Saturday, December 30, 2006

New York City Cabs to Map Out Cell-Phone Dead Zones

Ericsson recently got approval from New York's taxi commission to place mobile sensors in the trunks of at least 50 cabs in an attempt to better map dead zones in mobile phone networks.

The small devices, about the size of a computer modem, will automatically feed information about signal strength and clarity to engineers.

Because taxis in New York are on the road all day and all night, and ostensibly travel into every corner of the city, company executives said they are a cheap way of covering vast amounts of territory with limited effort.

The research program is being conducted on behalf of an undisclosed wireless provider. Cab companies will be paid for participating.

Source: AP,

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wireless service providers assess past, look to future


As the year draws to a close some of the largest US wireless service providers spoke of their accomplishments in 2006 and are looking ahead to their goals for the New Year.

Cingular Wireless announced on Wednesday that its 3G network now reaches 160 markets, which was the company's goal for 2006. Cingular's 3G wireless technology is based on High-Speed Downlink Packet Access/Universal Mobile Telecommunications System more typically referred to as HSDPA/UMTS. The technology boosts download speeds of between 400Kbps and 700Kbps.

The wireless service provider says its 3G network now includes large cities including Chicago, Dallas, New York and San Francisco. Like other 3G wireless data services, customers can use Cingular's HSDPA/UMTS offering to access their e-mail, the Internet or corporate office applications.

While Cingular has made strides this year upgrading its network to 3G, it's still behind its two rivals Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless.

Sprint announced Wednesday that it has put its US$7 billion network investment to good work this year surpassing its 3G deployment goals.

While Verizon Wireless didn't announce its year-end accomplishments Wednesday, the service provider did announce a $2 billion five-year deal with Nortel Networks. Verizon will be using Nortel Code Division Multiple Access 2000 (CDMA2000)- based gear to upgrade its network. They will be deploying new base stations, switching and optical network gear from Nortel.

Verizon also said that it is offering EV-DO Rev 0 services throughout the United States potentially reaching as many as 150 million customers. Despite requests, the carrier would not say exactly how many cities or markets it is currently offering EV-DO services.

Verizon Wireless, like Sprint, announced earlier this year that it would be rolling out EV-DO Rev A services. But Verizon has not revealed the cities or markets it is targeting for its initial Rev A upgrades.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The top 7 mobile and wireless trends for 2007

The top mobile and wireless trends that will emerge in 2007 wouldn't be possible without the two biggest stories of 2006:

the advent of the cheap smart phone, and Sprint Nextel's bodacious announcement that it is building a nationwide mobile WiMax network.

So before looking ahead, let's take a brief look behind.

Toward the end of 2006, a glut of competent smart phones costing $200 or less hit the market, which is two to three times less expensive than similar phones had been previously. These phones include the BlackBerry Pearl, Samsung's BlackJack, Nokia's E62 and the Treo 680. This trend will lead to far broader adoption not just of smart phones but also of many applications.

The other top mobile and wireless story for 2006 was Sprint's announcement that it would build a $3 billion nationwide mobile WiMax network, which it expects to start rolling out by the end of 2007. Sprint will use an enormous chunk of wireless spectrum it inherited when it merged with Nextel in 2005. No other U.S. mobile operator comes close to having that amount of spectrum available, making it highly unlikely that any of Sprint's competitors could launch a competing network.

These two top stories of 2006 lead us to my predictions of the seven top mobile and wireless trends for 2007. Some of these trends will fully flower in 2007, while in other cases we'll just see the start of a big trend that will develop more fully in years to come.

1. More mobile access, more competition
2. The era of 'the big bundle'
3. The democratization of mobile e-mail
4. Search and discovery
5. Mobility gets social
6. Convergence: One phone, many places
7. Media, media, media

For the complete details of these top 7 mobile trends for 2007, check out this ComputerWorld article in its entirety, HERE.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Cingular turns cell phones into wallets in NY

Some Cingular Wireless cardholders in New York City will be testing a new service that allows them to make purchases with their cell phones.

read more | digg story

Man sentenced for disrupting wireless Internet services

A Utah man who brought down the wireless Internet services offered by a former employer has been sentenced to two years in prison, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

read more | digg story

How an iPhone could rock wireless

(Fortune) -- If Steve Jobs' Apple decides to build a wireless phone, as widely rumored, the company has the chance to shake up not just the wireless device business - an industry dominated by the likes of Motorola and Nokia - it also could upend the entire wireless distribution model in the United States.

read more | digg story

Mobile Pay Pass - Is It Safe?

Pre-selected Citi MasterCard cardholders with Cingular Wireless accounts are participating in the trial and will receive Nokia NFC-enabled mobile phones with MasterCard PayPass payment functionality.

read more | digg story