By Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net IF I were to think of a word that best describes last week's CommunicAsia in ju st one word, here it is: broadband. Specifically, from Ericsson's point of view, the future of networks is about br oadband without wires. In numeric terms, thanks to a new standard called LTE (L ong Term Evolution), that's 150Mbps download speed on your mobile phone or HSDP A (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access)-powered laptop -- wherever, whenever. So after going through really interesting IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) and mobil e TV demos, it was a refreshing thought to find more about how Miss Jolie plans to make the world a better place. Minus the Lara Croft outfit, of course.
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By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net T HEY are no longer called mobile phones. They are "multimedia devices" that will become the portable computer you carry around, according to Nokia. Just take a look at these devices featured in CommunicAsia by different manufac turers this year. They all sport colorful and bigger-than-usual screens that wi ll allow you to view on-demand video and television shows.
By Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net WHAT I'm holding is a prototype mobile TV handset by Ericss on. This was taken during the demonstration of the unit at CommunicAsia 2007 in Singapore. Unlike mobile TV handsets by Nokia or Samsung, this one does not receive TV sig nals via DVB-H (Digital Vid eo Broadcasting-Handheld). That's because Ericsson's vision of mobile TV runs on another standard called MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service). Think of it as some sort of super-fast video streaming on 3G. Ericssonâs vision for mobile TV runs still on much-improved mobile networks. On the other hand, mobile TV on DVB-H runs on a separate parallel network. Anyway, to get some perspective, I asked Jan Wareby, head of Ericssonâs multime dia business unit and a former VP of Sony Ericsson, how he would describe mobi le TV alongside IPTV. Ericssonâs vision of the future home network apparently connects your mobile phone with your TV and your home server. So you can whip o ut your ultra-connected mobile phone and show your latest YouTube discovery to anyone interested.
TECHNICAL experts from Nokia Siemens Network gave media a glimpse of Long Term Evolution, a next-generation mobile network technology that will allow the stre aming of high-definition video to mobile devices. Video taken by INQUIRER.net reporter Erwin Oliva on June 19, 2007 in Singapore during Nokia Connect 2007 and CommunicAsia 2007.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE--An executive from Nokia Siemens Network said today's mobile phones a re no longer mere telephones. They are mobile or, better yet, multimedia device s. That may sound like a marketing ploy meant to reintroduce what was once called smart phones. But newer handsets unveiled during the CommunicAsia 2007 offered multiple functions other than making calls, sending text messages, taking video or photos. Mobile phone vendors showcased mobile devices that had bigger screens that were designed for better viewing of on-demand or pushed content. It was also eviden t that Internet browsing is becoming a standard feature. Subscribers now expect multiple functionalities, said Mauro Montanaro, vice pre sident for Nokia's customer market operations in Southeast Asia Pacific. Mobile phones are now doubling as cameras, he said. But citing some market studies, Montanaro said users are using mobile phones to browse the Internet. In a showcase here in Singapore, Nokia featured emerging applications, such as mapping and navigation merged with mobile search applicat ions on the mobile handset. Tero Ojanpera, chief technology officer and executive vice president of Nokia, observed that today's kids now carry their mobile phones as if they were their boom boxes. Vendors like Sony Ericsson and Motorola have introduced small speakers designed to be plugged to a mobile phone player that can now hold gigabytes of music. Nokia has also introduced widgets, or small programs designed to run a specific application, to mobile phones. Calling them "widsets," Nokia said they already have different kinds of widgets that offer traffic information, news, among ot hers. Ojanpera said that vendors are now trying to change the notion of 'browsing the Internet on a mobile phone is not a good experience." He in fact believes that there will be more Internet-rich features on mobile ph ones. "Full Internet browsing is now possible, but the experience is not yet the same as using a computer," he added. All these functions are slowly becoming a reality because of the availability o f faster, broadband wireless connections. During CommunicAsia 2007, vendors demonstrated what is now known as Long Term E volution (LTE), a faster version of 3G, which other label as 4G or fourth-gener ation mobile networks. In a demo, Nokia Siemens Network showed that LTE will eventually allow content providers to stream high-definition video to mobile handsets.
By Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net IT'S been a bumpy ride for 3G so far in the Philippines (How many people have y ou seen making video calls? My point exactly.). But this early, network bigwigs like Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks are al ready dropping the bomb on 4G. A new standard called Long Term Evolution or LTE promises almost 150Mbps download speeds on handsets. I asked Ericsson technical solutions director for Southeast Asia Folke Anger (h e's Swedish, of course) what he thinks of gigabit speeds for mobile. Here's wha t he had to say. For more videos, check out iVDO.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE--Internet services firm Yahoo! announced today that it will be launch ing a beta version of its new mobile phone-based application called Yahoo! Go M obile 2.0 in 13 countries, mostly in Asia and Europe by Friday this week. Yahoo! Go Mobile 2.0 is an updated version of the company's previous phone-only application, which is basically a service delivery client that can be customiz ed by users. Speaking to reporters at Communicasia 2007 in Singapore, Yahoo! Connected Life Asia vice president and general manager David Ko said Yahoo! Go Mobile 2.0 will be available in 13 countries through telecommunications providers. These are i n Canada. Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, Thailand and Vietnam. Ko said that Yahoo! Go Mobile 2.0 was already made available in the US just rec ently. "Yahoo! Go Mobile 2.0 will have better capabilities in terms of deliverable ser vices and relevant content to both the customer and the service provider. We're fine-tuning these services to enrich the experiences of the customers," Ko sai d. He added that the market for phone-based content delivery will be higher in the coming years as more people, particularly in Asia, would prefer to use phones rather than their PCs for access. In fact, Ko said that by 2010, there would be 4 billion mobile phones worldwide , compared to just 1 billion for the PC market. "There are massive opportunities in Asia, which are still untapped. We're creat ing opportunities for content and service providers by having them more reachab le to people through their mobile phones," Ko said. Along with Yahoo! Go Mobile 2.0, Ko also announced the company's partnership wi th mobile phone operators in six countries to launch Yahoo! oneSearch, a servic e within Yahoo! Go Mobile 2.0. Yahoo! oneSearch, with is basically a mobile phone-based search engine, will be introduced by Globe Telecom in the Philippines, Idea Cellular Limited in India , LG Telecom in Korea, Maxis Communications Berhad in Malaysia, PT Telekomunika si Selular in Indonesia, and Taiwan Mobile.
By Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE--Imagine TV sets talking to one another. In the case of IPTV, Ericsson's technology incorporat es instant messaging. So you and your buddy can rave about your favorite charac ters while watching "Heroes ." In this demo, the guys are showing how the technology can link up to an Interne t-connected mobile phone and command the IPTV set-up box to record a show or bl ock another user from watching a program. Thatâs as on-demand as IPTV can get. The set-up boxes come in either the one on the left that has a built-in hard d rive (thus, more expensive) and the smaller one beside it that looks like an ac cess point, which just routes content onto your TV set -- granted of course, co ntent is hosted the carrier's network. And thatâs the Kaiser Chiefs performing live; check them out as theyâre one of the hottest UK bands around. There are an estimated five million IPTV subscribers but that is expected to gr ow once broadband becomes faster. No wonder Ericsson just acquired this company called Tandberg that aggregates content specifically for IPTV. And yes, it rec ently announced a deal to host content from Turner Networks (which runs CNN, am ong other channels). The only question really is whether the kind of broadband youâre getting in yo ur home is good enough to keep from buffering the moment Sylar makes another ki ll.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE--A Philippine software developer ha s bagged a deal to develop an instant messaging and short messaging system (SMS ) service for Microsoft, executives told INQUIRER.net. Wilfredo dela Cruz, president of D3 Systems, said a visit by a Microsoft execut ive from Redmond, Washington has blossomed into a sweet deal for the company th at has been attracting partners from the region. "We've developed a system for Microsoft," said Dela Cruz in an interview here. D3 Systems Inc. was among the local companies that joined the CommunicAsia 2007 , the biggest telecommunications event in Asia Pacific. Early this month, Microsoft said it was looking at forging deals with local sof tware companies that are using open-source technologies to develop applications for the Windows platform. Roger Delgado, vice president for technical operations of D3 Systems, said the company has come up with a open source-based system that would allow Microsoft Outlook users to interact with mobile phone users using instant messaging or SM S, and vice versa. Dela Cruz, for his part, said the deal between D3 Systems and Microsoft involve s no direct investment from both companies. The executive said revenues will be generated through Microsoft's use of the lo cal company's "system gateway." Bill Hilf, general manager for platform strategy at Microsoft, met with D3 Syst ems this June to strike deals with a number of independent software vendors. Th is was, as Hilf described, an effort to strengthen ties with the "open source c ommunity." D3 Systems has developed a mobile instant messaging solution called YehBA*, which also works on other exis ting mobile instant messaging platforms currently available in the market. Dela Cruz said that D3 Systems is testing the system at the National Computer C enter's computer laboratory. D3 Systems has been actively looking for partners outside the Philippines to re sell its mobile phone client. YehBA* has been downloaded in countries like India, US, Bangladesh and Brunei a month after the software was made available on the Internet, according to Delg ado. YehBA* was launched in December 2005.
By Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE--From a technology perspective, talk is cheap already -- if you take communications to mean literally voice alone. Unified communications, as a concept, basically means more than just voice, but spicing it up with other means like instant messaging or other PC-based applic ations like Skype. As a concept, though, it would depend on how which vendor is selling it -- Microsoft sees it from a software perspective, HP more on integration of these various applicati ons. Ericsson, meanwhile, is taking it from a mobility perspective. Or in simpler terms, UC makes sense if y ou can do all these things outside of the office. Rhajiv Bhatia, product manager from Ericsson in Sweden (pictured above during a n interview with journalists) thinks of UC as way for companies to utilize exis ting fixed lines (that one sitting on your desk) more by merging them with mobi le networks. He thinks carriers need to shape up and shift focus away from voic e and look for ways to drive revenue out of data. Bottomline, with unified communications, you will be doing more than just talki ng to your boss or colleague on your mobile phone. It will make the mobile phon e of the future a lot smarter than it already is today.