Wireless Web Digest: Sprint Unveils Bundled Phone Services

This week, Sprint Corp. launched a combined local, long-distance and wireless service dubbed "Complete Sense," following similar services by the telephone company's larger rivals AT&T Corp. and MCI. And in other wireless headline news this

NTT DoCoMo to Set Up New Research Center in Beijing

Japanese cell phone giant NTT DoCoMo said this week it will set up a new mobile communications research center in China to help promote fourth-generation technology. The DoCoMo Communications Laboratories Beijing Co., capitalized at US$5.3 million (630 million yen), will be established in the capital within this year, DoCoMo spokeswoman Tomoko Homma said. DoCoMo has been experimenting with fourth-generation technology, which transfers information about 260 times faster than its third-generation service and is capable of relaying high-quality video. The third-generation service is about 40 times faster than current cell phones.

Read the full story on: Mercury News

Nokia Blitzes Emerging Markets

In a strategic blitz to take advantage of the revenue streams in what industry experts call emerging or new-growth markets, Nokia Corp. has rolled out a string of mobile phones, business models and network solutions. Pointing out Russia, India and Latin America as prime examples of this initiative, the company described the markets as capable of lifting worldwide mobile subscriptions to 2 billion by 2008 from the current 1.2 billion. "Nokia sees that with the right mix of phones, optimized network solutions and low-cost voice and data services, operators can in the near future generate reasonable profit from customers even at average revenue per user levels of $5 per month and below," the company said.

Read the full story on: RCR Wireless News

Sprint Unveils Bundled Phone Services

Sprint Corp. launched Wednesday a combined local, long-distance and wireless service dubbed "Complete Sense," which the company had been testing on a limited scale since February. The Sprint bundle follows similar services by the telephone companys larger rivals AT&T Corp. and MCI. However Sprint has an advantage in owning its wireless business, Sprint PCS. Sprint can provide wireless and long-distance services, but will have to lease local networks in most markets from regional Bells.

Read the full story on: Techweb

Wi-Fi Prices Dropping, But Hype Could Undermine Service

Prices for 802.11 chips and gear are dropping rapidly as the number of public wireless LAN hotspots are rising, but the technology has yet to gain critical mass either for consumers or carriers, according to executives at the annual Telecosm conference. Average selling prices for Wi-Fi chips will be slashed in half to $8 this year, $4 next year and as little as $2 in 2006, predicted Sky Dayton, chief executive of Boingo Wireless, a startup trying to establish the underpinnings of an 802.11 roaming service. The company now has deals with 2,600 hotspot operators, he said. Whether 802.11 will be integrated in next-generation cell phones was a source of some debate among panelists. "I believe Wi-Fi will become a standard component of cell phones in the future," Dayton said.

Read the full story on: CommsDesign

Turning Balloons into Towers

While the concept of using weather balloons rather than towers to provide communications has been around for years, it has been limited by Newtons law, as well as dangers to aircraft. But at least one company -- Space Data Corporation -- believes that it is feasible and the industry may soon see if this is a harebrained idea or ingenious. Combining low-cost, advanced microelectronics with small, expendable, biodegradable latex weather balloons, Space Data is creating a network of SkySites that will operate at about 100,000 feet above the earths surface to work cooperatively with terrestrial networks, provide seamless, uninterrupted nationwide coverage and operate with existing user equipment. Space Data has received approval from the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration for its balloon-based SkySite technology.

Read the full story on: NewsFactor