Posts tagged Wireless
NFC, the near field communications technology for wireless payment systems, has made a major market breakthrough.
It has won the support of internet giant Google.
In addition, Intel and CSR have significantly increased their support for the technology, which could turn every mobile phone into a contactless payment credit card.
The NFC Forum, the industry body tasked with promoting the use of the technology, has announced that Google has become a principal member.
CSR and Intel, formerly associate members, have raised their membership status to the principal level.
“The NFC Forum thrives on the active participation of global industry leaders and innovators such as CSR, Google, and Intel,” said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum.
“Their energy, ideas, and influence will greatly enhance the work of the Forum,” said Tagawa.
The UK and France are developing the technology rapidly. There are plans to introduce it in the US, and the technology is already widespread in Japan.
As a principal member Google will have a voting representative at each of the technical, marketing, and compliance committees which drive the global standardisation of the tyechnology.
NFC technology allows users to pay for low cost goods, such as coffee or train tickets, up to a value of £15 by passing their mobile phones over a proximity reader.
In the UK, 02 plans to offer mobile phones with a built-in wallet. Everything Everywhere (T-mobile and Orange) is working with MasterCard to roll out a commercial NFC service by the second quarter.
NFC can be used in other applications, for example to verify the identity of a person entering a building or logging on to a computer, or to allow a customer to use their mobile phone as a hotel room key, in addition to mobile payments.
The technology could also allow people to transfer money to each other by touching phones.
See: Gemalto and MasterCard make NFC secure
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Category: Consumer | Tags: LG Electronics
(NewDesignWorld Press Center) – LG Electronics (LG) announced today the LG Wireless Charging Pad (WCP-700). Featuring a sleek and sharp design, LG Wireless Charging Pad is poised to revolutionize wireless charging as we know it. With inductive coils built into the battery doors and internal contacts, advanced wireless charging technology allows for a cord-free power source – alleviating the need for external connections that limit the phones usability.
LG Wireless Charging Pad provides industry leading wireless charging and ergonomics. For easy and intuitive use, LG Wireless Charging Pad features audible and tactile feedback when a phone is placed on the pad, as well as multi-colored LED lights to indicate charging status. Taking the hassle out of charging your wireless devices, LG Wireless Charging Pad also sports a compact, sleek design to easily accommodate an on-the-go lifestyle.
• Visual, audible and tactile feedback – allows user to see, feel and hear when the phone is placed
properly on the pad
o Power LED – Blue = Plugged in
o Battery LED – Orange = Ready to Charge
o Battery LED – Flashing Green = Phone is Charging Correctly
o Battery LED – Solid Green = Phone is Fully Charged
• Slim and sleek design – allows for convenient storage, taking up minimal space
• Effective Range – 7mm from center of placement guide
• Dimensions – 6.29”x3.54”x0.39”
Electronics users may soon never have to plug their cellphone or ebook into a wall again thanks to the latest innovations in thin film solar technology.
French company Wysips is planning to launch a transparent solar film that will fit over a device’s screen, charging it without the need for any wires.
The company, which has won first place in CTIA’s 2011 Emerging Technology competition, says that the material will be available in flexible or rigid formats, with thicknesses of between 0.1mm and 0.5mm.
The film has an efficiency of 10 per cent, but can scales easily in size, so that it can be used for relatively large areas, the company says.
It also claims that it can be built into screens, fabrics, plastics, and other materials, without affecting their appearance, making it ideal for mobile electronic devices.
The material could be particularly useful for the growing ebook reader category, most of which rely on electronic paper that carries an image with power. These books, which draw power only to change the image on the page, are likely candidates for the material, because their power draw is already so low.
However, Wysips is setting its sights on a wide range of potential markets, envisaging tents with built-in light sources, or garden furniture that can similarly power electrical devices.
Street furniture and advertising, along with sailing and leisure, also feature in the potential applications for the material, the company said.
It is hoped that the transparent film will ship within a year, and will add around a dollar to the cost of an individual mobile device.
Today, Cox Communications flipped the switch on its wireless phone and mobile broadband service throughout Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
Cox, the nation’s third-largest cable operator, initially said its “Unbelievably Fair” wireless service was coming to the two cities in Oklahoma in February but didn’t provide a specific launch date.
After some delays, Cox first launched its wireless service in Hampton Roads, Va., Omaha, Neb., and Orange County, Calif., in November of last year.
Cox also said today that it would have its Cox Wireless service in 50 percent of its footprint by year’s end, which marked the first time the company provided specific information on its nationwide rollout plan.
Cox said the New England market, which includes Rhode Island and Cox communities in Connecticut and Cleveland, Ohio, would launch “soon,” which was previously reported by CED.
“We are very excited to bring Cox’s fair approach to wireless to consumers in Oklahoma,” said Len Barlik, Cox’s executive vice president of product development and management . “We are introducing new services and features to the Cox bundle that were built on fairness – and our customers are telling us they like it. We plan to bring the same value from bundling services, Unbelievably Fair plans, and easy-to-use products and services to more Cox customers this year.”
Like the first three rollouts, Cox is using Sprint’s 3G CDMA EVDO Rev A network to provision its service in Oklahoma.
Cox’s Unbelievably Fair service includes “MoneyBack Minutes” that give customers credit for unused minutes on that month’s billing cycle. Customers could receive up to $20 a month with MoneyBack Minutes.
Cox said today that MoneyBack Minutes has received “a very enthusiastic response from customers of other providers who would lose unused minutes or carry them over month-to-month with no monetary benefit.”
As part of its overall strategy, Cox has opened nine Cox Solution retail stores in its Oklahoma market. Along with its wireless service, Cox is offering bundled options with its traditional triple-play services, and its customers can see how the products and services are integrated through demos at the store, as well as check out Cox’s lineup of devices.
The Cox Wireless service in Oklahoma features the same Android and Brew devices as the previous launches.
Company to Launch Wireless in Additional Cities in 2011
ATLANTA, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Cox Communications today officially introduced its “Unbelievably Fair” mobile phone and high-speed Internet service throughout Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla. Oklahoma City and Tulsa mark the 5th wireless cities for Cox, following the company’s initial launch in Hampton Roads, Va., Omaha, Neb. and Orange County, Calif.
The addition of wireless to Cox’s existing bundle of video, Internet and landline telephone services brings an unprecedented value proposition to consumers and introduces greater ease in integrating home and mobile services. Cox, the only wireless carrier to provide MoneyBack Minutes (SM), or cash back on customers’ bills for unused minutes each month, has received a very enthusiastic response from customers of other providers who would lose unused minutes or carry them over month-to-month with no monetary benefit.
“We are very excited to bring Cox’s fair approach to wireless to consumers in Oklahoma,” said Len Barlik, Cox’s executive vice president of product development and management. “We are introducing new service and features to the Cox bundle that were built on fairness – and our customers are telling us they like it. We plan to bring the same value from bundling services, unbelievably fair plans and easy to use products and services to more Cox customers this year.”
Following Oklahoma, Cox will soon launch wireless service in its New England market, which includes Rhode Island and Cox communities in Connecticut and Cleveland, Ohio. Later this year, the company will introduce Cox Wireless in additional markets, bringing its wireless service to more than 50 percent of the Cox footprint.
For more information about Cox Wireless service and details on devices and rate plans, including images and videos, visit www.unbelievablyfairwireless.com or www.cox.com (choose Hampton Roads, Va., Omaha, Neb., Orange County, Calif., Oklahoma City or Tulsa, Okla.)
Social Media: #CoxWireless, #UnbelievablyFair, #MoneybackMinutes
About Cox Communications:
Cox Communications is a broadband communications and entertainment company, providing advanced digital video, Internet, telephone and wireless services over its own nationwide IP network. The third-largest U.S. cable TV company, Cox serves more than 6 million residences and businesses. Cox Business is a facilities-based provider of voice, video and data solutions for commercial customers, and Cox Media is a full-service provider of national and local cable spot and new media advertising.
Cox is known for its pioneering efforts in cable telephone and commercial services, industry-leading customer care and its outstanding workplaces. For seven years, Cox has been recognized as the top operator for women by Women in Cable Telecommunications; for six years, Cox has ranked among DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity, and the company holds a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. More information about Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available at www.cox.com and www.coxmedia.com.
SOURCE Cox Communications
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AT&T vision of wireless competition is tough sell
3/25/2011 COMMENTS (0)
WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) – AT&T faces a tough pitch convincing regulators that its $39 billion deal to buy Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile will not create a duopoly in the cell phone market.
The massive telecom company was clearly honing its pitch even as it came out of the gate.
When announcing the deal on Sunday, it said that in 18 of the 20 top U.S. local markets there are five or more local carriers, not so subtly telling regulators they should take a market-by-market look when assessing competitiveness.
AT&T chose not to focus on the fact that the deal would concentrate 80 percent of U.S. wireless contract customers in just two companies — itself and Verizon Wireless.
Susan Crawford, who teaches at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, waved away the AT&T argument.
“It’s a red herring to say there are five in major cities,” she said. “People buy mobile service for nationwide coverage. … It’s already a duopoly.”
AT&T also stressed that it was making the deal to acquire spectrum, which is in high demand as technology becomes more mobile.
Unlike most companies announcing mergers that regulators question, AT&T did not argue that the deal would mean lower prices but said that the cell phone market was competitive, and would remain rough and tumble despite the proposed deal.
This is the argument that AT&T’s legal team is expected to take to the Justice Department for its antitrust review. The Federal Communications Commission also must sign off on the transaction for it to go forward.
One person who agrees with AT&T is Jeff Eisenach, who teaches at George Mason University School of Law.
“The wireless market is extremely competitive,” he said, arguing that the cell phone industry lent itself to monopoly to take advantage of economies of scale.
“You see prices are declining really rapidly. I have not noticed Verizon and AT&T acting like cozy monopolists lately,” he said, pointing in particular at the companies’ vigorous advertising campaigns.
But most antitrust experts interviewed said it will be tough to convince regulators that the deal will allow a competitive wireless marketplace to thrive, without significant asset sales by AT&T.
This is especially true since the government itself recently raised doubts about competition in the wireless industry, before the deal was announced.
The FCC in May 2010 issued an annual report that for the first time since 2002 did not describe the wireless industry as having “effective competition.”
The industry leader is Verizon Wireless with about 31.5 of the market and AT&T with 28.5, trailed by T-Mobile (12.1 percent) and struggling Sprint Nextel (17.9 percent), according to an FCC report issued last May.
While the four big companies have national reach, the smaller do not. These include MetroPCs (2 percent), US Cellular (2.3 percent) and Leap (1.4 percent), which owns Cricket, and some antitrust experts dismiss them as not truly competitive with the big companies.
“It’s hobbled competition,” said one veteran of the Justice Department’s antitrust department.
Traditionally DOJ analyzes deals like this one by looking at local markets, said Bob Doyle, an antitrust expert with the law firm Doyle, Barlow and Mazard.
“However this deal, given the size and significance of both players, the government might be inclined to take a bigger picture and examine this deal on a national basis in which case you have a problematic four-to-three merger,” he said.
“There could be several hundred localized markets where there could be divestitures in this case,” he said.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Additional reporting by Jasmin Melvin)
This week LG announced its first wireless charging solution for mobile phones. The Wireless Charging Pad WCP-700
The Wireless Charging Pad WCP-700 is the first wireless charging solution for mobile phones from LG. A mobile phone is charged using inductive coils built into the battery doors and internal contacts.
LG has not revealed any details about how long time the wireless charger will use to fully charge an empty battery, but we are guessing the time is approximately the same as for charging with wire. In these eco friendly times, it will also be interesting to see how much extra watt the wireless charger will draw compared to conventional chargers.
The LG Wireless Charging Pad should be easy to use. Just place the phone on top of the charger pad and look for one of the visual, audible and tactile feedbacks to see when the phone is placed correctly on the charger. A LED indicator shows the status of the charging which are Ready to Charge, Charging and Fully Charged. The size of the Wirelress Charging Pad is 160 x 90 x 9.9 mm.
We expect to see support for the Wireless Charger Pad in upcoming LG phone models. LG does not reveal if this charging solution will be available for existing phone models.
LG is not the only manufacture with wireless charging solutions. HP has a similar solution for their newly announced HP Pre3. It is called Touchstone Charging Dock and it also charges the phone by placing it on the charger pad.
China Telecom Plans to Buy Wireless Network From Parent March 22, 2011, 4:54 AM EDT
By Bloomberg News
(Updates with comment from analyst in fourth paragraph.)
March 22 (Bloomberg) — China Telecom Corp., the country’s biggest fixed-line carrier, said it plans to buy the mobile- phone network it now leases from its parent company after the number of users more than tripled in the past year.
China Telecom will complete the purchase of the third- generation CDMA mobile phone network by the end of next year, Chairman Wang Xiaochu said at a press conference in Hong Kong today. He said the network is valued at about 90 billion yuan ($14 billion) and that the purchase will be funded with debt. He said a price for the acquisition hasn’t been decided.
China Telecom boosted the number of 3G phone users to 12.3 million at the end of last year, from 4.1 million a year earlier, by increasing the variety of handsets on offer. The network purchase will raise earnings, Wang said. The listed- company’s CDMA network capacity lease fee rose 59 percent to 13.3 billion yuan last year, the company said today.
“The reason why they are buying the network is because the leasing fee they are currently paying to the parent company is more than the depreciation of the assets and related finance charges,” Kelvin Ho, a Shanghai-based analyst at Yuanta Securities Co., said in a phone interview today. “If they buy, it will be cheaper and they will save costs. The parent will try to price it attractively so it will be accretive.”
China Telecom rose 2.3 percent to HK$4.49 at the 4 p.m. close of trading in Hong Kong.
The company said today profit excluding gains from connection fees rose 42 percent to 2.67 billion yuan in the three months ended Dec. 31. Sales rose 5.1 percent to 56.2 billion yuan.
–Mark Lee and Ed Lococo. Editors: Chua Kong Ho, Vipin V. Nair
To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Lee in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.org; Edmond Lococo in Beijing at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) urged wireless firms on Friday to speed up the delivery of mobile donations collected to help survivors of the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan.
Mobile donations, which have grown increasingly popular in recent years, allow customers to register donations using their cell phones and have that amount added to their next bill. Wireless firms generally wait until the bill has been paid before transmitting the donation, causing delays of 30 to 90 days.
“In past global humanitarian crises, American mobile phone companies have remitted donations immediately to nonprofit organizations,” Boxer said.
“In light of the scale of destruction in Japan, American wireless carriers should again immediately remit mobile donations to organizations conducting relief efforts on the ground.”
Boxer’s letter to the heads of Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and AT&T comes in response to an online petition posted at Change.org by University of California Hastings College of Law student Masaya Uchino.
Uchino created the petition to draw attention to the delays. Boxer said many donors are under the mistaken impression that mobile donations are rushed to help affected areas, while the reality is that it can take months for the money to reach relief organizations.
“Guaranteeing a speedy transmission of funds will not only match customers’ expectation that their donations are having an immediate impact but will also ensure that donations are rushed to those most in need,” Boxer said.
Sigve Brekke is unusually jovial for a Norwegian but get him talking about his business in India and the transformation to a hardnosed, poker-faced chief executive is quick. “We are attackers but rather than attacking the incumbents, we are here to attack the industry,” says the CEO of Uninor, an Indian venture controlled by Telenor, the sixth largest mobile phone services firm in the world.
It is not as if Brekke, 52, a veteran at running businesses in Asia, has a choice. As the 11th entrant in a market of 14 firms, Uninor, a quarter owned by realty company Unitech, has to grab share from others if it has to grow to be even a blip on the screen at its Oslo headquarters. Because its farthest competitor is ahead by a mile – about 130 million customers, really – in the mobile telephony game.
Uninor is going about its grab-India game with a mix-and-match pricing model for voice calls, unheard of until its launch in April 2010. A customer is billed under a “dynamic pricing” scheme depending on the location and time of day the call is made. Effectively, what he is charged is a function of voice traffic at the cellular tower serving him. The more the traffic, the higher the cost per minute, but Uninor promises up to 60 per cent saving compared to pricing plans of its rivals.
In a market of more than 700 million mobile phone connections and still growing the fastest in the world, Uninor’s strategy is just another distraction in an industry being constantly buffeted by challenges to its core business model. Think slowing customer billings, rising costs of expanding networks, slitthroat competition… But, for the first time in several years, the troubles are adding up to a tipping point and forcing companies to change, or at least look closely at how they run their businesses.
What could emerge is a completely new business model with nifty ways of gaining market share and building profi ts around a bouquet of new offerings, while also fi ghting to lure customers and pare costs even more. Especially to companies that face almost on a weekly basis new pricing plans, new data services, proposals to share networks, regulatory changes like mobile number portability, and, of course, hungry new market entrants.
It’s been in the making for some time now, but the telecom industry swears that a data revolution is coming soon. The launch of highspeed data services through third generation, or 3G, mobile technology and broadband wireless access, or BWA, could not have come at a better time to provide the impetus to such ambitions.
Some point to how in developed markets, data revenues overtook voice revenues in 2009; among Indian mobile phone fi rms, data is still a meagre 10 per cent of revenues except for those with a focus on Internet access offerings such as Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which runs the MTS-branded service (see Data Upswing ) or Tata Teleservices Limited, or TTL.
“In Japan and Korea, some operators are deriving 30 to 50 per cent of their revenues from data services. In India, as the contribution is low, we expect 3G to provide a fi llip to our initiative,” says Atul Bindal, President, Mobile Services at Bharti Airtel, India’s top phone fi rm by revenues which saw a percentage point increase in its data revenues to touch 13 per cent last quarter. It has rolled out 3G services in Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore with plans to cover all the 13 circles, or service areas, it has 3G licences in.
Still, getting that wind under its wing will take some doing by Bindal’s team. For one, tieups with others in this ecosystem. So, Bharti Airtel is partnering Nokia to bundle 3G services on the Finnish phone maker’s smartphones expecting that this will further both companies’ markets. “We have recognised that we have to increase beyond devices so we are taking data services of an operator and using the leverage of our retail reach to convert our customer for the operator,” says Jasmeet Gandhi, Head of Services Marketing, Nokia India.
Services provider Aircel has tied up with Spectranet, a data service firm, to offer WiFi service across 50,000 hotspots in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Aircel has also tied up with INQ, a phone maker, to preload social media applications on phones bundled with the service.
Many more such tie-ups will come up, says Arun K. Khanna, Chairman, Olive Telecommunication, which introduced the fi rst Indian 3G tablet. “To boost data services and reach out to consumers, carriers will have to bundle devices to make a difference,” he insists.
But, not only do such tie-upsx predicate complex revenue sharing deals so that both sides benefi t, operators are also having to deal with entrants who have been on the data learning curve elsewhere in the world. Tata DOCOMO – joint venture between Tokyo-headquartered NTT DOCOMO and TTL – has already launched data applications such as music and live TV in India. These services are already a rage in Japan and make for almost half of the fi rm’s revenues there. Details of this India drive were hard to come by. An e-mail to Tata DOCOMO for comment went unanswered. The Tatas refuse to respond to BT’s queries as a company policy.
Tata DOCOMO has launched a personalised mobile application, Sparsh, to spread awareness on sexual health and reproduction, and, to be sure, more such applications are in the works. “Financial inclusion, health care and entertainment will happen. Interplay of industries with telecom is in the wings,” says Hemant Joshi, a partner at consultancy fi rm Deloitte Haskins & Sells, not referring in particular to the Tata DOCOMO drive.
Data could be the driver to expand revenues in the years ahead, but operators are obsessive about reducing costs too. While they started sharing telecom towers to mount radios owned by one another six years ago, the new focus is on what the industry calls active network sharing – involving use of the same radio by multiple fi rms. Kanwalinder Singh, President, Qualcomm, India and South Asia, believes that outsourcing and leasing will be the “new normal”.
The promise that sharing of radios can potentially halve capital spending in setting up networks and reduce operating expenses by 30 per cent becomes compelling at a time most firms are setting up their 3G networks. To get the new networks operational quickly, says Samaresh Parida, Director, Corporate Strategy at Vodafone Essar, such tie-ups are more of a necessity, not just a measure to save costs. Vodafone Essar is the Indian unit of the world’s No. 1 mobile services fi rm by revenues.
Almost every fi rm is talking to every other fi rm. “We are talking to all the possible operators, but nothing has been fi nalised yet with options for payment – fl at fees or revenue sharing – being tossed around,” says Gurdeep Kohli, Chief Operating Offi cer of Aircel. Even so, radio sharing will not be in crowded, urban areas given the scarcity of spectrum. Such efforts will scale up only in towns and villages.
Uninor, meanwhile, is sticking to its basics. Brekke, who wants to run his business like a low-cost airline, says he is keeping away from the frills of “fancy value-added services” that add on costs. He would rather spend that money on marketing and signing on new customers. Yet another indication of how the Indian telecom business model faces intense churn.