Delivering the Bandwidth

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2007-03-30 Print this article Print

The technology needed to enable all of this bandwidth was another big deal at CTIA. For example, SkyCross, which makes innovative antennas, and Kleer, which makes semiconductors, announced an agreement to produce active antenna systems to allow the delivery of high-bandwidth, high-quality audio for phones.

However, the coolest SkyCross product was an antenna system for satellite phones that would actually work with a pocket sized phone. This is best described as an itty-bitty satphone antenna, meaning it was about two inches long and about the diameter of a pencil. Its designed to work with a geosynchronous satellite system.
Considering that other satellite phone antennas are about a foot long and the diameter of a shotgun barrel, this is pretty remarkable. Skycross said the new satphone antenna was designed for satellite delivered music.
Motorolas MC35 is notable because its more than just a rugged smart phone. It also supports Wi-Fi. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, there were about a hundred Wi-Fi phones of some sort at the CTIA show this week. Former presidents Bush and Clinton seek unity through wireless. Click here to read more. Most of them were designed for use with corporate networks or services such as Skype. However, Paragon Wireless was showing its new Wi-Fi, VOIP and GSM phone in private showings at the show. This phone, which is much thinner and features capabilities earlier versions did not have such as a camera, is intended for corporate users who want to stay in touch. Location-based services were starting to show up in a number of permutations at CTIA. MapQuest, for example, was showing their newly developed "Send to Cell" service that will take the MapQuest maps you normally use, size them properly for a cell phone screen, and then send you a link so you can download them to your phone. Click on the link, and you get the turn by turn directions and the color maps that you get when you go to the Web site on your computer. You will need to have your data service enabled to use this feature, but MapQuest says it should work with nearly any cell phone. Navteq, meanwhile, was offering two million dollars in prizes for new location-based applications. This is the company that has the geographic information database that nearly every navigation vendor users. Telmap, an Israeli company in town for CTIA was showing its turn-by-turn navigation for cell phones. The company worked with MapQuest to create the application, which works on GPS equipped handsets. It addition to working as an automotive navigation device, you can also use it for pedestrian navigation. Despite Goods existence or non-existence on Motorolas phones, mobile e-mail was kind of a big deal. BlackBerry was hyping the 8800, introduced earlier this year by Cingular/AT&T. Sotto Wireless announced a new SMB mobile e-mail service that will roll out later this quarter. Emoze, which for reasons that remain unclear was giving away leather cowboy hats, announced a free push e-mail service. But the real buzz at the show involved entertainment, or services that some might think of as entertainment. For example, Cingular/AT&T announced a new live video service that delivers live WWE wrestling events to your phone. Fortunately, the company was having technical problems with its cell sites in the area, and we were spared the experience. Unfortunately, the WWE content will surely make its way to cell phones regardless. Perhaps the decline of civilization isnt as far off as we might have thought. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.

Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazineÔÇÖs Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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