BBR Mobile Report
Hybrid Wi-Fi capable mobile phones?
With 3G deployments moving at a snails pace - roaming mobile phones, capable of operating on Wi-Fi and any other network available, are the bridge to compelling wireless features that don't suck. Wireless phone manufacturers in the U.S. are trying, they really are. It's simply that the networks being used aren't capable of offering us anything more compelling than fairly banal services.
Verizon is the only company currently offering true third generation mobile connectivity, and that's only available for $80 a month in two cities, with no indication of expansion. The rest of U.S. carriers have been engaged in a semantic battle over whether or not their 2.5G-speed CDMA 2000 1X and competing networks can even be considered "third generation". They'd really like you to think so.
Japan is well on their way of becoming the futuristic society depicted in Blade-Runner, while we're still waiting for our friend down the street to receive a twenty character SMS message we sent fifteen minutes ago. We've got cameras on our phones, but god forbid we'd want to actually send more than a single image to another mobile user without taking a nap.
It isn't just speed we're waiting for. Wireless users in the US have shelled out some $629 million in fees for number portability since January of 2002, says the Center for Public Integrity
, and we're still waiting. What's worse, the FCC doesn't hold wireless carriers accountable for accuracy in determining these fees - so we've probably paid for a service we've yet to get - several times over.
Compelling applications are waiting for next generation network deployments. In the interim, companies like Sprint are trying to distract customers by offering services like television at a frame-per-second
over your mobile phone. While the Japanese are perusing quality video streams of potential mates delivered by match-making services, we're paying ten dollars a month (plus fees) to watch a stuttering version of Trading Spaces.
To bypass the 3G roadblock, a great many vendors have been developing chipsets capable of roaming from network to network, operating over GSM or CDMA networks when necessary, but then also capable of tapping into high-speed Wi-Fi networks. Enough bandwidth to stream music, photos or presentations from a home server. Enough bandwidth to provide fairly decent video. Enough bandwidth to actually make mobile communications more interesting than painful.
Late last month at the CTIA show in Las Vegas, a company dubbed TTPCom unveiled their CDMA/802.11 chipset
, which delivers a dual baseband solution on a single piece of silicon. Their "GSM.11" silicon architecture should see the market sometime in 2005, in phones that should cost less than $100.
Of course TTPCom isn't alone in positioning themselves for a new generation of hybrid phones; a handful of other more mainstream chipset manufacturers (like Nokia) are also busy tinkering in the lab. Qualcomm has been promising hybrid Wi-Fi capable phones since 2002. Mitel Networks has been pushing hard to incorporate VoIP over Wi-Fi via cell, though mobile networks need some serious upgrades if users want to keep one phone number across services.
If you're impatient for Wi-Fi VoIP over your cell, you could purchase the Treo 600
(see review from PC Magazine
) from Palm One, plug a Wi-Fi access card into the SDIO slot, and have the best of both worlds at your finger-tips. The only catch is you'll need to wait for the Palm OS 5.x drivers, which should be available before the end of the year. Then it's simply a matter of waiting for someone to develop a decent Palm VoIP application, and for smart network upgrades allowing you to maintain one number across services.
Re: Japan is years ahead
said by lazarus_:How much does all that that technology cost again?? I bet he couldn't afford most of it (like all the Japanese people). I'm personally sick and tired of people (including BBR editors) praising Japan, South Korea, China, and complaining how much the US sucks. It's just not true. Y'all should go live in another country for a few years, then come back to appreciate this country.
They rock.. my bro went there last summer and the technology blew his mind.. I want to do a co-op at a company this summer.
SBC DSL Tech Support.
| |Marilla9I Am My Own ArbiterPremium
Re: Japan is years ahead I'm still waiting for those 'compelling applications', too. Oh, wait... sending a pic of some road sign I'm passing to my uncle across the country *IS* a compelling application, in some peoples' books. Sorry.. nevermind.
I'm perfectly happy to let countries like Japan test these things out for us, so we can get them in 5 years or so - if they are worth having. Half the crap over the past couple decades I've heard about like this.. just doesn't exist anywhere, anymore. So the Japanese wasted all their money on the stuff (and they wonder why their economy hit the toilet before anyone else's started going into mild recession), and we just get the stuff that works.
Forgive me, but I'm perfectly happy to save my money until things become proven, and until the compelling applications not only really, honestly, exist (not just on some 'visionary's' chalkboard, either) and actually.. oh.. you know.. Work. OH! and are worth a damn, too.
Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD - just use the right tool for the right job... end the OS Politics!
Santa Barbara, CA
I thought it was just me.... Yeah, I heard the rave about 3G before it was deployed (as did everyone else). So when it came time for me to get a new phone I sprang for a LG5350 and Vision service ($200+).
Excited as I was, I got home and tried all the different features out, and I was disappointed.
To get on the internet, I had to load my web browser on the phone and login to Sprint Vision service, this took around 45 seconds to a full minutes, THEN I had to specify which website I wanted to go to and click Go, that took almost 30 seconds.
To send SMS i had to open the browser, connect to the internet on my phone, load a web page, then send it. That was actually worse then my old phone, which took around 5 seconds to send it through the CDMA service instead of the 3G.
Looks like we're going backwards in technology, what needs to happen:
Phones should be unlocked, not tied into a specific service. Meaning I could buy a phone from Samsung/LG/Nokia directly and be able to connect it to my Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile service. This should be AUTOMATIC, not something only hackers and the like can do.
Phones need to run a standard OS, I hate having each phone run some kind proprietary OS that doesn't support on thing or another. Either Microsoft's PocketPC or Sun's Java would work fine. (Seems that Java would better be suite for the regular phones, and PocketPC's would be tailored for the large "smart" phone.
They should have more usable memory, 16MB to start and maybe more as the needs grow.
They should be able to interact with PC much easier (This goes back to the standard OS idea above) Features like USB/Bluetooth and sync features that support outlook, lotus, and others would greatly improve usability on the phones. (Who likes typing all contact on a keypad, I know I don't)
I believe that becuase all phones/services are different, no one will write software or support hardware for one because it will only work is >5% of the installed user base.
A better wireless technology needs to come into play as well, CDMA works fine for voice, but we need something much faster (faster than 100k and scable to 1mbps+) to support future audio/video options, possibly the video phones we were promised in the early 90s (I know they exist, but what's the point if not everyone has them).
| |no1ukn0wWhats This?
hrmm? Well I picked up the treo 600 (the phone in the picture up top) and since sprint does not have SMS enabled yet (they claim they will start offering it in a couple months) I use IM instead. I've never been happier with a phone, instead of using SMS I just IM people and that takes me at most 30 secs.
Using Verichat from pda apps I have pre-defined msg's that I can use the 5 way nav to send very very quickly. Vision is always on so I dont have to worry about logging onto it every time I want to do someting, and it only takes 10 seconds to log on if I'm not.
Having a keyboard on the phone is just unbelievable, it is the first phone I have had that I can truely correspond easily. I get my IMAP pushed to my phone, IM's while I'm out of the office, and in desperate times can hook the synch cable up to my laptop/phone and it acts just like a external modem.
Alot of people complain about the screen resolution and the camera, saying they are both poor quality, but I see this as a business tool not a play toy. The screen lets me see what I need to see (in full sunlight) and the camera takes pictures well enough to get the point across.
Having a SDIO slot makes the phone 10x's better than anything else on the market I think. With only 32mb onboard memory the phone is somewhat limited. Throw in a 512 SD card and you've got hours of mp3's to listen to via pocket tunes, save your presentation on it, store documents, pictures, etc.
And soon Wi-Fi which will just be another added plus. Oh and did I mention streaming shoutcast music to your phone is just ultra geek cool?
2002-08-21 02:34:12 EST: 48 / 52 --- my isp says there is no problem. 512/256 plan.