Wireless Web Digest: The Road to CTIA

This installment of the Supersite Web digest sees Bill Gates moving toward New Orleans to boost Pocket PC Phone Edition, Asian economies China and Japan moving to their next generation of wireless, and Motorola finally moving toward a Symbian handset.

Microsoft Plans Wireless Software Push

Microsoft plans to kick off the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) conference today by announcing the addition of another wireless device maker, Research In Motion, to the list of those developing phones using its advanced phone software. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will also make a relatively rare appearance at the conference to drum up support for his companys Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone 2002 software. Microsoft considers its biggest competition the rival phone operating system from Symbian, a company owned by Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson and most other major handset makers

Read the full story on: CNET News.com

Motorola Approved for Symbian Phone

Despite being one of the companies that helped establish Symbian as a private company in 1998, Motorola has dragged its feet in developing phones using the Symbian operating system -- but that may be changing.
Motorola received a grant Wednesday from the Federal Communications Commission to sell what is referred to in filings as the A920 multimedia communicator. The device comes with gaming features, a built-in camera, cell phone, music player, Web browser, video player, picture viewer, e-mail and an organizer. The A920 has a touch screen and uses handwriting recognition software for inputting data. A Motorola representative said the company is not publicly commenting on the device.

Read the full story on: CNET News.com

Verizon to Unveil Ultra-Fast Wireless

Verizon Wireless plans to announce today a new high-speed data service in the Washington D.C. area that would allow mobile users to connect to the Internet at high speeds. Evolution Data Only (EvDO) network will be carried over Verizon Wirelesss existing cell towers, which have been updated with new software and circuit boards. During Verizons preliminary tests, people could download files while on the go at speeds from 300 to 600 kilobits per second while stationary users could access the Internet at speeds up to 2.4 megabits per second. The company will begin selling EvDO-capable cell phones and special cards for laptop computers and handheld organizers that will enable them to work with the EvDO network.

Read the full story on: TechNews.com

Hot-spot Hopefuls Could Get Burned

Companies are racing to set up commercial wireless Internet "hot spots," but high start-up costs, as well as uncertainties in demand and pricing, are threatening to put a chill on profits. T-Mobile USA recently slashed prices for a hot-spot network installed in Starbucks coffee shops. In addition, early entrant Joltage discontinued its service at the end of February, saying it was taking too long to acquire enough customers on its network for the company to sustain itself. "Operators are facing the classic chicken-and-egg scenario," said Amy Craven, the In-Stat/MDR analyst covering hot spots. "The principal challenge is to get subscribers onto the networks, but (hot-spot operators) cant get the subscribers unless they have the network."

Read the full story on: CNET News.com

Intel to Aid China Wireless LAN Roll Out

Intel said last Monday it signed deals with China Mobile and China Netcom to launch wireless telephone networks in China. China Mobile and China Netcom would build the wireless local area networks in public sites, while Intel produced wireless packages for laptops consisting of a microprocessor, chip sets and software. With about 59 million Internet users, China overtook Japan in 2002 as the worlds second largest Web population after the United States.

Read the full story on: Reuters

Battle Over 3G Phone Services Intensifies

All three major mobile phone operators in Japan have entered the area of third generation (3G) mobile phone service. NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and J-Phone share the view that 2003 will be the final year of preparation for next years full-scale transition from the current second-generation mobile phone technology, including personal digital cellular (PDC) phones, to the International Telecommunication Union-set global standards (IMT-2000). However, each company has its own way of handling 3G technology and service, reflecting their different approaches to the market and number of subscribers. The first phase of the 3G race has been a competition between two rival technologies of the IMT-2000 standards--wideband-CDMA (W-CDMA) and CDMA2000 1x platforms.

Read the full story on: Daily Yomiuri On-Line