Unwired Tap – April 2006

Published in TDAN.com April 2006

In recent columns I’ve written about convergence.  Wireless technologies are converging.  Wireless devices are converging.  Wireless functionality is converging.  I have also
written about content.  Ring tones, streaming video, sports information and games, mobile TV just to name a few areas of content.

While reading through some material for this edition of my column I began thinking about how this convergence and content may impact the current and next generation.  We’ve had the Baby
Boomer Generation, Generation X, Generation Y and other generations.  Why not a Generation C?  I came across an article (3G to change social habits of Generation C) by Adam Blenford from the BBC News website in which he mentions Generation C.  The
article described 3G as `the next generation of mobile phone technology, offering a wide range of high speed mobile services, including video calling and messaging, e-mail, games, photo messaging
and information services.’  The article discussed a UK behavioral study that suggested the increasing use of 3G mobile phones can change the way people communicate and create new social
trends.  Now this study, done by a group called Analysts Future Laboratory, was neither extensive nor robust.   The BBC News website indicated that `The researchers studied the phone
habits of 10 groups of friends between the ages of 16-35 over six weeks in a range of UK cities.  The report’s authors dubbed the new generation of mobile phone users Generation C, with C
meaning content.’ 

The report gave an interesting set of descriptions of 3G users:

  • Social Gatekeepers — fulcrum of a social network and use 3G mobiles to keep friends up to date
  • Piratopians — creative outsiders who use 3G phones to make short films and other broadcasts
  • High Street Hedonists — use phone to show off new purchases, take pictures of items or asked for instant opinions from a dressing room

The article went on to talk about not only the content that is made available to customers but the customer’s creation of content.  Bloggers instantly posting to their own sites.  The
increasing use of camera and video capabilities opening up new opportunities for users to contribute to news coverage on TV and online.  People using 3G phones to check out a potential date
before meeting them or using video calls as part of an interactive dating service.  The possibilities seem to be endless and unbounded.

Give some thought to the types of content you would like to see delivered to you or the types of content you would like to be able to send to others.  Not the typical email, pictures, games,
GPS, video clips, weather, etc. but far reaching content.  Give thought to what convergence means to you.  A personal media center that you can take along on your life’s journeys? 
A Dick Tracey type watch or an iPod type device that acts as your personal content manager.  Wow!!  Did I say Dick Tracey??  I’ll bet I just dated myself to many people that read
this column.  What about content or convergence from a business perspective?  How could near real-time content help you in the role you play at your place of work? 

Convergence and Content.  Generation C.  Take your pick of (C)onvergence, (C)ontent or pick both.  Our future will involve mega-doses of both `C’s.  When will it end or will it
be unbounded?  I don’t think an end is in sight right now.  So just lean back and enjoy the `C’ journey.  I’m going to lean back and begin to think about stops along the
`Generation C’ journey plus what is the next on our wireless and digital journey.

If you have a question pertaining to a wireless topic or digital living that you would like to ask or share with our readers send me an email and I will update everyone in a future column.

Wireless Nuggets of Knowledge:

Following are a few interesting articles and discussions on wireless and digital living:

  •  Wireless Week — March 24, 2006
    TIA Sees Continued Wireless Expansion

Wireless services continue to eat away at the numbers of wireline subscribers and that’s hurting local wireline exchange providers, according to a survey released this week by a Washington,
D.C.-based telecommunications gear trade group.  To
read more click here

  • FireceWireless — March 24, 2006
    Sprint Nextel plans FMC play in second half

Sprint Nextel plans to play in the fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) game in the second half of this year. In conjunction with its cable partners, Sprint Nextel will launch CDMA/WiFi handsets that
will allow subscribers to use their broadband connection and a WiFi access point. Next year Sprint intends to extend the capabilities to integrate home media into the handsets. Still no word on
what technology it plans to launch on its 2.5 GHz.  To read more click here

  • FireceMoCo — March 24, 2006
    Mobile marketing in the U.S. vs. Europe

There’s always talk about North America lagging behind Europe when it comes to the wireless industry and mobile marketing in particular. It’s true that Europeans are more likely to participate in
SMS marketing campaigns, but Americans are beginning to catch up. The Mobile Marketing Association’s executive director Laura Marriott argues that mobile Web, video and search are the key mobile
marketing tools needed to reach the North American consumer. Once those become staples of the mobile sector, the American consumer’s mobile marketing education will really begin to take off.
Companies like mBlox, Mobile Media, Buongiorno and Bango already carry out campaigns in both the U.S. and Europe.  To read more click here

  • Wireless Week — March 23, 2006
    PayPal Tests Mobile Payments

PayPal is gearing up for the commercial launch of PayPal Mobile, a text messaging service that will enable customers to make purchases and deliver payments wirelessly. The company is in the midst
of an internal beta test and plans to unveil the service to the public in the next couple of weeks.  To read more click here

  • FierceWireless — March 23, 2006
    Lobbyists want WiFi shut down in Big Easy  

Talk about a bad public-relations move. Telecom lobbyists are trying to shut down New Orleans’ WiFi network, which has proven to be an invaluable service in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
State law prohibits cities from providing more than a 128 Kbps network, and it looks like the state legislature will agree. City officials estimate that about 15,000 customers use the network
since Internet access is still down in more than half the city. New Orleans was trying to expand the network through corporate sponsorships from folks like Google and Yahoo, but the interested
parties began hedging. Then lobbyists began to work to shut down the network. BellSouth wouldn’t comment, but not to worry, it already sells city-wide wireless broadband services in five markets
including New Orleans for $70 per month using a proprietary technology and will look to offer a WiMAX backup solution for $30 per month for those broadband customers who lose their fixed
broadband connections.  To read more click here

  • FireceMoCo — March 24, 2006
    100M+ global mobile TV users in 2009

According to a recent report conducted by eMarketer, there will be more than 100 million worldwide users of paid or sponsored mobile broadcast television services by the end of 2009. eMarketer’s
report, “Mobile Television for Marketers: Monetizing the Small Screen,” pulled data from global trials, market surveys and carrier and content provider announcements. The next step is
determining whether mobile TV will be a submarket or a huge mass market. The technical barriers are not news: a needed uptake in smartphone sales and advancing the growth of 3G networks. 
To read more click here

  •  Wireless Week — March 22, 2006
    McAfee Touts Mobile Virus Protection

Security technology company McAfee is teaming with SmartTrust to enable carriers to deliver an integrated mobile virus protection solution to their customers. The over-the-air (OTA) solution will
deliver updates directly to mobile devices.  To read
more click here
 

  • FierceWiFi — March 22, 2006
    WiMAX arrives in London

Urban WiMAX is offering what it calls “the U.K.’s first true WiMAX services”–for free. The “free” in “free service” applies to yet another WiMAX trial period, but this trial is
more advanced than other WiMAX trials now being conducted in the U.K. by Libera in London, Telabria in Kent, Pipex in Stratford and Metranet in Brighton. Urban WiMAX says the difference lies in
the fact that the trial is based on 802.16d standard kit, not on pre-WiMAX, and that there will be a smooth change from a free service starting in April to a paid-for service in July. The company
says its charges will be 50 percent to 70 percent of BT’s SDSL prices at wholesale levels. This means that users would be paying from around £50 a month for 1 Mbps symmetrical service,
with higher prices for rates up to 10 Mbps. A price chart suggests the prices might be as high as £100 and £200 a month, respectively, for 2 Mbps and 4 Mbps services, but a company
spokesperson says any price could be reduced to keep its promise of undercutting the competition.

The company’s Web site estimates the value of the free installation, hardware and three months free trial at £1,353 and says subscribers have no obligation to continue at the end of the
trial. Urban WiMAX expects to offer a two-year contract, with no installation fee. We note that the company does not reveal what vendor it is using for the gear it offers. We also note that the
company is serious: Its Web site includes an advanced postal zip code checker, which takes into account hills, trees and contour lines in order to include line-of-sight connection. Techworld
Mobility reports that its office on Brixton Hill passed the test (they can see the London Eye from their roof).  To read more click here 

  • Wireless Week — March 21, 2006
    Verizon Chief Sees Fast Wireless Broadband Future

The future of wireless broadband is fiber and the future of fiber is broadband wireless, or at least an increasingly complex mix of the two, said Verizon Communications Chairman Ivan
Seidenber.  To read more click here

  • FierceMoCo — March 21, 2006
    Mobile games need to buck up

EA’s Senior VP of Mobile Mitch Lasky gave a stirring keynote to kick-off the Game Developers Conference that included: “There are too many bad [mobile] games. The fact is, most games suck.
It’s the greatest danger to the future of this business.” Lasky, the former CEO of Jamdat, which EA nabbed for $684 million late last year, also said that “it’s too late for mid-sized
publishers who are barely profitable and don’t own hits.” Harsh words befitting an executive at one of the largest game publishing houses, but they ring true.

By Lasky’s estimate, the top 20 games generate 93 percent of revenues for the industry, but service providers insist on offering up to 400 games each. He also claimed content providers have
transitioned from 2D to 3D, but the shopping experience has not changed at all. Carriers’ reps pushed back on that saying its the content providers that need to better their games, and Sprint’s
game executive said, “We reject about 30 games a month because so many of them are offering the same gameplay over and over again.” Hopefully, all this finger pointing will galvanize the
sector. Lasky said a multiplayer networked game like Warcraft would “blow the lid off this industry.” Anybody working on that?  To read more click here

  • Broadband Wireless Weekly Report — March 20, 2006
    MetroFi and SkyPilot Selected for Muni Net in Aurora, IL

The city of Aurora, Ill. has chosen MetroFi and SkyPilot Networks for a citywide Wi-Fi mesh network.

The network will be used for public works and public safety communications. It will also provide free public Internet access within the city, which spans 42 square miles.  To read more click here

  • FierceMoCo — March 20, 2006
    Users won’t pay for MoCo

According to a global survey by KPMG, users are unlikely to pay extra to access mobile video and audio content for their mobile phones. Even users in Asia, where mobile content is much more
advanced, are reluctant to pay a premium. Analysts predict similar behavior in Europe and the U.S. The survey polled 3,600 mobile phone users and found nearly 40 percent would not pay a premium
for mobile content like music videos, television clips and news. Users are used to getting content on the Internet for free and maybe operators should look at MoCo as more of a churn reducer than
a revenue producer, but this study seems to have fallen into similar pitfalls as previous ones that naysayed the success of the mobile content sector. Only 40 percent said they would not pay a
premium–that leaves 60 percent either on the fence or for it.  To read more click here

  • FierceMoCo — March 17, 2006
    2006: The year of mobile advertising experiments

According to a recent report from visiongain, 2006 will be the year for mobile advertising experimentation, and the next five years will see a transition from SMS campaigns to more sophisticated
multimedia advertising. By the end of the year, brands will have a clear understanding of what works, and by 2008 mobile advertising will become mainstream. The report predicts that the mobile
marketing sector in the U.S. and Europe will grow from last year’s $255 million to $1 billion in 2009. Some issues yet to be resolved include: “business models and revenue share, the type,
length and frequency of ads, consumer attitudes and many others.” The report examined mobile advertising opportunities as presented by MMS, video, TV, LBS and contextual advertising.
 To read more click here

  • eWEEK’s Wireless & Mobile Update– March 16, 2006
    U.S. Wireless Calls Get Clearer

New research finds that the number of performance problems reported in U.S. wireless communications services has fallen for a second straight year.  To read more click here

  • FierceWireless — March 14, 2006
    WiMAX for rural areas

According to a recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, regulatory, security and spectrum problems will plague WiMAX deployments. WiMAX will serve rural areas
best and similar niche uses, the report found. Although the WiMAX Forum is running a tight ship with its specifications in an effort to keep a lid on costs, the report estimates a price tag in
excess of $3 billion for a nationwide WiMAX network. When that is taken into account with recent and ongoing rollouts of 3G networks in the U.S., HSDPA upgrades are more likely and cost
effective.  To read more click here

  • FierceDeveloper — March 14, 2006
    Microsoft releases Origami display emulator 

Microsoft has released an emulator for Project Origami, its recently announced mobile computing platform. It is not a full emulator, but it should give developers and content creators an idea of
what their apps and content will look like on Origami devices.  To read more click here

  • FierceMoCO — March 10, 2006
    Mobile marketing at colleges

Mobile marketing software company Movo Mobile has teamed up with TranSend Ed to focus on mobile marketing solutions for colleges and universities. The partnership sees Movo on the technical side
providing the software development and hosting applications that enable colleges and universities to deliver reminders, alerts and promotions to applying, matriculating and on-campus students.
TranSend Ed will lead the marketing and sales efforts of the partnership. I’m sure there are others in the space, but this is the first I’ve seen focused specifically on education, and I think
large schools especially would see this as a great way to reach out and build community. Of course, I doubt the students will appreciate SMS from their school filling up their inboxes. 
To read more click here

Wireless Info Center:

ü         Here are some upcoming conferences that you might find interesting:

ü       The Digital
Home Conference & Showcase
: April 4, Las Vegas, NV

ü       Billboard
Magazine’s MECCA 2006 – April 4, Las Vegas
: April 4, Las Vegas, NV

ü       CTIA Wireless 2006: April 5 — 7, Las Vegas, NV

ü       Broadband Wireless World: April 26 —
28, Las Vegas, NV

ü       RFID Journal LIVE! 2006 Conference And
Exhibition
: May 1 — 3, Las Vegas, NV

ü       Orange Partner Camp: May 8 — 10, Longboat Key, FL

ü       The 2nd Fixed-Mobile Convergence
Forum: Americas
: May 11 – 12, Miami, FL

ü       2006 MVNO Summit:
May 16 – 18, Las Vegas, NV

ü       The Wireless Event: May 16 – 18,
Olympia, London

ü       ISPCON Spring 2006: May 16 – 18, Baltimore,
MD

ü       Mobile & Wireless World conference: May
22 – 24, Orlando, FL

ü       BREW 2006 Conference : May 31 —
June 2, San Diego, CA

ü       GLOBALCOMM 2006: June 4 – 8, Chicago, IL

ü         Here are some other articles that you might find interesting:

ü       Palm Inc. reported
a 36 percent increase in revenue during the third

ü       India’s state-owned operator plans giant
RFP

ü       Nev. approves mobile gambling for
casinos

ü       Upgrade Your
Smart Phone – Here’s how to work the system.

ü       3G to change social habits of
Generation C

ü       Wireless Hacks, 2nd Edition: Hack 2 — Set up Bluetooth on Windows XP

ü       Wireless Hacks, 2nd Edition: Hack 6 – Use your Treo as a modem

ü       Wireless Hacks, 2nd Edition: Hack 51 – Track wireless users

ü       Wireless Hacks, 2nd Edition: Hack 71 – Wall off your wireless

ü       ABCs Of RFID:
Understanding And Using Radio Frequency Identification

ü       EarthLink Wins
City Wi-Fi Deal

ü       Azulstar Adopts
Free Wi-Fi Model for Muni Nets

ü       D.C. Looks to
Trade Access for Muni Network

ü         Here are some resource links to Mobile & Wireless info areas:

ü       Compare Cell Phone Plans

ü       Check Carrier Coverage

ü       Online Wireless
Glossary

ü       Computerworld Mobile
& Wireless Knowledge Center

ü       SearchNetworking.com Wireless LAN Info Center

ü       Ziff Davis Wireless Supersite

ü       Nokia Mobility Resource Center

ü       Wireless Developer Network

ü       Wi-Fi Planet

ü       AT&T Wireless Developer Program Web site

ü       eWeek Mobile and Wireless
Center

ü       Intel – WIMAX Broadband
Wireless Access Technology Website

ü       Looking for a Wi-Fi hot-spot?
Use eWEEK.com’s Hot-Spot Finder

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About Robert Dominko

Robert S. Dominko, PMP, is a Principal Consultant for CIBER, Inc. in CIBER’s Global Enterprise Integration Practice located in Denver, CO.  He is a member of CIBER’s National Mobile/Wireless Team as well as CIBER’s Global Enterprise Integration Practice. Bob has extensive experience in the consulting industry where he has worked in roles such as Director of MIS, Program/Project Manager, Technical Architect, Data Warehousing Technologist, Business Analyst in global travel and hospitality, automotive, healthcare services, financial, bank card services, utilities, marketing, insurance, human resources, manufacturing, state and federal government. You can contact Bob at RDominko@ciber.com.

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