Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News uses Throwback Thursdays and draws on our archives to revive top headlines from the past. Start the time machine, put on those sepia shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
Mobile internet will explode…but not quite yet
Another day, another mobile web report, this time from ABI Research claiming that by 2015 60% of mobile phones will be internet enabled. Given that smartphones are getting so much attention these days, it sometimes comes as a shock to realize that, in fact, most phones today are not blessed with the wonders of mobile internet, although the numbers are creeping up. “The mobile browser market is undergoing significant changes as the mobile web makes the transition from what some would call ‘the poor man’s Internet’ to a full-fledged web experience,” reads the report’s executive summary. ABI goes on to point out that “full web browsing is not the whole story for mobile browsing”. For real? As? Well, according to the report’s authors, “It is becoming clear that there are specific use cases for three different categories of mobile browsers: full internet browsers (FIBs), proxy-based browsers (PBBs), and WAP browsers.” And then, of course, there’s the real one Abundance of devices considered “mobile”; Media tablets, MIDs, personal media players, personal navigation devices, gaming devices and e-book readers. ABI’s number crunchers appear to have calculated that the total number of connected phones should reach 3.8 billion in five years, most likely spurred on by fairly rapid triple-digit growth in Africa, as well as mobile internet booms in China, India and Brazil. … Continue reading
RIM launches the BlackBerry Torch and a new operating system
Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) upped its game today by unveiling its latest smartphone, dubbed the BlackBerry Torch, which is initially available exclusively in the United States through AT&T Mobility (T). The device comes with the device maker’s latest BlackBerry 6 operating system, highlighted by increased integration for touchscreens and a new web browser, and could portend the new future of AT&T Mobility. In terms of hardware, the Torch features a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and RIM’s optical trackpad. The screen size is similar to the company’s Storm model, but is tight compared to the 3.5-inch screen on the Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone and the 4+-inch screens on newer Google Inc. devices. s (GOOG) Android operating system. The device contains a 5 megapixel camera which is the highest resolution in the BlackBerry range. The Torch is powered by a 624MHz processor with 512MB of flash memory, which while powerful compared to RIM’s other devices, is also powerful compared to many of its competitors, which now boast processor speeds of up to 1GHz, falls short. … Continue reading
Android growth is skyrocketing
The big Goog doesn’t do things by halves, and if the latest stats from independent tech analyst group Canalys are correct, the company managed to grow market share for its Android operating system by a whopping 886% in the second quarter. Canalys believes the search engine giant has captured as much as 34% of US smartphone market share, knocking out both the BlackBerry and iPhone operating systems. While this all sounds impressive, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Google Inc. doesn’t own Research In Motion Ltd. like its competitors. and Apple Inc. shiploads of phones but has an operating system used on more than 20 phones from different phone manufacturers across all major carriers. Indeed, some may wonder why it took Google so long to topple the iPhone or the BlackBerry in terms of smartphone market share. Some might also wonder if there really is still that much room for Android to grow, a legitimate concern given that the US mobile market is about 90% saturated. China, Canalys says, is the next frontier when it comes to Android, with the operating system controlling a meager 7% of the market in China, where Nokia Corp. stands at the top. … Continue reading
Facebook Crowdsource Questions
The mobile internet is very different from its bigger brother, the PC internet, and while there are numerous similarities between the two, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to argue that they are one and the same. That being said, the numbers clearly show that users are definitely pulling the PC world onto the smaller mobile screen for the most visited websites, with Facebook and the hugely popular search engine Google taking the lead. However, with the recent launch of Facebook Questions, the social network could prove to be a larger and more valuable source of information for mobile users than Google, its biggest mobile competitor. Although Google has professed its passion for personalizing the mobile world for its users – with Android, Google Voice, etc. – the search giant has so far failed to release its long-rumoured social network Google Me, which promises to push the boundaries between search and social networks.
Unlike on PC, searches on mobile tend to be much more focused and less general, with users trying to find answers as quickly as possible rather than the meandering searching that occurs on PC. In a way, Facebook Questions is the mobile answer to Google’s search engine, leaving the algorithms aside and letting real people answer your question directly. … Continue reading
Sprint and Clearwire launch additional WiMAX markets
Clearwire Corp. (CLWR) today launched WiMAX service in five smaller markets and has brought commercial operations to 49 cities to date. The operator is aggressively moving forward with its launch plans and plans to increase its presence, and announced a wholesale deal with Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY) last week. Clearwire and Partners Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) announced commercial WiMAX services in Stockton and Modesto, California, Jackson, Florida, Wilmington, Delaware, and Grand Rapids, Mich. on. As with other newly launched markets, Clear customers who can sign up for the online service will receive a 50% discount on the service for the first two months, including overnight shipping and no activation fee.
The airline plans to begin service in Tampa, Orlando and Daytona, Florida later this summer; and Nashville, Tennessee… Read More
Clearwire prepares for LTE testing
Clearwire Corp. (CLWR) said it plans to begin trials of LTE services in the Phoenix area this fall and may draw on its extensive spectrum holdings to fund future network growth. The carrier said its LTE trial will involve technology partners Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co.Ltd. for network infrastructure, and Beceem Communications Inc. and other partners for chips and other technologies. The trial includes both FDD LTE and TDD LTE technologies. For the FDD-LTE trial, Clearwire said it will use 40 megahertz of spectrum in a 20 x 20 megahertz pairing from its 2.5 GHz spectrum, which it claims has “real world” network speeds between 20 megabits per second and 70 Mbit / s will offer. Verizon Wireless, which plans to launch commercial LTE services by the end of the year, recently produced video of its trials in the Boston area, showing network speeds on a PC ranging from 2.8 to 8.55 Mbps. Without naming Verizon Wireless, Clearwire found that other carriers are using 10 x 10 spectrum pairing for their LTE networks. For the TDD-LTE test, the carrier said it will use 20 megahertz of spectrum, which is double what it currently uses for its commercial WiMAX deployment. Clearwire specifies network speeds of 6 Mbps for the downlink and 1 Mbps for the uplink for its WiMAX network. … Continue reading
BlackBerry, espionage and censorship in the Middle East
Of all the things that could have been cut short in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the latest painful addition to the list is the BlackBerry service, and the UAE is scrambling to follow suit and shutting down the BlackBerry messenger services by October chop. The news emerged after the United Arab Emirates’ Communications and Information Technology Commission ordered local telecom companies to ban BlackBerry instant messaging, email and web browsing by October 11 simply because RIM has not relaxed the government’s access to monitor the data. Data sent to and from Blackberry devices is encrypted and sent through offshore servers, making it untraceable locally. “Certain BlackBerry services allow users to act without legal liability, raising legal, social and national security concerns,” the United Arab Emirates’ Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRA) said in a statement. Last week, RCR reported similar concerns from India, which took a hard line after last year’s Mumbai terror attacks. In Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, however, the reasons for the ban appear to have more to do with censorship and spying on local populations than protection against terrorists, although government officials were quick to deny this.
“Censorship has nothing to do with it,” Mohammed Al Ghanem, director general of the UAE’s TRA, told Reuters on Sunday. Of course, Mr. Al Ghanem did not mention an incident last year, when government-controlled service provider Emirates Telecommunications released a “software upgrade” that RIM later warned was an unauthorized “telecoms surveillance application.” … Continue reading
For more stories from the past, visit the RCR Wireless News Archive.