RealTime IT News

Wireless Goods From CTIA

LAS VEGAS -- The CTIA Wireless conference has been the hotbed of announcements from network equipment manufacturers, to cell phone makers and content providers.

Their efforts were made public as the pulse of wireless adoption continues to quicken.

The Wireless Association announced this week that the total number of estimated wireless customers in America is 207.9 million in 2005, compared to the 182.1 million subscribers at the end of 2004.

With new products and services on the way, experts foresee the wireless penetration rate in the U.S., currently around 70 percent of the population, will eventually blanket the entire nation.

Take Your TV With You

Motorola had good news for couch potatoes. The company showed how recorded shows from a Motorola digital video recorder (DVR) set-top box can be piped directly to a Motorola RAZR V3x phone.

Motorola mobile devices can also be used to program a Motorola DVR remotely, giving the couch potato more freedom and power to program his or her menu.

While naysayers have been bearish on the prospect of bringing TV programming to mobile phones, citing poor viewing quality on tiny screens among other reasons, new technologies are making the practice feasible.

Motorola's move is not a one-off: Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said his company is planning a similar device with the help of Sprint Nextel.

Nokia Calling

Just because the brand Nokia is synonymous with cell phones doesn't mean the Finnish company can rest on its laurels, with Motorola and Samsung chasing its heels.

The company unveiled three new handsets with Bluetooth technology, the popular short-range wireless technology.

The Nokia 2365i phone is a basic fold-style handset; the Nokia 2865/2865i phone comes with a monoblock design; and the Nokia 6175i phone is a mid-tier fold-style device.

Each of these new phones is expected to be available during the second half of 2006.

VeriSign Flexes Its Mobile Muscle

VeriSign isn't just a giant registrar. The company has spent the last few years buying companies to build out its wireless services offerings.

The company this week unveiled Backup Plus, a service that backs up contacts in mobile phone address books, giving consumers peace-of-mind in case their phones are lost, stolen or damaged.

The service, available now worldwide, will back up mobile calendars, pictures and video and audio content.

VeriSign also said that it will provide mobile content services for BT Fusion, the fixed and mobile phone service.

The services will include a mobile media portal and customized handset client for Wi-Fi-enabled handsets due to launch on the BT Fusion service later this year. Content from this offering will include Java-based games, video downloads and ringtones.

Other features will include personalized content that enables information to be displayed by consumer interests or purchase behaviors.

To The WiMAX

Samsung Telecommunications America today said it will work with regional service provider Arialink to deploy the first commercial Mobile WiMAX network in North America.

If all goes well, the network will be installed in Muskegon County, Mich., in early 2007.

Several companies are pumping millions of dollars into WiMAX, the alternative to cellular technology, but the adoption has been slow for want of quality products.

Samsung, Ericsson, Nortel and other gear providers are looking to change that to bring Voice over IP (VoIP), video telephony, multimedia messaging and conferencing broadcast, and multimedia push-and-demand services.

Nortel in fact this week announced WiMAX portfolio enhancements powered by MIMO, technology, which speeds the deployment of high-bandwidth wireless capabilities.