Monday, December 15, 2008

ST-NXP sees "strong demand" for 3G/UMA

In an article released today at EE Times Europe, Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president and general manager of cellular systems for ST-NXP said the company sees strong demand from device manufacturers and operators for 3G/UMA devices.

ST-NXP, the new combined entity of ST Microelectronics and NXP which merged in April, 2008, brings a lot of strength in UMA technology with NXP, an early innovator and supporter of UMA.

Mr. Rabinovitsj continues:

"With the Cellular System Solution 7210 UMA, we are able to deliver high-quality streaming video and fast download speeds. In a Wi-Fi hotspot, consumers will notice the difference in speed when accessing popular social networking sites, and the smooth video quality when watching their favorite clips online. This brings to consumers the broadband speed they typically enjoy on the PC, through a UMTS feature phone."

We have already seen a number of 3G/UMA phones on the market, and it appears that there are many more on the horizon.

UMA, and Wi-Fi technology, is an ideal complementary technology to 3G. Both deliver high-speed broadband access for mobile services, while UMA/Wi-Fi can augment 3G coverage in the places where consumers spend the most of their time, at home and in the office.

Friday, December 05, 2008

A true story

I was out the other night with some buddies for drinks. One friend has an iPhone and LOVES it. Frankly, everyone I know with an iPhone loves it, but that’s another story.

We got into a disagreement about the directions to our next establishment. I suggested to my friend he pull up Google Maps to chart our course. It takes him a little while and I ask what’s taking so long:

“I just attached to a Wi-Fi access point,” he says.

“Why,” I ask, “that’s a 3G iPhone, right?”

“3G is too slow, it’s much faster to use Wi-Fi.”


The other day I was involved in an interesting discussion regarding IMS. Certainly the original vision of IMS as a platform for delivering new IP based services has been slow to materialize. Per it’s Wikipedia page, IMS is intended “to aid the access of multimedia and voice applications from wireless… terminals”.

This got us thinking… The concept sounds quite familiar. Isn’t there already a tool to aid the access of multimedia and voice applications from wireless terminals? It sounds a lot like Apple’s wildly successful AppStore.

Could AppStore actually be the new iMS?

Consider the idea for a minute. The vision of IMS was to develop a platform where new applications could be made available to users on their phones. Rather than monolithic systems which pushed out one or two new services a year, IMS was to unleash the power of millions of developers to create thousands of applications to address the ‘long tail’ of user interests.

Apple’s AppStore has thousands of applications and literally millions of downloads. Certainly very few of the applications relate directly to mobile phones, but that’s the point, right? Give users access to a world of new applications which make the mobile phone (or iPhone) indispensible.

There are actual telephony applications like Fring, and Truphone as well, along with dozens of social networking applications with presence and instant messaging.

Of course AppStore by itself isn't enough. The industry needed a handset that consumers wanted and provided a platform for developers to work from. In that iPhone has certainly succeeded.

Apple isn’t the only one. Nokia has Ovi which offers a similar experience to the AppStore.

Could it be that the future of IMS is actually iMS?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The “Secret” is out – LG first 3G UMA phone

The new LG KF-757 is nearly identical to the already popular KF750, but added Wi-Fi and UMA support to be LG’s first 3G UMA handset.

The phone was announced by Orange in conjunction with their HDTV service in November. It scores high on the ‘cool’ factor with a sleek, glossy shell, a large quality display, 5 megapixel camera and the very cool ‘accelerometer’.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

EU Issues Power Consumption Guidelines

The EU continues to lead in environmental and ecologically friendly regulations. This month, an EU commission published a report titled “Code of Conduct on Energy Consumption of Broadband Equipment”.

The report sets out guidelines for power consumption for a range of broadband equipment in the home. The report suggests there is a ‘low power’ state along with an ‘on’ state for devices to save power, and recommends a decrease in power usage over time.

The report recommends that femtocells use less than 9.0/9.0 watts (standby/on) in the first phase through 2010, dropping to 7.0/8.0 watts in 2011.

Ironically, the report suggests 802.11 b/g interfaces draw 1.0/2.0 watts initially, dropping to 0.7/2.0 in 2011. Talk about a green technology…

UMA expands to HDTV

Building on their 3G announcement from September, Orange has added a new HDTV service to their Unik lineup.

The service is designed to take advantage of the high-speed, low latency access available with Wi-Fi via Unik.

According to Roaul Roverato, executive vice president in charge of the new growth businesses division of Orange:

“Our proximity to the customer and our understanding of their expectations means we are able to react more quickly to their changing needs. For example in France, 40% of mobile TV usage is enjoyed at home* and this trend is growing, with over 58% of customers accessing video on demand (VoD) services and 32% watching live TV when at home** . By providing better handsets with bigger screens, seamless network access and exciting, high-quality content, Orange is shaping the future of mobile TV.”

I think it’s amazing they find 40% of mobile TV usage is at home, where people already have Wi-Fi coverage. Highlighting once again that Wi-Fi is a perfect offload opportunity.