Unwired Tap – January 2006

Published in TDAN.com January 2006

In the July 2004 column I talked about technology convergence.  In that column we focused primarily on the convergence of wireless technologies like 802.11, WiMAX, 802.16, 2.5G, 3G and
VoIP.  That convergence is continuing to be refined to a ‘short list’ of future technologies.  Convergence is also coming at us from a different perspective.  Content. 
Content convergence is driving the functionality of current wireless devices along with driving the design and functionality of future wireless devices.  Technology and Content convergence
will continue to drive us down the wireless and digital “yellow brick road to Oz” for many years into the future.  As carriers and corporations come to the understanding that there is
considerable money to be had in the content arena we will begin to see a much larger marketing focus and set of services targeted to mobile content.  The sweet spot for the future will be
on-demand, easy to use, personalized content services.  What you want.  When you want it and where you want it delivered.

Mobile content started out simple with items such as ringtones, games and downloadable music.  The devices to support such products began to get more complex and inclusive.  You mobile
phone and PDA converged.  Then your MP3 player jumped into the convergence.  Your device screens went from black and white to color.  More and more functionality is being added from
both a hardware and software perspective.  You are able to surf the Internet from your mobile device.  Great but nothing really exploded on the scene.  It now looks to me like a
content revolution has begun.  It is called Mobile TV Services.  I’ll call it Mobile Video Services. It is not clear to me yet if mobile video is the ‘killer app’ like email was in
decades past but a lot of companies are lining up for this content revolution?  How about, just to name a few, Verizon, Cingular, Sprint, Time Warner, Comcast, Cox, HBO, Warner Bros, Comedy
Central, MTV, VH1, CMT and Spike TV.  I’m sure there are many more companies and organizations that I didn’t mention but you get the idea.

Mobile Video Services and the infrastructure to support it are in their infancy to say the least.  There are a lot of factors that must be worked out.  Infrastructure and devices that can
handle the bandwidth and frames per second (fps) necessary to bring high quality mobile video services to those consumers that decide to subscribe to or purchase the service.   The
service needs to provide a selection of content that can appeal to a wide range of consumers.  It must have a price point for the services that the consumer is willing to tolerate and at which
the carrier and content provider can realize a profit.  These are just a few of the major hurdles but they may not be the hardest to overcome.

Parental controls and legal issues may cloud the future of mobile video services for years.  Adult content is being lined up as a part of the available content.  How can a parent have
control over what their child has access to on their mobile device?  There is even a conference available to discuss mobile adult content (see the Wireless Info Center conference information
in this column).  Even if we can get parental controls worked out what can we do about the copyright of content?  Believe it or not France could become the first country to pass a law
that broadly permits the free downloading of copyright content from the Internet for private use.  According to CNET News, December 22, 2005, the French Parliament members recently voted 30 to
28 to accept an amendment allowing such a law to be enacted.  How does the entertainment industry keep and enforce sanctions on copyright violations?  Tough questions requiring quality
answers from a global community.

The content is being lined up.  It will cover full length movies, reruns of sitcoms, sports, news, HBO, other premium channel shows, scenes and trailers from network shows plus many other
sources and types of content.    With the content come the problems that have been encountered in other media channels.  There will always be an ‘early adopter’ group that
will eagerly and easily be courted for this content revolution.  Much like those people that stand in line for days and hours to see the latest Star Wars movie, Harry Potter movie or get the
newest gaming station price will not be an issue.  Content will continue to morph and adjust to what we, the consumer, consider valuable.  How about location based services such as child
monitoring?  Content will continue to seek the value point of the consumer.  The big question to be answered is will the mainstream subscribers find value and join the rush to mobile
video content?  That is a big question.  I’ll be watching for and reporting on any signs of an answer in the future. 

Content, Content.  Our everyday lives are full of content and the future will bring to us a cornucopia of delivered content far beyond the dreams we have today.

If you have a question pertaining to a wireless 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:

CNET News – December 22, 2005

Verizon plans to add mobile musical downloads

The new service, called V Cast Music, is scheduled to become available on Jan. 16 at Circuit City, Verizon Wireless stores and Verizon’s Web site, according to documents seen by CNET News.com.
It would allow customers to browse, preview, download and play music from a mobile handset and a computer.

The service is designed to offer songs from artists on major music labels, including Warner Music Group, EMI Music, Universal Music Group and Sony BMG. Verizon expects to offer more than a
million songs by spring, the documents said.
To read more click here


eWEEK’s Wireless & Mobile Update – December 22, 2005

RIM Co-CEO says NTP ‘Workaround’ Details Out Soon

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. will soon be able to disclose details of a software “workaround” it believes will prevent a shutdown of its U.S. service resulting from its patent fight
with NTP Inc., RIM’s co-chief executive said Monday.
To read more click here


FireceWireless – December 22, 2005

DoCoMo to buy 2.6 percent stake in Fuji TV for mobile TV

Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo will pay $178.5 million for a 2.6 percent stake in Fuji Television Network. The deal is part of an effort between the two companies to bring digital TV
broadcasting to mobile phones. The first step in the JV is for DoCoMo and Fuji to co-develop a service that joins data broadcasting with TV programs. The companies expect the deal to close in
early January and to roll out the mobile TV service by next spring. The purchase is also an attempt by DoCoMo to make up for falling revenue from voice transmissions.
To read more click here


FireceWireless – December 21, 2005

Verizon and Warner Bros. set wireless content deal

Verizon Wireless has reached a wireless content deal with Warner Bros. Scenes and trailers from the WB Network shows “Everwood,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Smallville” and “Supernatural” will be
available through its VCast service. Both classic and original Looney Tunes and Hanna Barbera cartoon shorts will also be offered through VCast from Warner Bros., including characters such as
Bugs Bunny, Tweety, the Flintstones, the Jetsons and Scooby-Doo. The VCast service will also feature trailers from upcoming motion picture releases from Warner Bros., Warner Independent Pictures
and Warner Home Video.

VCast is priced at $15 a month in addition to a Verizon calling plan. Application download fees apply for 3D games and premium video, but there are no airtime charges for downloading or streaming
VCast content.
To read more click here


FierceWireless – December 21, 2005

Wireless Law Enforcement  

Just about everyone agrees that wireless systems operated by law enforcement agencies at all government levels should be able to seamlessly inter-operate. Yet reaching this goal is likely to be a
bumpy process, with turf wars, technology conflicts and other problems all looming to derail attempts at communication unification. Still, the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and
Treasury are moving ahead with their joint plan for an Integrated Wireless Network (IWN), a 15-year project with a price-tag of between $2.5 billion and $10 billion.
To read more click here


FierceWireless – December 15, 2005

Cingular, Visa team on contactless payment trail

Cingular and Visa are teaming up to launch trials of mobile phone payment systems using Near Field Communication technology in Atlanta. The 250 members of the trial group will be able to purchase
food, drinks, videos and music at Atlanta’s Phillips Arena by waving their phone one to three inches away from NFC terminals. The arena is equipped with 150 such terminals. The contactless
payment systems are expected to speed the process of buying refreshments at sporting events, where spectators are typically in a rush to return to their seats.

The purchasing process is streamlined because it does not require an exchange of money, a printing of the receipt or a signature if the sale price is under $25. ViVOtech is supplying the
handset-based wallet software and contactless readers for the trial, while Nokia is providing the handsets for select season ticket holders who are both Visa Chase cardholders and Cingular
subscribers. This marks the first major test of NFC technology for uses like contactless payment in the US.
To read more click here 


FierceWiFi – December 14, 2005

New York City mulls muni-WiFi 

New York City–yes, the Big Apple–is considering following in the footsteps of Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans and a host of other cities planning to offer free WiFi to local residents.
On Monday city council member Gale Brewer, chairwoman of the Committee on Technology in Government, held a legislative hearing on a proposed bill which would create a special commission to advise
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city council on how the city can get affordable broadband access to all its residents. The commission will learn about the different technology options available
and educate the public about them. The vote on the bill is scheduled for December 21. If New York builds out its own WiFi network, it will be the biggest deployment of municipal WiFi in the
country and even the world.

“It’s likely not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’,” said Farpoint Group’s Craig Mathias. “Every major city is going to have some kind of citywide WiFi access. It will become an expectation
like electricity or telephone service. But New York is definitely a challenge from a technology perspective. You may not be able to get it in every nook and cranny.”
To read more click here


FierceWiFi – December 14, 2005

Verizon to offer in-flight Wifi

A Verizon says it is ready to begin offering in-flight broadband service to airline passengers sometime in 2007. Verizon’s announcement follows last week’s issuance by the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) of updated rules on spectrum auctions, which open the door to broadband WiFi service for passengers high up in the air. Bill Pallone, president of Verizon Airfone,
urged the FCC to auction new licenses in the 800 MHz band. “There are many interested airlines and general aviation operators that share our commitment to this broadband vision,” he said.

Verizon’s WiFi technology is based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO with provisions for extended distances and Doppler compensation for high-speed aircraft. The company had been conducting trials since 2004
of service capable of ground-to-air peak speeds of 2.4 Mbps–enough for Web browsing, email service and VoIP telephony. The system will not interfere with cockpit electronics.
To read more click here


FierceDeveloper – December 13, 2005

Sprint Nextel offers full length movies

Sprint Nextel is set to offer full-length movie downloads on its handsets using technology from MSpot Movies. Due to the high competition for broadcast rights,
most of the initial 10 movies available might generously be called classics. Sprint will offer two versions of the service: a low-bandwidth version for Sprint Vision CDMA 1x subscribers and a
higher-quality version for Power Vision EVDO subscribers. Customers can view unlimited movies for $6.95 per month, plus any additional data fees. 
To read more click here


IT Wireless – December 12, 2005

How to get a wireless network up in minutes

Though the design and planning work will take some time–likely a few weeks if you want to make sure it gets done right–the actual setup time for a wireless network in the enterprise should be
less than 15 minutes once you’ve got the tech and plan in front of your team. As this guide of best practices indicates, the first step is determining what the wireless communications need is.
Do employees need the capability to make cell phones in wired line offices, or is mobility outside of the actual office location a prime need? What will be your wireless needs next year and
three and five years down the road?

The answers to all those questions tie directly into building the wireless foundation and getting the best return on investment. Once you’ve got the need and strategy mapped out, then you have
to determine the issues with physical locations so that you can deliver what your users need. Then, and maybe most importantly, it’s time to lay out the best security approach.
To read more click here


FierceWireless – December 7, 2005

Cingular debuts 3G network in 16 US cities

Cingular Wireless has enhanced its wireless network in 16 cities nationwide with 3G. Customers can use the upgraded network to access Cingular’s BroadbandConnect high-speed wireless service.
Cingular reports that its network is the first widely available service in the world to use HSDPA technology. The company is the last of the big three US mobile operators to launch its 3G
network. Cingular is introducing the 3G-enhanced BroadbandConnect service in Austin, Dallas and Houston, TX; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Las Vegas; Phoenix; Portland, OR; Salt Lake City; San
Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, CA; Seattle and Tacoma, WA; and Washington, DC.
To read more click here


FierceWireless – December 7, 2005

Report shows rapid adoption of wireless in healthcare next year

Can wireless technologies really improve health? A report by The FocalPoint Group, LLC indicates that wireless technologies can cure the ills of the healthcare system as well as boost the
quality of patient care. The report provides a comprehensive view of the latest applications of wireless data in the healthcare space. 

Entitled “Wireless Data in the Healthcare Arena,” the report reveals that wireless technologies are the key to increasing efficiency, cutting costs and enhancing care. The study projects that
more than $7 billion will be spent on wireless data applications in the United States by 2010. Technologies, including WiFi, RFID, cellular, and low-rate ZigBee modules will be used to improve
asset tracking, patient monitoring, and emergency response situations. In each case, these technologies are being implemented in health environments today and are expected to restructure the
ways in which hospitals are organized and to handle patient needs.

John C. Williams, managing director of The FocalPoint Group and author of the study, states, “A significant opportunity exists for forward-thinking hospitals and practitioners to not only gain
a competitive edge in the marketplace, but to also reduce the costs of care.”
To read more click here


FierceDeveloper – December 6, 2005

The top 50 mobile executives

Steve Jobs has made it into the first ever list of mobile content’s biggest hitters, even though Apple has yet to enter the mobile market directly. The Apple CEO lines up in Mobile
‘s Top 50 list alongside execs from companies as diverse as Google, China Mobile and Fox.
To read more click here


IT Wireless – December 5, 2005

How to develop a mobile device management plan

If it seems that users are driving mobile device deployment within your organization these days, it’s time to get a management plan in place and regain network access control with solid
policies and procedures. It isn’t an easy undertaking by any means; you need to first discover who’s got what, who’s using what and any unsecured access that may be taking place. The first
steps toward a useful management plan requires identifying the business need for each mobile device in play and going forward: Will it support and enhance the business effort or is it just a
neat toy the user wants?

Then it’s time to determine the devices that internal IT will support and maintain and which ones it won’t. Don’t forget the all-important training aspect for both the user population and
the help desk support team. Get insight from several tech chiefs who’ve put management plans in place to get control over the latest technology and what they learned along the way.
To read more click here


Wireless Info Center:

Here are some upcoming conferences that you might find interesting:

Here are some other articles that you might find interesting:

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

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Robert Dominko

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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