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!
Broadcasters look to go mobile
Rather than ceding control of the mobile TV market to the nation’s wireless carriers, nine U.S. television broadcast groups have formed an industry alliance called the Open Mobile Video Coalition to speed the development of a mobile variant for digital broadcast TV. The broadcasters, which combined own 281 television stations in 110 U.S. markets, made the announcement from Las Vegas in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters 2007 show, which starts there today. The coalition’s aim is to realize the “full potential” of digital broadcast television spectrum in the United States. The spectrum is currently used for stationary TVs, and the current technology does not lend itself to mobile applications. The coalition hopes to rally support around one of the recently announced technologies that will allow local digital TV broadcasters to beam their offerings to portable devices like cellphones. Already, LG Electronics Co. Ltd. and Harris Corp. announced their Mobile-Pedestrian-Handheld technology, an in-band mobile digital television system making its debut at the NAB convention in Las Vegas. Samsung also has announced a similar technology that will allow local TV broadcasters to offer their content to mobile devices. … Read more
NFC ramps up
Near Field Communication technology is expected to be available on more than 20 percent of handsets shipped by 2012, according to ABI Research. The firm predicts about 292 million phones will ship with the technology in five years. “NFC in mobile phones promises a quicker and easier way to execute a host of key tasks by just waving the phone,” said senior analyst Jonathan Collins. “Making payments, unlocking doors, downloading content, even setting up wireless networks and many other applications, can all be enabled from an NFC handset.” … Read more
Messaging goes unlimited
Verizon Wireless has stepped into the unlimited messaging arena by including bottomless messaging in a new tier of individual and family plans. The individual plans are $20 more expensive per month than Verizon’s regular plans, and the carrier tacks on an additional $30 per month to its basic family plans for the service. To promote the offering, the carrier offered free activation of the new plans over the weekend and through today, and free online shipping for customers who ordered through the Web. The single-line America’s Choice Select plans with unlimited messaging start at $60 per month and range as high as $220. Family plans start at $100 per month for two lines and top out at $330 per month for two lines. The plans can accommodate up to five lines and include unlimited text, picture, video and instant messaging to users on any network. Verizon’s older messaging packages start at $10 per month (per line) for 500 messages, plus unlimited in-network messaging. The old offers topped out at 5,000 out-of-network messages for $20 per month for line. Comparatively, T-Mobile USA Inc.–which has been in the family-messaging game the longest–offers unlimited messaging for families for an additional $20 per month. … Read more
Amp’d details a strong quarter
Amp’d Mobile Inc. says it is close to reaching the 200,000 subscriber mark after a strong first quarter, numbers that indicate the mobile virtual network operator is rapidly gaining customers. Amp’d reported in January that it ended 2006 with more than 100,000 customers, and it appears to have nearly doubled its customer base during the three months of the first quarter. “Our first-quarter results are extremely encouraging, and though we’ve still got a ways to go, each of us believes 100 percent in Amp’d and what we’re trying to achieve,” said Peter Adderton, CEO and founder of Amp’d. The MVNO reported 87,000 new activations in the first quarter, and 84 percent of its user base is postpaid. Amp’d reported more than 70,000 new customers in the fourth quarter of 2006, and that 89 percent of its base was postpaid at that point. … Read more
Get your widgets
Nokia Corp. has joined the mobile widget bandwagon. The handset maker said it initially will use the icon-based applications on its S60 platform, providing one-click access to mobile Web sites via icons on the phone’s screen instead of requiring users to launch a browser and type in URLs. The applications can be customized, allowing users to receive content such as news, weather reports and traffic information from the Internet automatically. Widgets are becoming popular among computer users, but have only recently come to wireless as developers grapple with the limited size of the third screen. … Read more
Twitter’s early days
It’s 9 p.m. last Wednesday, and Evan Williams has just received an e-mail from a reporter. So, naturally, the co-founder of Obvious Corp. lets his friends know. “Answering yet another journalist’s urgent queries about Twitter,” Williams posted on the site for the trendy new service. “I think we need a FAQ.” Indeed. Launched last July by Williams and a handful of partners, Twitter has garnered impressive attention in recent weeks. Time, Newsweek and The Washington Post have run stories about the real-time messaging offering, and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards uses Twitter to deliver campaign updates to his supporters. The San Francisco-based startup hasn’t released the number of Twitter users, but Williams said the active user base has doubled “the last couple months in a row.” Williams’ post, like every Twitter message, is meant to answer a simple question: What are you doing? Users can send messages from PCs or mobile devices, micro-blogging as they keep tabs on their friends and other Twitter members. While mobile-generated messages don’t represent the bulk of Twitter’s traffic, they “are significant,” Williams said. … Read more
T-Mo’s new Sidekick
T-Mobile USA Inc. announced a new addition to its lineup of Sidekick phones, the Sidekick iD, which is a slimmed-down version of the innovative device that will sell for $100 with a contract. “The T-Mobile Sidekick has always been about freedom of expression and communicating with style,” said Greg Andrews, director of marketing for T-Mobile USA. “With the T-Mobile Sidekick iD, we’re expanding on the theme of individuality by increasing the personalization aspect and providing pricing that is accessible to a wide range of consumers.” The new Sidekick iD features a QWERTY keyboard and the carrier’s myfaves calling service, but lacks an MP3 player, camera and other amenities currently available on T-Mobile USA’s Sidekick 3. T-Mobile USA plans to begin selling the new Sidekick April 25. The company currently offers the Sidekick 3 for $200.
Apple delays new OS due to iPhone work
The much-hyped iPhone is apparently more important to Apple Inc. than the company’s desktop operating system, such that Apple announced it will delay the release of its Leopard OS from June to October because of the extra work required to hit the iPhone’s release date. “iPhone has already passed several of its required certification tests and is on schedule to ship in late June as planned. We can’t wait until customers get their hands (and fingers) on it and experience what a revolutionary and magical product it is,” Apple said in a press release that was surprising in its conversational, straightforward tone. “However, iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price–we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA (quality assurance) resources from our Mac OS X team, and as a result we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned.” … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.
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