Unwired Tap – January 2007

Published in TDAN.com January 2007

As we wind up the year of 2006 and speed head long into the wonders that 2007 and beyond hold for us it is tradition to review what has happened over the current year and peek into the upcoming
year. I typically don’t like to take that approach but let’s give it a try. It might just be interesting.

Looking back and Looking forward: Technology is screaming ahead at a million bits per second. Infrastructure, hardware, software, business models, etc. Everything just seems to be converging and
getting — “Bigger, Better, Faster, Cheaper”.

A very perceptive FierceWireless Executive Editor Lynnette Luna in a December 22, 2006 article rated herself against predictions she made at the beginning of 2006. Her Top 5 Predictions for 2006 covered some of the major industry trends for 2006. By the way, I agree with the marks she gave herself. Here are
some highlights from that article:

  • Not everyone will make it in the MVNO market.

    “I have to say I got an `A’ on this one. Mobile ESPN was the first casualty, and the market quickly soured on these once industry darlings. What I said in January holds true: It’s a tough
    market when virtual carriers have to acquire customers less expensively to make a return on the investments in their own wireless platforms such as billing, customer care and network switching.”

  • Can municipal WiFi deliver what the politicians promise?

    “I give myself a “B” on this one. We did see several public WiFi business models work in 2006, but other municipalities, especially San Francisco, which has spent the entire year working on a
    deal with Google/Earthlink, learned the value of due diligence. Muni-WiFi is so hot that telecom companies like AT&T who once staunchly opposed them have joined the game. Still, these
    networks are fairly new, and there are still a lot of questions about what type of loads they can handle, especially those based on single radios. Cities are also learning about what business
    models are most realistic.”

  • Like it or not, mobile advertising is coming.

    “I I have to give myself an “A” on this one. Operators know they need advertising to expand data consumption and generate more data revenues as monthly recurring charges for content begin to
    hit the ceiling. I predicted that we’d see many experiments in this area as carriers delicately look for ways to create acceptance of wireless advertising without turning off the customer. There
    were a plethora of advertising-related announcements. Virgin Mobile introduced in May Sugar Mama, an advertising initiative that allows its young customers to sign up for the offering through
    Virgin Mobile USA’s website for three types of advertising: text messaging, video ads and questionnaires, and use those options to earn up to 75 free minutes of talk time per month. Yahoo and
    go2 Directory Systems made a deal to put Yahoo-sponsored listings on the go2 Directory local-search website carried by Verizon Wireless, Sprint and Cingular Wireless. Enpocket developed a
    custom-built solution for Sprint Nextel to allow the operator to integrate advertisements into the carrier’s WAP deck. But the bottom line is that the industry is a long way from seeing a big
    impact from mobile advertising. It still gets a bad rap.”

  • Mobile high-speed networks fight for laptops, extend lead over WiMAX

    “I was partially right, but I have to give myself a “D.” I said that as operators continue to lower their pricing for data access, we will see 3G begin to usurp WiFi data consumption. Well,
    consumers’ desire for WiFi only got stronger–to the point where they now expect it in most public locations. Meanwhile, there was little downward movement on the 3G data pricing front. Sprint
    Nextel made an attempt by unbundling data access from voice plans while Verizon has been offering pay-as-you-go pricing to customers who buy certain notebooks with embedded EV-DO
    capabilities.”

    “I also said that WiMAX will make its debut in the fixed wireless world but will fail to make a significant impact on the wireless market as a whole since vendors aren’t expected to introduce
    any significant volume of mobile WiMAX equipment until later this year or early 2007. And I correctly predicted that the hype cycle would definitely turn in WiMAX’s favor if Sprint Nextel chose
    the technology in the 2.5 GHz band.”

David Haskin of Computerworld in a December 21, 2006 article eloquently wrote about several important trends for 2007
that line up with areas we have talked about in various Unwired Tap columns over the last two years. Here are some highlights from that article:

“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.”

“Toward the end of 2006, a glut of competent smart phones costing US$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.”

“`I have a friend who drives a backhoe — he’s a construction worker — and he got himself a BlackBerry Pearl,’ said Derek Kerton, principal of telecommunications consulting firm The Kerton
Group. `If I get an SMS message from a friend, chances are it’s from him.’ And that level of communication will increase even more, Kerton predicted, when his friend sets up the device for
sending and receiving e-mail.”

“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.”

“‘The Sprint announcement is the coolest and wildest and most risky gambit we’ve seen in the wireless industry in quite some time,’ Kerton said. `They said,’We have an asset that nobody else
has, and if we’re successful, we’ll have a sustainable advantage that nobody can match for years to come. And if we’re wrong, we just bet the farm.’ `”

“Skeptics claim that Sprint’s network will fail because it is expensive and redundant with Sprint’s existing cellular 3G EV-DO network. Sprint says it’s certain that the gamble will pay off, as
its network provides fast, cheap nationwide mobile access for laptop computers and a plethora — it hopes — of other mobile consumer devices, leaving its EV-DO network for delivering media and
other content to cell phones.”

Mr. Haskin went on to list his notable areas for 2007. He discussed:

  • More mobile access, more competition

    “If Sprint sticks with its schedule, we’ll get a taste of mobile WiMax by the end of 2007. Besides being mobile and nationwide, the network Sprint is promising will be fast and cheap — at
    least compared with 3G mobile data service.”

    “But that isn’t the only new type of access we’ll see in 2007. In the next year, we’ll see the launch of a number of major citywide Wi-Fi networks. Philadelphia is, perhaps, building the most
    discussed of these networks, but about 300 municipalities are reportedly either building or planning to build these sometimes controversial networks.”

    “The bottom line is that these two emerging types of networks will lead to increased mobility, more demand for mobile services and applications and, perhaps best of all, more competition for
    your mobile access dollar.”

    “If you want mobile data access, you’ll no longer be limited to using the services of a cellular operator or hunting for a Wi-Fi hot spot. Providers such as EarthLink and MetroFi will be
    installing and running the municipal networks, which will make them, at some level, competitors to the cellular operators and even to incumbent telecom operators that provide DSL. That type of
    increased competition can only be good for both enterprise users and consumers.”

  • The era of the `big bundle’

    “This increasingly available mobile access also will lead to the beginning of another trend that could be called the `big bundle.’ Sprint, which has been partnering with several large cable
    operators, has indicated that it plans to offer all-in-one bill bundles of mobile and landline voice and data services as well as media and other entertainment. The incumbent telecom operators
    are likely to follow. Companies such as EarthLink Inc., which will be installing metro Wi-Fi in a number of cities, could easily create partnerships to create similar bundles.”

    “In the short term, this will mean more competition and lower prices as regional incumbent carriers such as AT&T Inc. will compete directly with other large providers such as Sprint and its
    cable partners, a competition that doesn’t exist now.”

    `Right now, there are mostly monopolies for these services,’ Kerton said. `This will lead to duopolies, which are somewhat better.’

    However, this trend also will make it difficult for so-called competitive telecommunications companies to stay in business. These are the small telecom operators that are available in many areas
    but don’t have the wherewithal to offer such bundles. So, in the long run, this trend threatens to decrease competition.”

  • The democratization of mobile e-mail

    “Cheaper devices and more mobile access options will mean that more people will use more mobile applications. The most popular of these applications is likely to be mobile e-mail. Previously,
    only early adopters and higher-level executives had mobile e-mail devices like the BlackBerry. But with e-mail-capable smart phones now available for the masses, the masses will start using
    mobile e-mail.”

    “`BlackBerries used to cost $500 or $600, which made them available mostly to people in the boardroom or high-level employees, where that expense could be justified,’ Kerton said. `Now, as IT
    managers are more familiar with mobile e-mail, that brings down the IT challenge. If you add cheaper devices, you have a significant drop in the total cost of ownership. So we’re looking at any
    employee who spends time away from their desk having e-mail access.'”

    “Some of that e-mail access will come via enterprise-class server-based applications such as Microsoft Exchange. But Kerton also predicts the rise of services from vendors such as Visto Corp.
    and Seven Networks Inc. that are being offered by cellular operators to provide easy, no-configuration access to e-mail for non-technical users.”

  • Search and discovery

    “Advanced mapping applications tied to the ability to track people carrying cell phones will start to catch on in 2007. These technologies build on the inherent ability for cellular operators to
    know where subscriber phones are.

    As a result, we’ll see more “child finder” and “buddy finder” applications. This class of applications enable parents to see where their cell-phone-toting children are, for instance.

    “It’s the parental thing — ‘Where are my kids?’ ” Kerton said. “Look them up on a map.” This capability was first offered in the U.S. by The Walt Disney Co., which runs its own cellular
    service, but other providers are starting to copy it. The service could just as easily find friends and colleagues on a “buddy list.”

    Similarly, GPS that’s built into cell phones will become increasingly popular, said Scott Smith, a futurist for Washington consulting firm Social Technologies.

    “The U.S. has been behind in terms of familiarity with things like GPS in cars,” Smith said. “But we’re getting to the point where you can walk into a Target store and buy dashboard GPS
    devices for less money than before. And we’ll see it increasingly in mobile phones.”

    Cheaper devices and more mobile.

  • Mobility gets social

    “The social-community-based approach of Web 2.0 will increasingly become part of the mobile landscape in 2007.

    “This is the glue that could tie a lot of [applications] together,” Smith said. “It could be as simple as mobile MySpace or sharing media with friends. Or it could be mobile blogging.”

    While these sites are already popular with desktop users, it’s taking longer for them to become as big for mobile users, said Ken Dulaney, a Gartner Inc. vice president for mobile
    computing.

    Certainly, more powerful mobile devices with larger screens, such as the new generation of inexpensive smart phones, will speed adoption of these newly mobilized applications because such devices
    make it easier to access such sites.

    Ultimately, mobile communities can be connected with location-based services, the experts agreed. In other words, you’ll not only be able to access a person’s MySpace entry, but you’ll also be
    able to find out where they are — if they want to be found.

  • Convergence: One phone, many places

    “Convergence refers to an old but still largely unrealized dream of using a single phone — and having a single phone number — for both mobile and home-based calling. Sure, some people have
    switched to a mobile-only scenario, but true convergence means you can use the same phone for both landline calls and mobile calls. The phone will automatically detect the most advantageous
    network in terms of cost or signal strength and route voice calls and data over that network.

    “If you have the right device,” Smith said, “you won’t have to figure out where to use a particular technology.” Converged devices would include both cellular and voice over IP using Wi-Fi
    networks. Built-in software would seamlessly transfer between the two types of networks.

    Some European operators have started offering such service, but in the U.S. it has been limited to a test launched recently by T-Mobile. That test is currently being conducted primarily in the
    Seattle area, but the company has said it expects to offer the service broadly in the next year.

    “We’ll see an acceleration of convergence in 2007, but it’ll still be a bit rough around the edges,” Smith said. “Initially, it’ll be for the early-adopter audience, but people will clamor
    for it when they see what it can do.”

    The social-community-based approach of Web 2.0 will increasingly become part of the mobile landscape in 2007.

  • Media, media, media

    “More and cheaper mobile access and better and cheaper devices will lead to more use of mobile media.”

    “Development of media applications is accelerating,” Smith said. “Look at the success of Sony Ericsson’s Walkman phones. Apple already is facing competition for its iPod, and it may release
    iPhone. Microsoft will be developing the market for Zune. All those things will accelerate mobile media in a more consolidated fashion than has been the case before.”

    “In particular, Smith said he expects an upsurge in so-called place-shifted television, which uses products from vendors like Sling Media to transmit television from home to mobile devices. This
    has already started but will accelerate in 2007, Smith said.”

    “Ultimately, though, this will lead to somewhat larger mobile devices that are more appropriate for watching video, he added.”

    “We’ll see an evolutionary split where one branch will get smaller — kind of like phones as jewelry,” Smith said. “But for media and other applications, like mapping, you need a larger
    screen.”

Ok, now on to the Real ID Act. eWeek.com has a very good article that everyone should read, analyze for themselves and pay attention to. The article titled Senators Question Use of RFID in E-Passports, National ID Cards discusses the Real ID Act of 2005. Here are some key points brought out
in the article:

“The Real ID Act mandates that every state overhaul its driver’s license ID card system by 2008. It requires real-time authentication for documents such as birth certificates and Social Security
cards-which would require a massive electronic, interoperable network-and the creation of a national database to store the electronic data gathered at the state level.”

“On Dec. 12, two senators-a Democrat and a Republican-said they would propose legislation to repeal the Real ID Act of 2005 if the Department of Homeland Security does not change the act to
include more personal privacy provisions and less of a financial burden on states, according to news reports. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, and Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., said they take issue with
the technological implications of the act.”

“Sen. Akaka said that if the proposed national database were to be breached it would “provide one-stop access to virtually all information necessary to commit identity theft,” and pointed to a
study by the National Governors Association estimating that states would have to come up with a total of about $11 billion each to implement the necessary infrastructure to verify information
electronically. Akaka will chair the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee-the group that has jurisdiction over the relationship between the federal and state
governments-in 2007.”

Other points brought out in the article were:

  • The Emerging Applications and Technology Subcommittee, part of the Data Privacy and Integrity Committee that advises DHS, toned down its harsh criticisms of RFID technology used to identify
    individuals-referring to the e-passport and PASScard ID card-in a report released Dec. 13.
  • On Dec. 4, the Smart Card Alliance, an industry group that works to foster the adoption of sensor-based technology used in all types of industry and consumer applications, such as credit cards
    and cell phones, issued a statement urging the federal government to reconsider its use of vicinity-read RFID technology in the proposed PASScard ID card that would be used by U.S. citizens
    crossing into nearby countries.
  • The problem with vicinity-read RFID, and with other forms of identification that utilize RFID, is that information obtained in the RFID chip can be read from several feet away, according to the
    Smart Card Alliance. The distance concept factors into the DHS’ plans, which are to be able to read, for example, a carload of PASSport ID cards with a single wave of a reader.
  • In its report the Alliance listed a number of concerns, including a lack of security safeguards; the potential for tracking to inspire citizen distrust; the duplication of required border
    infrastructure to accept this ID technology in addition to e-passports; a reliance on central databases and real-time access to networks to read the data stored on cards; and potential operational
    issues with multiple vicinity-read RFID tags in vehicles.
  • In a speech at George Washington University on Dec. 14, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff defended the department’s use of technology at border crossings and in
    national identification cards to protect citizens and weed out potential terrorists from entering the country.
  • Chertoff outlined a three-pronged approach that includes electronically collecting and analyzing personal information on people crossing U.S. borders, electronic ID cards and gathering
    biometric information from individuals using the cards-the RFID chips on the e-passports mandated in 2005 have enough memory capacity for biometric indicators that could include face or iris scans
    in addition to 10 finger prints.
  • To prevent skimming and eavesdropping of data from the e-passports-and likely the PASScard and electronic driver’s license as well-the government has added BAC (Basic Access Control) and a
    shielding material to the passport. BAC requires that the characters from the printed machine-readable zone of the passport be read first to unlock the chip for reading, according to the State
    Department’s Web site.
  • Jim Harper, a director of information policy studies for the Cato Institute and co-author of the DHS advisory report, said he believes that while the State Department will eventually fail at
    its e-passport initiative, it will be some time before any real understanding-or action-sets in.
  • Harper said e-passports won’t work for two reasons: speed, or the lack thereof, at border crossings, and security issues.
  • “There have been some pushback and some privacy concerns, but on a global scale e-passports are going to move forward,” said Michael Liard, an ABI Research analyst who follows the RFID
    industry. “Use plans in Europe, Asia and the U.S. market are going to come on board. But you also have to appreciate that we’ve been talking about this for years.”
  • The State Department began issuing e-passports in August.

We’ll keep an eye on the future of the Real ID Act of 2005 but I encourage everyone to become knowledgeable about how your personal identity information may be treated as the future roars at us.
Wired or wireless, I prefer to know who has my personal information and what they are doing with it.

Let me know what you think.

Factoid: Microsoft holds quite a bit of influence with mobile developers

SD Times, December 21, 2006. By Alex Handy: A research study from Evans Data Corporation released yesterday showed that Microsoft holds quite a bit of sway over mobile developers. Specifically, the
study concluded that C# usage in mobile application development has surged over the last six months, partly due to the availability of Windows-based smart phones. According to Evans, 40 percent of
mobile developers are now using C# somewhere in their development process.

Elsewhere in the study, Evans concluded that 30 percent of mobile application developers are using Microsoft SQL Server as their back-end database, while 20 percent use MySQL. The study was
conducted this past November and encompassed 380 wireless developers.

Factoid: Top Ringtones

Top Ringtones

  1. I Wanna Love You – Akon
  2. 2.Smack That – Akon
  3. 3.Lips of an Angel – Hinder
  4. 4.Money Maker – Ludacris
  5. 5.Chain Hang Low – Jibbs
  6. 6.Chicken Noodle Soup – Webstar
  7. 7.Show Me What You Got – Jay-Z
  8. 8.Fergalicious – Fergie
  9. 9.Wind it Up – Gwen Stefani
  10. 10.We Fly High – Jim Jones

Akon’s “I Wanna Love You” jumped from #5 to #1, with a 118% increase in week-over-week downloads.

Courtesy of Thumbplay

Click here to see the graphic

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:

  • FireceMobileContent — December 22, 2006

    Chinese mobile video to jump with 2008 Olympics

    Staying in the Asia-Pacific region, a new ABI Research study forecasts the Chinese mobile video market will grow to more than 32 million users in 2008, a spike attributed to subscriber interest
    in the Beijing Summer Olympics. According to ABI, roughly 27 percent of the consumer base will access mobile video via broadcasting technology, while the remaining 73 percent will employ
    unicast streaming technology.

    Ongoing standards debates will no doubt impact the Chinese market, ABI added. “It is likely that local media groups and TV stations will deploy DAB [the first phase of Chinese mobile
    multimedia broadcasting standards] initially, and implement T-DMB [a terrestrial version of SK Telecom’s mobile video format] at a later date,” ABI research director Jake Saunders said in a
    prepared statement. “The Chinese government will give preference to a standard that will be used in the 2008 Olympics, and DAB has been listed as one of the broadcast services that will be
    available at the Beijing Games.”

    To read more click here

  • eWEEK.com Wireless & Mobile Update — December 21, 2006

    Music on the Move as Mobile Applications Multiply

    This past year marked the beginning of a revolutionary experiment to sell and distribute digital music to and from mobile phones. The stage is only just being set, with the business models,
    pricing and marketing issues still evolving.

    To read more click here

  • Wireless Week — December 21, 2006

    EarthLink Launches New Orleans Wi-Fi Network For the second time in as many days, EarthLink is powering up one of its municipal Wi-Fi projects. The ISP announced its wireless mesh network is
    now up and running in New Orleans. The network covers 20 square miles, including parts of the Orleans parish. The ISP says its network is in support of the city’s rebuilding efforts since
    Hurricane Katrina hit last year. The New Orleans network will offer services free of charge at service speeds as quick as 300 kbps, and will be available for use by both businesses and
    residents. To read more click here

  • eWEEK.com Wireless & Mobile Update — December 21, 2006

    Senators Question Use of RFID in E-Passports, National ID Cards

    The Department of Homeland Security’s Real ID Act is coming under fire over privacy concerns and potential financial burden on U.S. states.

    To read more click here

  • FierceIPTV — December 21, 2006

    DISH Network to offer IPTV VOD

    According to a report from SatelliteGuys.us, DISH Network is planning to launch an IPTV service that will offer SD and HD movies, music, adult programs and entertainment news. Some content will
    be free while others will require a one-time fee. Indeed, DISH has an IPTV section on its website, but that section is currently empty.

    To read more click here

  • FireceWireless — December 20, 2006

    Cingular to increase SMS rate too

    Cingular Wireless is set to increase its fee for text messages from 10 cents to 15 cents, effective January 21 of next year. Cingular
    will use the increased fee as a way to encourage subscribers to sign up for a bulk SMS plan. The carrier’s hike only affects subscribers who do not subscribe to a bulk SMS plan. The affected
    subscribers are eligible to cancel their contract with Cingular without an early termination fee, since the contract specifically provides that loophole when rates increase for any service.
    Sprint made the same increase for SMS rates in October, but did not disclose how many subscribers left as a result. T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless still charge 10 cents per SMS, but it’s likely
    the two will raise that rate next year. Their ARPU’s may depend on it.

    To read more click here

  • FierceWiFi — December 19, 2006

    WiMAX push in India

    As we have pointed in several stories, India is big on WiMAX. The most recent news is that Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL), India’s largest provider, would roll out fixed wireless networks in six
    Indian cities and four rural districts in the State of Haryana. The roll out will be completed in January, and the gear is provided by Aperto Networks. Among the six cities where service will
    be offered are Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune–four important technology hubs in which many non-India companies have operations (for example, Microsoft and Google).

    Note that Aperto is also an equipment supplier to VSNL, a rival of BSNL, which is building fixed-wireless network in 65 cities on the subcontinent, and which is planning to extend the network
    to more than 200 cities. As Om Malik points out, there is much WiMAX activity in India: Intel and Alcatel have WiMAX trials underway or planned in several cities; Indian ISP DishNet already has
    consumer-oriented fixed wireless network deployed in eight cities 9; Nokia will start selling WiMAX gear in 2007, and Motorola is planning to do the same.

    Analysts estimate, perhaps optimistically, that India will have some 13 million WiMAX subscribers by 2012, meaning that we are looking at a $4.5 billion sector by then. An interesting twist:
    India preferred 3.3-to-3.4 GHz for WiMAX; globally the preference is for the 2.5-to-2.69 GHz band.

    To read more click here

  • Wireless Week — December 19, 2006

    Rev. A Arrives in Phoenix

    Sprint Nextel continues to speed up its wireless offering. The latest: the carriers has upgraded its EV-DO network to Revision A technology. The upgraded Sprint Power Vision Network is now
    available in 21 U.S. markets.

    To read more click here

  • FierceWireless — December 19, 2006

    Third Screen Media inks 3 big mobile ad deals

    Mobile advertising software and services firm Third Screen Media announced new partnerships with online news bureau MSNBC.com, NCAA football wireless technology partner blastchannel and
    advertising agency Universal McCann. MSNBC.com signed on for Third Screen’s web-based MADX|Publisher targeted mobile ad management and delivery platform, which includes rival media outlets USA
    Today, TV Guide and CBS Sportsline. blastchannel joins the single-source TSM|Network mobile ad service. Universal McCann licensed TSM’s MADX|Agency solution, which enables ad firms to research,
    create, deliver and measure mobile ad campaigns.

    To read more click here

  • FierceDeveloper — December 19, 2006

    A Search engine for mobile developers

    MobileDevSearch.com is a front end to Google that is designed specifically to find J2ME, Symbian, .NET CF and Flash Lite content for mobile developers. Neat!

    To access it click here

  • FierceMobileContent — December 18, 2006

    MTV forms mobile division, still doesn’t show music videos

    In a move that proves MTV is increasingly slow in responding to the kinds of youth culture phenomena it once ignited, the Viacom-owned cable network announced the launch of its Mobile Media Group
    division, which will develop MTV content and brands for wireless games, ringtones and video clips. The group will administrate mobile activities within MTV Networks’ various cable channels (e.g.
    Nickelodeon, VH1 and Comedy Central) and among its domestic and foreign operations. Among its responsibilities: Mobile Junk 2.0, a new user-generated content service launching in conjunction with
    Sprint Nextel.

    “Connecting with our consumers on every platform they love is at the heart of our digital strategy,” MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath said in a prepared statement.

    To read more click here

  • Wireless Week — December 15, 2006

    CBS Launches Avatar-Based Top Model

    CBS Interactive and Hong Kong-based Artificial Life will launch the first avatar-based mobile game tied to a major TV show for “America’s Next Top Model.” The mobile game, which lets avatars –
    or virtual characters – live on users’ cell phones, will be available in the United States immediately and available internationally shortly thereafter. “‘America’s Next Top Model’ is a
    natural jumping off point for us to introduce this gaming technology given the show’s young and mobile-savvy demographic, said Cyriac Roeding, vice president of Wireless for CBS
    Interactive.

    To read more click here

  • FierceWireless — December 14, 2006

    S. Korea to regulate phone use among teens

    It’s always been known that South Koreans love their phones. And teenagers love them too much, according to the South Korean government. It plans to introduce new rules that will regulate
    teenagers’ use of mobile phones, because the expensive bills are becoming a problem for their parents. Beginning next year, mobile operators will offer a separate contract for teen subscribers
    that will recommend that parents use a bill ceiling system that will keep teenagers from spending more than U.S. $40 per month. According to government statistics, more than 4 million of the
    country’s 6 million teenagers own their own mobile phones. The average bill for a teenager between 13 and 18 years old is about $100 per month. The new regulations will also detail where
    teenagers can use their phones, since usage during class is becoming a problem. It will be interesting to see the financial impact of this new regulation on the nation’s operators, who are
    already quite heavily regulated in terms of how much they can subsidize phones.

    To read more click here

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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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