9625 and MDM9225, for use in mobile broadband data devices.

These new MDM chipsets will support the LTE FDD and LTE TDD UE Category 4 mobile broadband standards, which offer peak downlink data rates of up to 150 Mbps and will be fabricated using the 28nm technology node.

The chipsets also are backwards compatible with previous generations of LTE and other wireless broadband standards, giving consumers using USB modems powered by the MDM9625 or MDM9225 chipsets an uninterrupted broadband data connection on nearly any network around the world.

This announcement in combination with Qualcomm's additional announcement today of the MDM8225 chipset, which supports HSPA+ Release 9, are the latest examples of Qualcomm's ongoing leadership in the development of new mobile broadband modem technologies.

The new chipsets will support LTE Category 4, offering up to 150 Mbps downlink data rates and 50 Mbps uplink data rates. Other standards supported by the MDM9625 chipset include HSPA+ Release 9, EV-DO Revision B, EV-DO Advanced and TD-SCDMA, while the MDM9225 chipset supports HSPA+ Release 9 and TD-SCDMA. In areas without LTE coverage, the chipsets will fall back on these other standards.

The MDM9625 and MDM9225 chipset also support the latest Qualcomm Interference Cancellation & Equalization (Q-ICE) receiver, which reduces interference in a cellular network and increases network capacity to enhance the mobile broadband user experience. These chipsets are pin compatible, allowing OEMs to develop different tiers of products with low R&D costs.

"Demand for mobile data connectivity continues to grow among consumers, and operators are constantly striving to offer faster broadband technologies on their networks," said Cristiano Amon, senior vice president of product management for Qualcomm. "Our MDM chipsets, like the MDM9625 and MDM9225, have been designed to support new mobile broadband standards while remaining compatible with previous ones, allowing consumers on-the-go access to their work or entertainment without the concern of network compatibility."

The MDM9625 and MDM9225 chipsets can be used with Qualcomm's WTR1605 radio frequency IC and PM8018 power management ICs to create a highly-integrated mobile broadband solution. Samples of the MDM9625 and MDM9225 chipsets are anticipated to be available in Q4 2011.

Monday, February 14, 2011

New Galaxy tab will give iPad strong competition in 2011

Tony Cripps, Ovum principal analyst.

AUSTRALIA: "The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's high specification and larger size should see it tapping into different market segments to both the original Galaxy Tab and Apple's iPad. Ovum would expect it to sell at least as well as its seven inch predecessor, which had sold over 2 million units at the last Samsung estimate, although we're not currently expecting it to outsell the iPad by itself.

“Taken as a whole, shipments of Samsung's Android tablets look set to give the iPad a strong run in terms of overall volumes over the course of 2011 and will help cement the Korean vendor's status as the second-ranked supplier of "lite OS" mobile Internet devices moving forward unless another vendor proves itself capable of delivering similar devices to multiple segments.”

UBIFRANCE launches its mobile application

FRANCE: UBIFRANCE is taking a position on mobile Internet by deploying the first ever iPhone application intended to promote French companies abroad. With this tool, Ubifrance wishes to facilitate companies’ access to foreign markets by providing them with a simple, efficient application which can be downloaded from each of its 63 offices established in 44 countries.

The launch of Ubifrance’s iPhone application follows the 2010 online activation of the new ubifrance.fr website, the ubifrance.com platform (slated to host over 50 country blogs in foreign languages starting next semester), as well as the inclusion of social media in its internet marketing strategy. This iPhone application is the first in a series of mobile applications, to be followed by an Android and a Blackberry version in the first half of 2011.

“Our positioning on mobile Internet will help us provide even closer support to French companies and to enhance their standing with foreign operators,” explains Online Marketing Department Head Mohamed Khodja. “We are very proud of this application, developed to perfectly meet companies’ needs and expectations,” he adds.

The UBIFRANCE application: the vital organizer for any business leader wanting to develop his business abroad

- It provides real-time content about the latest developments in the markets broken down into business sectors and geographic areas according to user-preset parameters. All content may be shared directly via email, Twitter and Facebook.

- In one click, users may access the entire range of services offered by Ubifrance (including contacts with its local representatives sector by sector) and its partners.

- The application features a schedule of tradeshows and international events broken down by sector and geographic area (including the list of French companies attending).

- A country-specific access (in the local language, currently available for 13 countries) is intended for foreign professionals wanting to initiate commercial relations on their own market with French companies. Ultimately, over 50 countries will be covered.

- By early 2011, the application will include a tab intended for Business Volunteering Abroad including a multi-criteria search engine for missions on offer by companies.

Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent show live 4G LTE multi-continent gaming over commercial 4G LTE network

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Visitors to the Verizon Wireless and Alcatel-Lucent booths at this year’s Mobile World Congress can experience the power of 4G LTE through live 4G LTE interactive multi-player gaming and live video conferencing between Barcelona and a moving 4G LTE-enabled vehicle in the United States.

The demonstration allows multiple players to simultaneously participate in popular video games, such as “Dungeon Defenders” by Trendy and “Asphalt 6” by Gameloft, live between Verizon Wireless and Alcatel-Lucent’s booths, and with passengers in a 4G LTE-enabled vehicle traveling the New Jersey highways. The live audio and video streaming applications embedded in the mobile gaming platform will travel over Verizon’s commercial 4G LTE network in the United States and an LTE demo network built by Alcatel-Lucent in Barcelona to enable visitors to enjoy live 4G services at the exhibition.

“LTE is here, and we are delivering end-user experiences that are changing the way we live, play and work. Verizon Wireless is partnering with Alcatel-Lucent at MWC to showcase some of the types of applications that are uniquely enabled through the 4G LTE network,” said Brian Higgins, executive director, LTE Ecosystem Development at Verizon Wireless. “Multi-player gaming, voice chat, video calls and real-time video streaming are the sorts of applications we will see more and more of as our 4G LTE network continues to grow and expand.”

The demonstration is an example of the ongoing collaboration between Alcatel-Lucent and Verizon Wireless to stimulate the LTE ecosystem. The two companies are working closely together to enable the development of new solutions and applications at Verizon Wireless’ LTE Innovation Center and as partners in the 4G Venture Forum.

“Gaming is one of the best examples of a mobile application where missing a split second could impact performance. For the first time, mobile gamers can have a wireless broadband experience similar to what they have with a wired connection through the power of 4G LTE,” said Robert Vrij, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Americas Region. “Now, mobile gamers can experience fast, reliable high-speed broadband even if they are a passenger in a moving car.”

Other technology and infrastructure companies made significant contributions to the demonstration. Dell and Acer provided the hardware, which included an LTE module from Novatel Wireless in the Dell machine and an LTE module by ZTE, a SkyCross T-Series™ LTE antenna and the NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile super chip in the Acer tablet. Vidyo provided the video conferencing platform.

PlayStation phone shows promise, but execution is vital!

Tony Cripps, Ovum principal analyst.

AUSTRALIA: “Sony Ericsson’s new Android 2.3-powered Xperia Play smartphone certainly packs a punch on the hardware front – especially its 60fps, 3D-capable Adreno GPU – but there’s potentially a lot more riding on this device than its ability to bring high-end gaming to the smartphone space.

“Unlike previous Sony brand extensions to mobile, which were rather more utilitarian in outlook – such as Sony Ericsson’s music and media-oriented Walkman phones and Cybershot camera and imaging-led handsets – the PlayStation brand has much more of a tech savvy, connected and leading edge image.

“As such it represents perhaps Sony’s greatest opportunity to re-establish itself as a leading brand in the connected and (more especially) the “extended” home market. Here it was a pioneer but the company has looked increasingly flat-footed in the wake of more aggressive – and, critically, more software savvy – rivals in the broad space such as Apple, Microsoft and increasingly Samsung.

“The Xperia Play clearly needs to capture the imagination of gamers on its parent company’s PlayStation console – especially in terms of creating shared experiences across TV and mobile gaming. But it must also tempt the wider smartphone-buying market with Sony’s vision of a joined up, multi-screen applications and content experience beyond gaming.

“Success could help re-establish Sony (and Sony Ericsson) as pioneers of new technology-led user behaviours and use cases. Failure could see the once-leading consumer electronic brand become an also ran in an increasingly vertically-integrated world.”

Cisco drives mobile Internet for enhanced video experience across wireless networks

BANGALORE, INDIA: From the 2011 GSMA Mobile World Congress, Cisco announced the Cisco MOVE, a strategic framework that comprises new solutions to enable service providers to better manage, enhance and take financial advantage of the rapidly growing volume of mobile video and data traffic.

The new Cisco MOVE (Monetization, Optimization, Videoscape Experience) solutions include Cisco Mobile Videoscape, Cisco Service Provider Wi-Fi and Cisco Adaptive Intelligent Routing (AIR). Cisco MOVE solutions represent the next phase of Cisco’s Service Provider Mobility strategy, which enables service providers to better monetize and optimize their networks, while delivering personalized mobile services across wired and wireless networks.

The new Cisco MOVE solutions span the mobile network --from client to network to cloud -- and are designed to address the increasing volume of mobile data traffic – particularly video. According to the recently released Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2010 to 2015, two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2015. Mobile video traffic will more than double every year between 2010 and 2015.