Sprint wants to control feature and smartphones

As the complexity of certain advanced wireless handsets and fully-fledged smartphones becomes more prevalent, carriers need a way to manage those devices on the network -- millions of them.

As such, Sprint has partnered with mFoundation to do just that. It will be able to provision, configure, diagnose and manage feature phones and smartphones on its network -- remotely and with (hopefully) a minimum of fuss.

China's 4G tech leapfrogs existing 3G tech

Althought 3G wireless technology is still in its infancy here in the U.S. and around the globe, China wants to be the first to have a fully-functional "4G" standard in place.

It apparently has it, as a group of 10 "leading domestic institutions" called the "FuTURE Project" this past Sunday rolled out 4G in Shanghai. More details here.

Mobile marketing coming into its own?

Is advertising to the mobile phone becoming an explosive industry? By many accounts, it is, as the generation of marketing messages across wireless applications is starting to attract some big money.

The wireless web may be the next advertising frontier past the web browser for the PC, and there are companies that are trying to offer a one-stop shop for companies looking to tout their brands on the wireless Web

T-Mobile only top-4 carrier 'not' to raise SMS rates

With Cingular Wireless, Sprint Nextel and now Verizon Wireless raising the text messaging rate for customers (without a monthly texting plan) to 15 cents per message sent or received, are smaller carriers following that trend?

T-Mobile USA -- the fourth-largest carrier here in the U.S. -- is staying put (for now) with 10 cents per message sent or received (on a "pay per use" basis).

But, will T-Mobile and even Alltel raise their SMS rates to 15 cents soon? Hey, everyone else is doing it.

TWR's Top 5

It's been another wild and wooly week at The Wireless Report. Here are our top 5 stories of the week. Enjoy!

  1. 1 billion wireless handsets sold in 2006
    2006 was a banner year in the wireless handset industry, as 1 billion of them were sold last year globally. The market jumo was due mostly to low-end shipments to emerging countries, but still.
  2. Atlanta chooses EarthLink to build citywide wireless network
    Score another big-city win for EarthLink. The company was selected by the city of Atlanta, Georgia to build and manage a citywide wireless network. The contract has to be worked on and agreed to by the local government, so at this point, a definite timeframe has not yet been established, but one would guess we will see a timeline very soon.
  3. My personal mobile carrier experiences (spoiler: long post)
    Well, it's been a long time coming, but the below post sums up my personal experiences -- as objectively as possible -- with the top three mobile carriers in my area. I've used them all for a few months now (in my home market of Oklahoma City and while traveling) and have come to a conclusion and a rating for each.
  4. Editorial says SF wireless network naysayers have no credible alternative plan
    Just came across this GREAT editorial in today's San Francisco Chronicle regarding the city's board of supervisors and their upcoming "examination" of the citywide wireless network contract.
  5. The lowdown on low-cost wireless handsets
    Every wireless handset maker is trying to bring down the cost of handsets these days -- for lower costs of manufacturing (of course) and also to feed the need for emerging markets that need low-cost handsets -- and hundreds of millions of them.

The marketshare of mobile gaming

Mobile gaming and related downloads is an extremely profitable business and probably ranks up there in terms of ringtone downloads as a gooser for revenue among mobile carriers -- and game publishers.

Check this -- the revenue level from mobile games reached $500 million in 2006 within just the U.S. alone -- that's quite large, eh?

This represents about 30 to 30% year-over-year growth -- and the rate is not expected to slow down as carriers keep pressing customers to their content and as more subscribers access mobile content on higher-speed handsets (now that it is finally tolerable). No wonder someone bought Jamdat.

Ditch a 'bad date' with Sprint and Moderati

When you are on a bad date and would like to get out of it, what is the best way to 'escape' from the situation? well, a new service called "Mobile Faker" will now be allowing people to ditch bad dates and hand out fake numbers among other things. Can't this already be done? Read on....

The service, developed by Moderati, will be coming to Sprint soon in order to make cellphones further infiltrated into the social tools they already are.

The cost for this will be $3.99 per month -- but will customers buy and use this, or will they let their brains remain creative and do it themselves (for free)? This is an interesting service, but not sure if it cuts the mustard in terms of value.

Yahoo! really focusing in on wireless presence

Yahoo! is really upping the ante in the mobile web department these days as CEO Terry Semel explained a few days ago. But, competitor Google is not staying still as well.

Will the next-gen battle -- just like the current one -- be fought out by Yahoo! and Google on the mobile content front? You bet -- there are many more mobile subscribers in the world than there are PC owners -- making the mobile space the next "frontier" of gluing eyes to content.

Mobile users still fail to encrypt sensitive data

If you travel for personal or business reasons on a regular basis, do you take all the needed precautions to encrypt your data?

This includes wireless signals if you create wireless networks around you to the data right on the computer's hard drive.

Well, a new study shows very few people follow through with the promise, although 92% of respondents feel the need to protect data.

Verizon Wireless adds Gmail to 'Get It Now'

If you are a Verizon Wireless subscriber and can't stand a minute away from your Gmail email account, you're now in luck beyond Google's xHTML-based solution.

There is now a "Get It Now"-based email solution that supports Gmail in addition to Hotmail, Yahoo!, AOL and Pop3 e-mail servers. The application is available for more than 100 different phone models, according to Verizon's email application partner, Eatoni Mail.

My personal mobile carrier experiences (spoiler: long post)

Well, it's been a long time coming, but the below post sums up my personal experiences -- as objectively as possible -- with the top three mobile carriers in my area. I've used them all for a few months now (in my home market of Oklahoma City and while traveling) and have come to a conclusion and a rating for each.

Whether you agree or disagree, drop a comment and let me know your experiences. Note: the post below is more tilted from a "personal" use angle rather than a "business" use angle -- but I have used all these services for both personal reasons and for small-business reasons. I'll be summarizing both voice and data features from a handset perspective -- no datacards or heavy data use stuff this time.

Carriers used:
Cingular Wireless
Sprint Nextel
T-Mobile

Java applications used:
Opera Mini
Gmail Mobile
TeleNav

Here we go...

Continue reading My personal mobile carrier experiences (spoiler: long post)

Ericsson increases content offers to carrier partners

Ericsson -- known for its Sony Ericsson joint venture and better-than-most musicphone handsets -- will be increasing the content offerings it can supply to mobile partners across the globe soon.

The company will be distributing newer music downloads and master tones outside the United States after signing a new deal with The Orchard. Also with the deal comes a bushel of fresh oranges.

Ericsson's goal here is to "broaden and deepen" the company's content offering to operators. Read: it wants to have more carrier partnerships, which -- in the U.S. at least -- are horrid. Sony Ericsson is probably the least-represented brand on all carriers shelves here, even as they have nudged past LG recently to become the third-largest handset brand worldwide.

Amp'd Mobile signs deal with Soapbox Mobile

In the ever-expanding market for purchasing movie tickets using wireless handsets (just kidding!), MVNO Amp'd Mobile has signed on with Soapbox Mobile to allow its customers a bonafide way to purchase movie tickets from their handsets.

Soapbox's service provides Amp'd customers with access to movie times and theater locations, as well as the ability to purchase tickets on their wireless phones. Of course, wireless users can still use Fandango on any carrier, right?

InfoSpace gets lawsuit over ringtones for wireless handsets

InfoSpace keeps running into trouble with its finances, and now it has been hit by a US$100 million lawsuit from the music publisher EMI.

Of course, the lawsuit alleges that "ringtone royalties" have been underpaid and also that some ringtones InfoSpace sells can't even be sold since the company holds no license rights.

I just love it when lawsuits over tiny clips of songs are making the news. Heh.

Cingular wants parents to understand SMS 'language'

Since text messaging is probably the second most-used feature on mobile handsets here in the U.S., there are many parents (baby boomers on down) that probably do not know what all this shorthand text language is all about.

Cingular...err, AT&T, wants to change that, and is launching a sort of "school" to help parents of teens understand what in the world they are saying/texting when those thumbs are going crazy hitting the cellphone keypad.

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