Wireless Web Digest: U.S. Wireless Market Hits New Growth

The top four U.S. carriers had a combined net gain of 2.54 million customers during the second quarter of 2003, 40 percent more than the net gain a year ago. In other wireless headline news this week: Sales of Phones Using Symbian OS Soar M

U.S. Wireless Market Hits New Growth

The top four U.S. carriers had a combined net gain of 2.54 million customers during the second quarter, 40 percent more than the net gain a year ago, and the strongest quarterly gain in over a year. Verizon Wireless, the nations largest wireless carrier, posted its largest net subscriber gain in the second quarter. The advent of features such as text messaging, games and photography on cell phones, although aimed chiefly at squeezing more revenue out of each customer, appears to have sold more people on cell phones, said Scott Ellison, an analyst at research firm IDC. According to industry consulting firm Telephia, the median wireless plan price stayed roughly constant at $45 from the second quarter of 2002 to the second quarter of 2003, but the price buys more minutes and other features such as data.

Read the full story on: Mercury News

Standard Set for Measuring Cell Phone Impact on Humans

The IEEE has approved a new method for assessing radio-frequency energy delivered to the heads of cell phone users. The spec, IEEE1528, is based on a model of the human head filled with a fluid with microwave electrical properties similar to composite head tissue. The document specifies experimental protocols along with measurement and validation methods for hand-held wireless transceivers operating between 300 MHz and 3 GHz. One important caveat is that the standard does not set specific limits for exposure to RF signals from cell phones and other personal communication devices, but may be used for assessing compliance with limits found in a number of contemporary standards and guidelines.

Read the full story on: EE Times

Sales of Phones Using Symbian OS Soar

Shipments of handheld devices running Symbian Ltd.s operating system software totaled 2.68 million in the first half of 2003, compared to 230,000 in the first half of last year, the company announced Thursday. Royalty revenue for the software, used in mobile phones such as Nokia Corp.s 7650 and 3650 and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications ABs P800, totaled £10.5 million ($17 million) in the first half of 2003, up from £1.5 million a year earlier, while Symbians total revenue grew to £21.2 million, up from £9.5 million a year earlier.

Read the full story on: InfoWorld

Motorola Unveils First Linux Smart Phone

Motorola Inc. last week introduced its first handset powered by Linux, in a move being closely watched by those who foresee a bright future for the open-source operating system on portable devices. The A760 is a smart phone that combines a personal information management suite, a video player, a music player and an instant-messaging tool. It will initially be available only in the Asia Pacific region, with European and U.S. release expected later. The company introduced the A760 handset, along with eight other models, last week in Taiwan.

Read the full story on: CNET News.com

Powell Proposal Aims to Boost Low-Power FM

Responding to intense congressional criticism of his plan to relax media ownership rules, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell announced a series of "localism in broadcasting" initiatives on last week, including one to speed the launch of low-power FM stations. Powell said he would soon open a "settlement window" for low power broadcast applications designed to speed license approvals. Low-power FM service rules were adopted in 2000.

Read the full story on: EE Times