Unwired Tap – October 2003

Published in TDAN.com October 2003

“Wired to Wireless to Wired – Your Choice!”

Did You Know?

The wireless world has always had a connection to the wired world. The wireless internet connection you are working over still has a strong connection to the wired world. The cell phone connection
you make your calls on still connects into the wired world. Even your wireless or wired telephone numbers are getting into the act.

Did you know that November 24, 2003 is the date set by the Federal Communications Commission for traditional phone and cellular companies to comply with new rules that will allow you to move a
standard wired phone number to your mobile phone? This also goes the other way. Cellular companies must be prepared to transfer a mobile number to a land-line phone. Who would want to do this? It
remains to be seen but according to an Associated Press article by Bruce Meyerson the research firm of Gartner Dataquest recently estimated that approximately 10 percent of residential phone
customers would convert their home telephones to wireless if they could keep their phone numbers.

This is a nice option for the right situation but there is still a debate on the rules for this move and the key element which is the local calling area.

Any telephone number has a component called the area code. This three digit number generally corresponds to a geographic area. In the wired world this area code is fairly well defined and has a
specific rate structure associated with it. In the wireless world the area defined by the area code is much broader in coverage as are the rate structure and sometimes multiple rate structures and
plans associated with wireless calling.

Does this entire situation give an unfair advantage to cellular companies? Have the approximately 150 million cellular phone users in the US given out their cell phone number to enough critical
associates and friends to negate this option? Will the convenience of having only one phone number eventually out weigh the hurdles required to make this change a success? Only time will tell and
at this time clarification of the FCC rules is needed to even out the playing field for all the wired and wireless companies.

This will get interesting. Stay tuned!


Wireless Nuggets of Knowledge

A lot has been happening in the wireless industry since my last column. Following are a few of the key activities and innovations that I think you should be aware of:

1. Palm changes name to PalmOne (from FireceWireless, August 18, 2003)

  • “In preparation for both the spin off of its software division and for the acquisition of Handspring, Palm yesterday said it will rename its hardware business PalmOne, while the
    company’s software division will keep its current moniker PalmSource. Neither the hardware maker nor the operating system company will fully control the Palm name, which will be owned by a holding
    company jointly controlled by both entities. PalmSource, the software company, will own 55 percent of the joint entity, with major decisions made by both partners. The “PALM” stock ticker symbol
    will be replaced by PalmSource’s “PSRC” and PalmOne’s “PLMO”. Rumors are now floating that one of PalmSource’s larger partners, like Sony, will soon acquire the company once its spin off
    from Palm is complete.”
  • To read more click here

2. How does ZDNet’s David Berlind feel about Intel’s Wi-Fi Campaign? (from ZDNet Tech Update, Monday, September 22, 2003)

  • “At a recent bankers’ conference, I found Intel’s Wi-Fi presentation to be so misleading that I added two new slides to my own PowerPoint show: one for the truths and another for the
    untruths that continue to populate Intel’s pitch of Centrino as a must-have mobile platform.”
  • To read more click here

3. Microsoft to Charge for MSN Mobile (from FierceWireless & CNET, September 19, 2003)

  • “Microsoft today said it will begin charging for MSN Mobile, a service that lets MSN and Hotmail users check their email and use other services from their mobile phones. Starting on
    December 3 MSN Mobile users in the United States and Canada will have to pay $19.99 a year to access MSN services via their mobile phones, with fees going up to $24.99 a year after November 25,
    2004. The new paid-access policy will affect MSN Mobile services on Sprint PCS and Verizon Wireless in the U.S., and Bell Mobility and Rogers AT&T in Canada. Some analysts are skeptical if
    Microsoft will be able to generate sizable revenue from its mobile content services.”
  • To read more click here

4. IBM, RIM partner for Mobile Enterprise (from FireceWireless, September 18, 2003)

  • “IBM and Research in Motion today announced a mobile enterprise partnership. RIM agreed to bundle its BlackBerry Enterprise Server Software with IBM’s WebSphere Everyplace Access mobile
    middleware solution. The new solution will allow BlackBerry users to access CRM and sales force automation functions with their Java-enabled BlackBerry handhelds. The companies say that the new
    solution is targeted at out-of-office white collar workers such as salespeople, field service engineers, and traveling executives. The two companies have worked together before, including an older
    partnership that covered the Mobitex version of RIM’s BlackBerry handhelds.”
  • To read more click here

5. Sprint PCS Launches WiFi Service (from FierceWireless September 17, 2003)

  • Sprint PCS yesterday formally launched its new WiFi hotspot service, called PCS WiFi Access. The new service offers WiFi access in 685 locations using Wayport’s nationwide WiFi network for
    most of these locations and Airpath Wireless’ network in select areas. Sprint announced the WiFi roaming agreements that enabled the launch of this service earlier this year. The carrier also
    announced the launch of its first proprietary hotspot at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. Later this year Sprint plans to add WiFi service in Seattle through 250 hotspots run by Cometa
    Networks. The carrier hopes to offer PCS WiFi Access in more than 2,100 locations by early 2004.
  • To read more click here

6. FORRESTER Names Aligo Leading Mobile Enterprise Application Provider (from Wireless Developer Network, September 10, 2003)

  • “Aligo Inc., a global leader in world-class, profit-maximizing mobile business solutions, announced that Forrester Research named Aligo the top-ranking mobile enterprise solutions
    provider in its August 2003 report, “Choosing the Right Mobile Enterprise Application.” Aligo ranked higher than large-scale software vendors Oracle, SAP, Lawson Software and Exact
  • To read more click here

7. Intel pushes Centrino with WiFi road warrior study (from FierceWireless, September 9, 2003)

  • “Intel today [September 9, 2003] increased its marketing drive for the so-called “road warrior” enterprise demographic with a new survey. According to Intel’s survey, 71 percent of
    road warriors (frequent business travelers) said that WiFi would eventually be an integral part of their business travel experience. One in 10 road warriors surveyed has tried WiFi while one-third
    of these users polled in the Asia/Pacific region plan to try WiFi on the road in the next six months. Eighty-one percent of U.S. road warriors travel with their notebooks while 78 percent of
    European business travelers do. American and Japanese road warriors led the study in terms of WiFi use, with 13 percent of travelers from both markets using WiFi on a frequent basis. The survey is
    part of a marketing drive by Intel leading up to the company’s One Unwired Day on September 25, when the company will give away WiFi access around the world in an effort to push adoption of the
    technology. Intel is aggressively marketing WiFi through its Centrino chip and by building a global ecosystem of start-ups and established companies designed to generate demand for WiFi products
    and services.”
  • To read more click here

8. IEEE turns to mobile broadband, specifying 802.16e, 802.20 (from FierceWireless September 5, 2003)

  • “There are many claims made on behalf of 802.16a technology — aka WiMax — claims often using words such as “revolution” and “second coming.” The IEEE, in the meantime, has set up
    two working groups to define, or refine, the specifications for mobile broadband, so users can use high speed connections on the road. The emerging 802.16e and 802.20 standards will both specify
    new mobile air interfaces for wireless broadband. 802.16e will add mobility in the 2 to 6 GHz licensed bands, while 802.20 is targeted for operation in licensed bands below 3.5GHz. The 802.16e
    specification will be based on an existing standard (802.16a), while 802.20 is starting from scratch. This means that products based on 802.16e will hit the market before 802.20 solutions, offering
    an advantage for the WiMax Forum, the group backing 802.16 and its derivatives. The amendment to 802.16, also called the wireless metropolitan area network (WMAN), will allow a base station to
    support both fixed and mobile BWA, filling the gap between WLANs and WWAN. The 802.20 will boost data transmission rates in WMANs to speeds of 1 Mbps or more based on cell ranges of up to 15
    kilometers or more, and it plans to deliver these rates to mobile users even when they are traveling at speeds up to 155 miles per hour. The 802.16e will “support subscriber stations moving at
    vehicular speeds” — in simulations speeds of 75 to 93 miles per hour were achieved.”
  • For More on 802.16e and 802.20 click here
    For More on WiMAX click here

9. Mobility Matters (from Ziff Davis, September 19, 2003)

  • “Despite challenging economic times, small and midsize businesses around the globe are adopting mobile and wireless technology solutions at an escalating rate. Why?”
  • To read more click here

10. RIM, IBM Add Wireless IM to BlackBerry (from FierceEnterprise, July 31, 2003)

  • “Despite challenging economic times, small and midsize businesses around the globe are adopting mobile and wireless technology solutions at an escalating rate. Why?”
  • To read more click here


Wireless Info Center

Want Free Utility Makes Wireless Connections a Snap

  • Here is a utility described by Jim Louderback, PC Magazine, September 5, 2003 …
  • “Did you ever have trouble connecting to a wireless network that you just knew was there? Did you ever wonder exactly how strong your wireless signal was around the house? Or maybe you
    were looking for a good wireless client for Microsoft’s Pocket PC. Well if you use 802.11, you absolutely MUST download a free utility we’re offering starting today. Called WiNC, from Cirond, it does an even better job managing wireless connections than Windows XP’s own manager. It’s an easy to use version of
    Net Stumbler, and it’ll allow you to easily find, connect and debug wireless links. But hurry and download it today, because it’ll only be available for two weeks.”

    Click here to learn more

FCC is now Wi-Fi-enabled (from The 802.11 Report, August 6, 2003)

  • “The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said yesterday [August 5, 2003] that it would provide free wireless Internet access to visitors at its Washington, D.C. headquarters. The
    system uses the 802.11a and 802.11b protocols and visitors can use the service on the 12th Street, Courtyard, and eighth floor levels. The FCC will not provide technical support, and all
    transactions using the service are the responsibility of the visitor. At present, the FCC will not request personal identifying information before allowing access to the wireless network. If
    requested by outside authorities, however, the FCC will provide data from system audit logs to support external investigations of improper Internet use. “When you come to the FCC, leave the cords
    at home,” said FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell. “We’re embracing the power of Wi-Fi and the freedom and convenience of wireless Internet access it gives to consumers.” Last year, Powell directed
    his staff to take the steps needed to make the FCC one of the first federal agencies to provide public Wi-Fi access.”

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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