Next week, hundreds of companies will besiege Orlando, Fla., at CTIA Wireless 2002—each there to prove that their technologies take the best possible advantage of the airwaves. The products on display will range from telecom switches to wireless pens, and seminars will focus on making a case for the necessity of next generation wireless wide-area and local-area networks.
Among the companies announcing new wares and partnerships:
ArrayComm Inc. will announce that it is developing baseband ASICs that will bring the companys I-BURST broadband wireless Internet access systems to mobile devices. I-Burst, a "smart antenna" technology that will compete against other third-generation wireless networks, is expected to launch in trials in the second half of this year, but the company is depending on a carrier to buy new spectrum before the technology can be widely deployed in the United States.
Verizon Wireless will announce the availability of its BREW service, meaning that customers now can wirelessly download applications to their phones via Qualcomm Inc.s BREW platform.
Price Waterhouse Coopers business unit PwC Consulting will announce the New World Networks Mobile IP Solution, an operations and business support system that addresses converged voice/data services from the back end to make sure that the way carriers pitch a service is the way it appears on the bill. The software supports location-based services for inventory applications, and also makes it easier for a carrier to bill by the amount of content a customer is accessing.
"A lot of tier-one telcos are being flexible on the CRM front, but now they need to be flexible on the billing front," said Michael Reuschel, a managing partner at PwC in Chicago, "If Im striking a deal to sell you voice and data services, and then you get a bill that doesnt look anything like what we negotiated, then youre going to be mad."
In addition, Handspring Inc. and Palm Inc. both will be providing additional details about e-mail services for their new wireless devices, the Treo and the i705, respectively.
Meanwhile, Amdocs Ltd. at the show will be touting converged voice/billing systems and will announce that its Amdocs Enabler product now supports pre-pay, making it easier for carriers to charge for some services before the customer actually uses them. Amdocs serves Sprint PCS and Cingular Wireless, among other carriers.
Siemens AG will be introducing two new GSM phones and will be demonstrating next generation base stations that support EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution).
Emblaze Networks Inc. will introduce several new products that focus on streaming video to cell phones.
SignalSoft Corp. will be demonstrating nine location-based services in its booth, which will be designed to look like a city block. Navigation Technologies Inc. also will be introducing new location-based services, as will veteran player Cambridge Positioning Systems.
Nextel Communications Inc. will announce a partnership with RadioFrame Networks Inc. to offer services that improve in-building wireless coverage. Nextel also will be introducing several color-screen phones from Motorola Corp. that support Java.
DataOnAir Inc., which formerly offered only hosted services, will be introducing several standalone software applications for carriers. The ProPlatform family of products includes software that enables carriers to offer wireless data services on a pre-pay basis; a subscriber tracking system; and various subscriber provisioning and personalization tools.