Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
Anticipating 3G devices
DUBLIN, Ireland-Having spent vast sums on third-generation (3G) mobile licenses, operators are hoping terminals will live up to expectations. Unlike GSM, where handsets are broadly similar in appearance, it seems likely 3G handsets will come in a number of shapes and sizes to accommodate a variety of new and modified technologies. At the recent UMTS 2000 conference in Barcelona, Spain, several network operators voiced concern there would not be enough handsets to satisfy early user demand for 3G services, as happened with Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) units. But the major manufacturers dismissed this suggestion and preferred to talk about the features their handsets will incorporate. According to Mark Squires, Nokia U.K. business development manager, 3G handsets have no standard blueprint. “I think most observers agree that there will be three different types,” he said. “One will be similar to the phone most people use today, perhaps with some display enhancements. There will also be a personal organizer-type handset along the same lines as the Palm device, with a screen large enough to facilitate Web browsing.” “I would expect a Palm-type device incorporating a touch screen and stylus to be the most common platform for third-generation handsets,” said Sara Harris, senior European wireless industry analyst at U.K.-based Strategy Analytics. “The keyboard will be important only to a minority of users.” However, Squires expects a third handset type resembling current handheld computers, with a full keyboard and a larger screen. “This device will be more of a professional work tool that will synchronize with a desktop PC. … Read more
Japanese carriers prep for 3G
TOKYO-The third-generation (3G) business plans and service strategies of three Japanese cellular carriers are becoming more concrete. NTT DoCoMo and J-Phone Group, the mobile business of Japan Telecom, are going to launch 3G services based on wideband-CDMA (W-CDMA) technology in 2001, and the country’s other cellular carrier, KDDI, plans to begin 3G services based on cdma2000 in 2002. At CEATEC 2000, Japan’s largest conference and exhibition for communications equipment and devices, all three carriers demonstrated their conceptual 3G terminals and planned services, which carriers said will bring futuristic, rich and true multimedia services to users. NTT DoCoMo is scheduled to launch its 3G services in the Tokyo metropolitan area in May 2001, earlier than any other carrier in the world. Japan’s leading carrier plans to expand its service areas to Osaka and Nagoya in December 2001, with nationwide service in April 2002. By the end of May 2004, the carrier aims to achieve population coverage of 97 percent. NTT DoCoMo in April 1999 ordered base transceiver stations (BTSs) from five vendors, remote network controllers (RNCs) from three vendors and 3G terminals from 10 manufacturers. All the infrastructure providers are applying the final touches to their 3G equipment, and the terminal vendors are making efforts to finalize the concepts for their 3G devices. … Read more
Early experiments in mobile music
TOKYO-The mobile music distribution business is going to take off in Japan, according to industry representatives. Some carriers have already revealed their services, while others are promoting field tests in cooperation with vendors. NTT DoCoMo at the beginning of 2000 established a joint venture with Matsushita Communications, a communications business arm of Matsushita Electric Industrial, targeting to launch commercial music distribution services for PHS terminals in fourth-quarter 2000. Air Media, the joint venture, has been conducting a series of field tests based on the system since May. Around 1,000 people are participating in the field test, downloading either 30-second introductory pieces or full-length songs on Matsushita’s PHS terminals and listening to the music with a matchbox-shaped music playing device. The system is based on the electronic media distribution (EMD) music distribution technology; SD Memory Card, developed by Matsushita, Toshiba and SanDisk; and PHS technology. EMD is a music distribution system jointly developed by Matsushita, Universal Music Group, BMG Entertainment and AT&T. Using the SD Memory Card, users download music onto the card and listen to it using PHS terminals or separate music players. … Read more
Operators EDGE toward deployment
CHICAGO, United States-One of the first commercial deployments of Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE) technology could be in Mexico next year based on presentations and interviews at the PCIA GlobalXchange event in late September. Mexico’s largest wireless carrier, Telcel, plans to roll out commercial EDGE service in the country’s three largest cities in 2001. Carlos Guzman, U.S.-based Strategis Group analyst, said Telcel has a 75-percent market share in Mexico City, launched Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) service in September and will begin EDGE service next year. U.S. operator AT&T Wireless Services plans to begin commercial EDGE service in some markets in the first half of 2001, with full service following in 2002 and 2003. According to Richard Downes, director of the Latin American and Caribbean region for the Universal Wireless Communications Consortium (UWCC), Movilnet in Venezuela and Canada’s Rogers AT&T also have committed to EDGE rollouts. Considering no European operators have announced EDGE plans-most are opting instead to upgrade directly to Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) networks from General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technology-the North and South American commitments from operators are essential for the UWCC and TDMA carriers. The larger the number of EDGE adopters, the better economies of scale, roaming and interoperability issues will be for TDMA carriers. … Read more
Europe’s 3G spectrum auctions begin
VIENNA, Austria-The Austrian auction of third-generation licenses began today, amid investigations into illegal activities among some of the already-completed European 3G auctions. In Austria, six bidders are competing for 12 licenses. Companies are expected to acquire up to three licenses. After six rounds of bidding, bid totals were around $561 million. Mobilkom Austria, an incumbent mobile operator owned 75 percent by the government and 25 percent by Telecom Italia, held the highest bid of $54.9 million for one 2-by-5 megahertz frequency license.The Alpine country’s three other incumbent operators are also participating. These include Connect Austria, in which Tele Danmark, Telenor, Viag Interkom and Orange plc all hold stakes; Max.mobil, owned 100 percent by Deutsche Telekom AG; and market newcomer Tele.ring, majority owned by Vodafone Group plc. In addition, Telefonica and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. are also participating. Bids for each of the paired frequencies already exceed the minimum bid price of $43.7 million each, along with the minimum auction total of around $524 million. The auction begins amid investigations into the concluded 3G auctions in Italy and the Netherlands. Last week, Italian authorities raided that country’s auction participants’ offices. International press reports have stated the officials suspect that collusion among participants may have resulted in its ending only two days after bidding began. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.
The post #TBT: Anticipating 3G devices; Japan preps for 3G; early mobile music emerges … this week in 2000 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.