Unwired Tap – April 2009

We are all dealing with the downturn in the global economy. Wireless companies are having to deal with the same forces as other types of companies and –as facts seem to say – dealing with
survival in the same ways. As reported in FierceWireless on March 27, 2009, “The wireless industry has been paring down jobs over the past few months, but so far has remained fairly resilient
in the midst of the economic recession. That premise may be about to change. As wireless carriers adopt new unlimited price plans around $50, and as first quarter subscriber and revenue reports are
being released, there is some sign that the recession may be affecting wireless carriers. A mostly positive recent report from J.P. Morgan, based on a meeting with AT&T; management, noted AT&T;
had “seen some subscribers pricing down plans” in wireless. AT&T; later said that its executives said nothing new in the meeting, but the industry will be watching first quarter earnings reports
for any sign of weakness across the board.”

What are the numbers behind the “paring down” of jobs? Looking at today in the industry we can get a feel for the numbers as they were recently reported by FierceWireless. Here is a quick summary from that special report:

The total tally of wireless industry layoffs since the beginning of 4Q 2008: 67,559

  • Nov. 4: Nokia to cut 600 jobs by Jan. 1.
  • Nov. 10: Nortel posts $3.41B loss, will cut 1,300 jobs.
  • Nov. 11: Nokia Siemens cuts 9,000 workers or 10-15% of its global workforce.
  • Nov. 18: Virgin Mobile USA lays off 10% of its workforce, or 45 positions.
  • Nov. 21: Palm lays off about 10% of its workforce, or 1,050 employees.Nov. 25: Ericsson to shut down U.S. R&D; facility. 250 employees cut.
  • Dec. 4: AT&T; announced plans to reduce about 12,000 jobs – roughly 4% of its total workforce.
  • Dec. 12: Alcatel-Lucent said it would slice 1,000 management positions and 5,000 contracting jobs on top of the 16,500 positions the company has already said it would lop off by the end of
    2009. Total cut: 22,500
  • Jan. 14: Motorola to cut 4,000 more jobs amid drop in sales.
  • Jan. 21: Ericsson says it will lay off 5,000 employees.
  • Jan. 23: Microsoft slashes jobs, many will impact mobile. 5,000 employees cut.
  • Jan. 26: Sprint to more cuts. 8,000 jobs.
  • Jan. 26 Motorola cuts Windows jobs. 77 jobs.
  • Jan. 27: Texas Instruments lays off 3,400 employees.
  • Jan. 30: Sierra cuts 10% of its workforce. 56 employees.
  • Feb. 2: Kyocera reorganizes handsets division. Cuts 360 jobs.
  • Feb. 11: Nokia to slash R&D; jobs amid weak sales. 320 jobs cut.
  • Feb 25: Nortel Networks will cut jobs as it continues to reorganize under bankruptcy protection. 3,200 jobs.

Certainly not a pleasant picture for those who have lost their jobs and a warning to everyone with a job in hand. From my layman’s perspective, we have been in a very strong recession for
almost two years. We’ve even been one or two more bad decisions away from a depression. But there is a future coming.

As we keep an eye toward the future what are some of the areas to watch and consider? There are a few, but let’s focus on just two for this column: Social Nets and LTE.

Social Nets are beginning to break through and show promise. Facebook, Twitter, mySpace, LinkedIn and many more. They are becoming a way of communicating and are having an influence on social
behavior, but are they strong enough that companies see benefits in them and are taking not only notice but action too?

One example of a company that is taking notice is CISCO. As reported by Ron Miller in a recent article in FierceMobileContent, CISCO is assisting large media
companies in building social network sites. “Cisco announced this week, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, that they were launching a product designed to help large media
companies build social networking sites that enable fans to connect with their favorite artists and shows.”

The Cisco press release describes the service as follows:

“Cisco Eos(TM) hosted white-label software platform that allows Media & Entertainment companies to create, manage and grow online communities around their content. Cisco Eos is a powerful,
integrated platform that integrates social networking, content management and site administration features into a single operating environment, allowing content owners to deliver immersive consumer
experiences, while increasing revenue opportunities and reducing operational costs.”

“Among its first customers is Warner Music Group. It’s good to see a recording company experiment with new ways of interacting with fans and exploring new revenue sources. This is also a
different approach for Cisco. It will be worth following to see how well it fares in this space and if it can succeed in an entirely new line of business.”

Ah. I see the “R” word. Revenue. Surprise. Companies are beginning to look at social networking as a source of marketing with potential for revenue. Andrew Berg talked about the revenue
in Social Nets in his April 2009 Wireless Week article.
In the article, Andrew mentions two important factors that he feels
are holding up the social networking “gold rush” “First, no one understands the dynamics of these incredibly complicated networks. Second, all the players are getting closer, but
still struggling with an ease-of-use scenario for which customers will be willing to pay.” It is an interesting read, but here is the punch line – “Consumers have spoken, and
they’re saying that true value comes in the form of on-click access to their communities. And they’re just beginning to hint that they might even be willing to pay for a service like
that.”

Ron Miller also brought up some key points on social media in another article. Ron talked about the marketing benefits of social media tools. In the article, Ron
explained: “We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of social media in the enterprise, but mostly from the perspective of collaboration and knowledge sharing. While social media tools provide
those benefits inside the enterprise, external tools like blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can provide a way to market your company in an indirect fashion while raising brand awareness and good
will.”

He went on to say, “So while people are beginning to recognize the benefits of social media marketing, most are just at the beginning of the journey and still learning how to use it
effectively. The biggest reasons marketers are getting involved is, of course, to generate exposure for their businesses, increase traffic and build new relationships (the same types of goals you
would have with offline social networking).”

The key thought in his article is that the goals of the current social networking phenomenon are the same types of goals you would have with offline social networking.

Let’s take another peek into the future at another defining technology on the rise. Long Term Evolution (LTE). LTE has been lining up as competition for WiMAX for a while now. Has the current
economic environment had an impact on its ability to become a stronger reality in the marketplace?

As described in a March 25, 2009, FierceWireless, Long Term Evolution (LTE) is now a reality, with multiple operators worldwide planning to launch networks by 2010. However, according to anarticle in Unstrung, LTE network deployment will outpace the availability of
LTE-capable phones. LTE handsets are not going to reach the mass market until 2011, according to analysts in the report. As vendors get LTE chipsets, there may be a longer-than-usual lag time in the
development cycle of new handsets.

Another article in cellular-news reports that “LTE can’t come soon enough for some operators, states a new report from Analysys Mason. The report details how wireless data traffic will grow 10
times in developed markets in the period until 2015. “LTE can provide data at a sixth of the price of basic W-CDMA. In the long term, it may be the only way to profitably manage the increasing
demand for data traffic,” said Helen Karapandžíc, Analysys Mason analyst and co-author of the report. While LTE is expected to bring in opportunities such as the ability to cost
effectively offer video, TV and gaming, the report also notes that the technology offers a challenge for operators to integrate LTE into their existing operations.

So what can LTE bring to us in the future and what is it facing in today’s environment? Maisie Ramsay gives a good overview in a WirelessWeek article.

“Though LTE offers cost savings and performance improvements, integrating LTE into existing operations presents challenges for carriers, according to the report from Analysys Mason.

Incumbent technologies like W-CDMA, HSPA and GSM will have a role to play in the foreseeable future. Among the challenges for operators is integrating LTE into their existing access infrastructure to
make the most of the 4G technology. Most LTE deployments likely will begin in 2010, though the bulk of deployments will come a few years out. Technological advancements will accelerate growth in
wireless data traffic, which is expected to increase tenfold by 2010.

Meanwhile, wireless data traffic also will grow on mobile WiMAX, another 4G player. WiMAX has growth opportunities beyond traditional mobile operator networks, such as data-centric deployments in
developed and developing regions, states a report from ABI Research. “To ignore a growth market in a down economy would be a mistake,” says ABI Research principal analyst Philip Solis.
WiMAX is ahead of LTE as far as deployments and has already been rolled out in some U.S. markets. ABI expects growth to be “more modest” for WiMAX base stations in 2009, with increased
expansion in 2010.

Many infrastructure vendors support both competing technologies. Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Network both have products for WiMAX and LTE. Though it is commonly perceived that Alcatel-Lucent has
backed off from WiMAX, it ranked first in 2008 market share for mobile WiMAX base station deployments, followed by Alvarion, Motorola and Samsung, Solis says.

The research firm found that Alcatel-Lucent views WiMAX as more as a wireless broadband solution than a fully mobile wireless solution and moved research and development spending toward LTE since
WiMAX is already productized. ABI predicts that many WiMAX deployments will start with fixed and portable services and possibly evolve to mobile use down the line.”

So, as we look at today and close the book on the first quarter of 2009 we are being challenged by the economy. Most companies are struggling with the economics of surviving while trying to keep an
eye toward the future. The future for social networking and LTE certainly seems to have an upside worth watching. I’ll keep an eye on social networking and the LTE challenges for WiMAX.

Join me for the next column when we will hopefully have the Palm Pre unveiling and take a look at the current and future state of smartphones plus another peek into the future. I wonder what we will
see.





Factoid: March Madness on-demand traffic up 56%
According to an article in FierceMobileContent, March 23,
2009:
More than 2.7 million unique visitors checked out digital coverage of Thursday’s opening round of the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship according to CBSSports.com, which adds that
traffic increased 56% over last year’s first-day total. Perhaps even more notable, CBSSports.com reports that its new NCAA March Madness on Demand iPhone application, which provides sports live
streaming tournament video to iPhone and iPod touch devices, topped the paid application rankings in Apple’s App Store. While CBSSports.com streams all NCAA tournament games live on the web for
free, the iPhone app costs users $4.99 for the initial download – its success suggests there is strong consumer interest in paying for live sports video content on the mobile platform.

CBSSports.com adds that users consumed a combined 2.8 million hours of live streaming March Madness video and audio on Thursday, up 65% over 2008 totals. CBS notes that hundreds of web and mobile
properties signed up to participate in the NCAA March Madness on Demand Developer Platform, offering sports fans a host of new sites to watch games online – partners include CBS Interactive
properties such as TV.com, CNET.com, Last.fm and GameSpot.com as well as sports and media websites including ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports, SI.com and USAToday.com.




Factoid: 70% of U.S. subscribers searched via mobile in 2008
According to an article in FierceMobileContent,
February 25, 2009:
Seventy percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used their phones to access information through Internet search engines last year – a 14% increase over 2007 totals – according to a new
consumer study published by market analysis firm ABI Research. After sampling more than 1,000 U.S. wireless consumers between the ages of 14 and 59 and spanning a wide range of demographic profiles,
ABI reports the growth in mobile search usage is nearly double the increase in users who said they accessed mobile websites generally.

The ABI study also reports a number of mobile content formats experienced a significant rise in popularity from 2007 to 2008, most notably news, game downloads, music downloads and especially video
downloads. On the other hand, a significantly lower percentage of subscribers reported downloading a ringtone in 2008 than in the previous year, while user interest in location information, social
networking and sports remained about the same from one year to the next.

“Use of the mobile phone goes well beyond voice calls,” said ABI senior analyst Jeff Orr in a prepared statement. “A significant percentage of respondents say they use their handset for mobile
email and web access, reflecting the broader access to inexpensive or all-you-can-eat mobile data services in the U.S.”




Prediction: Mobile broadband subscribers will represent nearly one third of total mobile subscribers worldwide by 2013
According to an article in
FierceBroadbandWireless
, March 26, 2009:

Informa Telecoms & Media predicts mobile broadband subscribers will represent nearly one third of total mobile subscribers worldwide by 2013. The firm said mobile broadband subscribers jumped 84%
to 186 million at the end of 2008 compared with 101 million at the end of 2007.

Informa says the significant growth has been spurred by widespread mobile broadband network coverage, appealing devices such as USB modems and the iPhone 3G and competitive flat-rate data
plans.

“For many mobile operators, mobile broadband is driving sustained increases in data ARPU. That in turn is key to increasing overall revenues, given ongoing declines in voice ARPU,” said Mike
Roberts, principal analyst with Informa.

Roberts warns, however, that mobile broadband could succumb to the economic downturn, which could delay major investments in LTE. “There’s no doubt that the downturn will delay LTE deployments,
with major operators already citing it as a key factor leading them to push LTE launch dates to 2011-12,” he said.




Factoid: Android garners five percent of the U.S. smartphone market
According to an article in FierceMobileIT, March
25, 2009:

Based on figures culled from AdMob’s mobile advertising platform, Android now accounts for some five percent of the smartphone share in the United States. This is a very healthy increase from the 3%
reported in January. Of course, this looks like a mere drop in the ocean compared to the market share of competitors like RIM’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone.

What I found interesting was the additional tidbit that the Android-based smartphone – there is only one at this point – is the number one device on T-Mobile’s network. I’m not sure
what the numbers are like on AT&T;’s network, but with the Palm Pre launching exclusively with Sprint later this year, customers have no choice but to switch carriers if they want a mobile device
badly enough.




Factoid: Thumbplay’s Top Five

 Ringtones  Games  Graphics  MP3  Videos
Right Round – Flo Rita Deal or No Deal – Million Dollar Mission Cartmanland (South Park) Rockin That Thing – The Dream

Heartless – Kanye West

My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson LocoRoco Hi Fairies in the Night Crack A Bottle – Eminem, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent Kiss Me Through The Phone – Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em
Kiss Me Through The Phone – Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em God of War – Betrayal So Sweet Cherries Kiss Me Through The Phone – Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em Stanky Legg – GS Boyz
Dead and Gone – TJ.I. ft Justin Timberlake Fast and Furious Playboy Rabbit Head 65 Turnin Me On – Keri Hilson Put It On Ya – Plies
Crack A Bottle – Eminem , Dr. Dre, 50 Cent Jewel Quest II Whitney Bedroom (The City) Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson

Courtesy of Thumbplay                

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:

WirelessWeek – March 27, 2009
RIM Rumors Swirl Around Store, TV


Speculation is mounting that Research In Motion (RIM) will announce the opening of its highly anticipated Blackberry App World at CTIA Wireless 2009 in Las Vegas. There’s also speculation
that RIM will announce a BlackBerry TV service as part of the store.

NewTeeVee cited multiple sources in a report that outlined the TV service. The report said that the new service will be a monthly unlimited subscription-based service which will download programs
in the background over Wi-Fi instead of the carrier line.

The report went on to say that “multiple broadcast and cable networks have licensed content for the device.”

RIM, whose co-CEO Mike Lazaridis will be a keynote speaker at the CTIA trade show on Wednesday, joins a growing number of platforms and handsets that have opened or will be opening mobile
application stores. Nokia, Android, Samsung and, of course, Apple are just a few that have stores either up and running or in the works.

To date, Apple is seen as having set the bar in the applications world. Generally attributed to the ease of access and integration with the Apple OS, the success of Apple’s App Store is
creating followers of its formula.

There’s good reason for others to take note; Apple reported 500 million downloads in its first six months.

To read more, click here.

FierceWireless – March 27, 2009
AT&T; offering free refurbished BlackBerry Bolds

AT&T; Mobility had started selling refurbished versions of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Bold for free with a two-year contract in an exclusive online deal. The decision is the latest move by
AT&T; to discount some of its most popular high-end phones.

The phone is regularly priced at $299.99 new with a two-year contract and for $199.99 refurbished with a two-year contract. It is not known how long the offer will last, but it appears to be an
online-only deal. An AT&T; spokeswoman could not be reached at deadline to comment on the offer.

AT&T; briefly sold refurbished versions of Apple’s iPhone 3G for as low as $100 around New Year’s Day

To read more, click here.

FierceMobileContent – March 27, 2009
“Mobile data attitudes in the U.S. “positive and improving”

Thirty-nine percent of connected consumers in the U.S. have “positive and improving attitudes about their mobile communication devices” according to a new study issued by the Pew Internet &
American Life Project, which contends that mobile data services adopters are notably more active in many facets of digital life than their wired counterparts. The Pew report notes that 8% of U.S.
adults (a group the non-profit think-tank dubs “Digital Collaborators”) team with other users to create content and express themselves online, with another 7% (“Media Movers”) sharing content
via mobile device. A third group, which Pew calls “Roving Nodes” (9%), embraces mobile connectivity to improve their personal productivity. Still another group, the “Mobile Newbies,” comprises
the 8% of subscribers who are still acclimating to mobile devices, but the majority of Americans remain on the fence about mobile data services. Pew notes that 7% of consumers are “Ambivalent
Networkers,” meaning they appreciate the potential of mobile social networking but lament being so available to their personal contacts. Pew calls the remaining 61% “the stationary media
majority” – i.e., consumers who still prefer traditional broadband connections for communication and information gathering. They use their mobile handsets primarily for voice services,
rarely surf the mobile web and find incoming messages intrusive. Pew adds that 14% of Americans remain off the grid, with neither online access nor a mobile phone.

To read more, click
here
.

FierceMobileContent – March 27, 2009
GetJar tops 400 million application downloads

Independent mobile app store GetJar announced it topped 400 million app download benchmark, and is now witnessing 200% year-over-year growth in download volume. The firm adds that its developer
community now sees more than 30 million consumer downloads each month – GetJar offers more than 20,000 unique applications in total, from markets including the U.S., U.K., China, India and
Indonesia.

GetJar also released results from a survey spanning more than 15,000 customers, and reports that a third of its U.S. subscribers most commonly use mobile applications just before going to bed.
Twenty-seven percent of customers said they use mobile applications whenever they are waiting for someone or something, and 50% said they download a new app at least once a week. In addition, 36%
of GetJar survey respondents said they are more likely to discover mobile content and applications based on recommendations from friends – only 21% cited browsing and search as their primary
means of application discovery. The top handsets among GetJar users are the Samsung Instinct, LG CU920, BlackBerry Storm, Sony Ericsson W580i and Nokia 6120.

To read more, click here.

FierceTelecom– March 19, 2009
Broadband up in Ireland

Despite a significant downturn in employment, the number of broadband subscribers went up by 6.7% in the last quarter of 2008. Digital TV also showed a gain.

Ireland’s communications regulator ComReg said there were over 1.2 million broadband subscribers by the end of the year. Mobile broadband grew at a rate of 15% in Q4 and a whopping 142% as
compared to last year.

Broadband per capita reached 27.1% during the quarter and DSL subscriptions alone accounted for 45.9% of all Internet subscriptions. Dial-up Internet subscribers fell by 27.3%, leaving just 237,475
on the Emerald Isle.

To read more, click here.

WirelessWeek – March 26, 2009
NSN Completes Phase 2 of China Mobile 3G Rollout

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has completed the second phase deployment of China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA-based 3G network. The implementation, integration testing and network commissioning across
the four provinces awarded to the company was completed by mid-March, ahead of schedule.

“The success of TD-SCDMA in China will not depend on whether vendors can ship their equipment, but rather on the quality of the service and how satisfied end-users are when 3G networks are
optimized and launched,” said Steven Shaw, vice president at NSN’s Greater China region.

The company hopes its performance in phase two of the TD-SCDMA network rollouts will favorably position it for upcoming network expansions planned in China Mobile’s next wave of bidding. The
upcoming expansions cover 200 cities, and a winning bid would help cement Nokia Siemens’ presence in China.

NSN worked with multiple China Mobile subsidiaries to roll out their respective 3G networks, including Fujian Mobile, Henan Mobile, Jiangxi Mobile and Hainan Mobile.

The company says it worked at a rapid pace, supporting Henan Mobile to install 1,342 base stations in the city of Zhengzhou in just two months. Henan Mobile’s TD-SCDMA network was completed
by the end of February and was interoperable with GSM by early March. Network optimization and service trials are ongoing, and Henan Mobile expects to launch mobile data-based services in the near
future

To read more, click here.

FierceWireless– March 26, 2009
Cox making 3G moves

Cox Communications, which won spectrum in the 700 MHz band, is expected to announce vendors for its 3G network in the coming months. The cable provider has already brought on BCI Communications to
assist with cell site acquisition, design and construction.

According to reports circulating late last year, Cox, which spent $550 million on the wireless licenses, is planning to build its own network in its cable service area serving about 23 million
potential customers in New Orleans, Omaha, Las Vegas, Kansas and Southern New Mexico and to use Sprint Nextel for roaming outside those areas. Cox, unlike Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bight House
Networks, did not become part of the new Clearwire joint venture which is expected to launch a nationwide mobile WiMAX service early next year. Also unlike those other players, Cox did participate
in the FCC’s 700 MHz auction.

Cox is planning a 3G network with an eye on moving to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. The company has been busy naming wireless executives to its team.

To read more, click here.

FierceBroadbandWireless – March 26, 2009
Sprint announces 4G rollout schedule

As expected, Sprint Nextel said it will launch its 4G service at the same time Clearwire rolls out WiMAX service. Sprint will operate as an MVNO to Clearwire and offer mobile WiMAX products and
services. The operator holds a 51% stake in Clearwire.

Sprint has said it would launch Sprint 4G service in Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft.Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Portland and Seattle in 2009. Sprint also said it plans to
launch service in Boston, Houston, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in 2010. All of these market deployments are in line with what Clearwire projected when it announced its buildout
plans earlier this month.

The operator said it will launch multiple 4G devices in 2009 and 2010, including a 4G data card, embedded laptops, a small-office broadband modem and a tri-mode handset. Sprint has hinted in the
past that it may launch a WiMAX capable tri-mode handset in early 2010 running on Google’s Android platform but that has not been confirmed. Right now, Sprint is offering a dual-mode data card in
Baltimore branded Sprint 4G. The service costs $20 more than its 3G data service.

To read more, click here.

FierceMobileIT – March 25, 2009
Dell hints that it will make smartphones, again

Dell has, once again, hinted at a future in smartphones. This time, Michael Dell himself mentioned the smartphone or mobile Internet device that the company was rumored to have in development.
Speaking from Tokyo on Tuesday, Dell more or less confirmed earlier rumors, “It is true that we are exploring smaller screen devices. We don’t have any announcements to share today but stay tuned
as when we have new news we will share that with you.”

Of course, this comes on the heels of a negative report from AppleInsider on Saturday last week, which claims that Dell’s “first attempts to produce a phone” have been rejected by carriers in
the United States for being “too dull and lacking differentiation.” The same report cited an analyst who says that Dell has gone back to the drawing board to design a new cell phone that will
address these points.

To read more, click here.

FierceIMobileIT – March 25, 2009
Poor cell phone reception causes many to switch hotels, meeting facilities

In a sign of just how important staying connected has become, a new survey of 1,000 adults by an independent research firm found that poor cell reception will instigate more than half to switch to
another hotel the next time around, if all else is equal. What’s more, over 50% will also switch meeting facilities due to poor cell reception.

Scott Groff, president of Repeated Signal Solutions, the company that commissioned the study, says, “Cell phone connectivity has become so critical to business competitiveness that lost calls due
to poor reception can mean much more than frustrating conversations. It can mean millions of dollars lost in business deals or lack of repeat business.”

To read more, click
here
.

FierceWireless – March 25, 2009
CNBC mobile web traffic grows tenfold in nine months

Business news broadcaster (and Jon Stewart punching bag) CNBC announced that mobile traffic has grown more than tenfold since the June 2008 launch of its mobile website, increasing from first-month
totals of 2.7 million to more than 30 million in March 2009. CNBC attributes the traffic growth to the mobile site’s exclusive content and accessibility – the site features free real-time
quotes and charts from the NASDAQ and NYSE during and after market hours alongside the network’s breaking news and analysis, global market data and stock futures in the pre-market. CNBC adds that
its cable network reaches approximately 400 million homes worldwide, including more than 95 million households in the U.S. and Canada.

To read more, click here.

FierceWireless – March 25, 2009
LTE hype will prevail

Last month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona gave us the biggest news so far in 4G realm. Verizon Wireless successfully built up the suspense of announcing its infrastructure vendor selections
for its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson will work to roll out the network on a commercial basis by 2010. Even the vendors didn’t know before Verizon Communications’
executive vice president and CTO Dick Lynch made the announcement during a keynote session, which made certain vendor executives downright giddy.

Will that type of excitement over LTE spill over to this year’s CTIA trade show? It’s highly unlikely. AT&T; is currently in its RFP process to choose vendors for its anticipated rollout in
2011. Perhaps CenturyTel or MetroPCS will give us some more details?

Based on the types of embargoed announcements coming into the inboxes of FierceWireless editors, it appears the news pertaining to LTE will have to do with things like building ecosystems,
migrating from 3G to LTE, device management and incorporating existing services such as SMS into LTE’s all-IP network. Of course, all of these are critical factors in the rollout of the next
generation of technology, but they just aren’t as exciting as, say, a major infrastructure award that could have a significant impact on the future of certain vendors (think Nortel).

What’s in store for the WiMAX message at CTIA? Peter Jarich, principal analyst with Current Analysis puts it this way: “This year will be very Monty Python-esque for WiMAX. You know, ‘I’m not
dead yet.’ All the hype on LTE has people thinking WiMAX had gone away. It hasn’t, of course, but that message needs to get out there.”

Expect the WiMAX Forum to remind us of the momentum the technology has taken on around the world, especially now that Clearwire has solidified its rollout plans for this year and the next. Leading
WiMAX vendor Alvarion promises to make some announcements too.

Of course, WiMAX and LTE will be in the limelight at FierceMarkets “Path to 4G” co-located special interest seminar April 1 at CTIA. All the top operators will be speaking at that event,
including Barry West, president of Clearwire; Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices at AT&T; Anthony Lewis, vice president, open development at Verizon; Todd Rowley, vice president of 4G
at Sprint; and more.

Also expect significant news and discussion around the broadband stimulus bill, which is allocating $7 billion in funds for broadband deployments to areas that don’t have broadband or are
underserved by broadband. Already, a host of companies are issuing press releases that advertise their equipment as being “stimulus ready.”

Don’t forget WiFi either. The technology is making significant inroads now that key devices such as the iPhone and BlackBerry Bold feature embedded WiFi capabilities. A plethora of dual-mode
WiFi/cellular devices are expected to come to market in 2009, especially as AT&T;, which recently acquired Wayport, uses WiFi as the cornerstone of its wireless data strategy.

To read more, click here.

FierceWireless– March 25, 2009
With femtocells, FMC gets real

The concept of fixed-mobile convergence has been around for so long, and has been applied to so many different technology innovations and business strategies, that the telecom industry may have to
forgive the pause of surprise among many of us as it becomes clear what FMC really is.

The FMC plans of U.S. wireless carriers are just now coming to fruition, and for many U.S. customers who look to experience FMC this year, that experience will be shaped by residential
service/device platforms like Verizon’s Hub, Sprint’s Airave, T-Mobile USA’s @Home, and whatever AT&T; decides to call its service once its femtocell trials are done.

As a keynote speaker at the show, Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg is sure to touch on his company’s Hub launch – who knows, maybe he will even offer up some preliminary numbers on
the success of this two-month-old femtocell-based FMC service. T-Mobile President and CEO Robert Dotson also will be keynoting.

Another show attraction on the convergence theme is the April 1 conference track called “The Blueprint of Convergence,” featuring the plenary session “The Converged Network – How We Get
There from Here.”

Meanwhile, the Wireless 2009 show floor is sure to offer plenty of announcements connecting with the hot topic of fixed mobile convergence. AirWalk Communications, Cisco Systems, Huawei
Technologies, Ubquisys, Continuous Computing, Genband, Tatara Systems and Airvana are just some of the femtocell exhibitors on hand.

AirWalk will be showing its new enterprise femtocell, EdgePoint Pro, which has features that include support for multiple users, management of multiple femtocells and links to enterprise IP PBXs.
Ubiquisys, AirWalk and Tatara all will be involved in Acme Packet’s technology demonstration of its Net-Net Security Gateway and Net-Net Session Director supporting an IMS/NGN environment.
Continuous Computing will demonstrate the concept of adaptive traffic shaping for femtocells to improve the quality of femtocell coverage. Meanwhile, the Wi-Fi Alliance and ABI Research will
announce new research related to FMC’s outlook through 2014.

There no doubt will be several more FMC-related announcements and demonstrations at Wireless 2009, but the difference between this year’s version of FMC and what we have seen in previous years is
that this year’s version is ready for prime time.

To read more, click here.

FierceWireless – March 24, 2009
Rumor Mill: Acer launching Android phone in September

Acer will launch its first phone running on Google’s Android platform in September, according to the Philippine BusinessMirror.

The computer maker plans on launching the touchscreen A1 smartphone, along with three other handsets that month, according to the report, which cited an unnamed company official.

The company has previously confirmed that it would be launching smartphones not based on Windows Mobile by year-end, but has not given specific timelines for when those phones would launch. When
Acer launched their lineup of smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, company officials hinted that Acer was thinking of launching phones using Google’s Android
platform.

The launch would put Acer firmly into the Android handset market alongside more established players such as HTC and Samsung.

To read more, click here.

FierceDeveloper – March 24, 2009
T-Mobile USA: Android Market needs more filters

The average G1 smartphone owner has downloaded more than 40 applications and about 80% of G1 users surf the mobile web each day, according to T-Mobile USA CTO Cole Brodman. Speaking at the recent
Dow Jones Wireless Innovations conference in Redwood City, Calif., Brodman said there are now about 2,300 applications available for download in Android Market, the virtual storefront launched in
conjunction with the G1, the first commercial handset based on Google’s Android mobile OS – Brodman adds about a third of those are now premium applications. With the number of Android apps
continuing to grow, Brodman contends the store requires improved search and customization filters to create a more efficient consumer browsing experience. “Users have a hard time searching through
that long tail,” Brodman said.

At present, Android applications are ranked based on user ratings, and subscribers may scroll through choices based on popularity or recent additions. But Brodman wants to see mechanisms that
automatically match users with their interests, citing user-generated content aggregator YouTube as an example of a site that offers strong contextual relevancy to users. In addition, he said he
hopes to see the app store concept extended to feature phones, but acknowledged the number of available applications would be somewhat limited.

Brodman declined to offer details on future Android software updates. Asked whether the next iteration of Android might feature video recording or an alternate keyboard, he responded “[Google is]
working on a number of innovations. Some of the ones you mentioned are certainly some of the ones that are being worked on.”

To read more, click here.


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

How to Buy A Cell Phone

Lexmark Resource Center on PCWorld.com

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Online Wireless Glossary

Computerworld Mobile & Wireless Knowledge Center

SearchMobileComputing

eWeek Mobile-and-Wireless

Wireless Developer Network

Wi-Fi Planet

 

 

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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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