TECH TALK: 3GSM World Congress 2006: Hot Issues

The GSMA Award winners are listed here. Among them:

Mobile Innovation Awards Winner: Spinvox – Voicemail-to-Text
Best Made for Mobile Game Winner: I-play – Skipping Stone
Best Made for Mobile Music Service Winner: Hi3G Access AB 3 Music
Best Made for Mobile Video Service Winner: Tapuz people BLOGTV
Best Made for Mobile Sports Infotainment Winner: Alcatel Live Sailing
Best Mobile Messaging Service Winner: Cognima ShoZu
Best GSM Handset / Device Winners: Nokia 8800 and Motorola RAZR V3x
Best Mobile Enterprise Product or Service Winner: iPass iPass Corporate Access

Alex wrote about what was hot at 3GSM:

Let’s start with DVB-H. This was undoubtedly the flagship of this year’s 3GSM. DVB-H was everywhere, either on the chip maker’s side such as Dibcom or Sidsa, or on the manufacturer’s side either with DVB-H enabled phones or DVB-H ready infrastructure at Alcate, Siemens… I should also mention the content provider industry getting mad at providing video streams et video channels for the mobile. This year was definitely the Mobile TV’s domination over the congress.

The second “hot” point was definitely UMA. UMA is what will enable your phone or any mobile device to roam seamlessly form WiFi to 3G to HSDPA… No standard solution yet but every manufacturer or solution provider would show that he has UMA.

The third most seen word was HSDPA. HSDPA is 3G but much much faster … you’d get a few MB/s uplink & downlink ! This is still early stage, but remember, Dell announced that by this summer some laptops will come with HSDPA cards embedded.

One of the strong points this year was clearly the maturity of Rich Media solutions. Some big players arose : Streamezzo, Adobe, Picsel, Ikivo, Geniem, and there were almost all there showing some great demos. You should have seen streamezzo’s, it just rocks (I hope to be able to get a web version soon).

The gaming industry is now “stable”, M-Forma was missing but all the others were here presenting their new games along with their content distribution solutions… some even in Rich Media ! InFusio even presented two rich media solutions for mobile distribution of their games.

Finally, there were as usual many new handsets, slimmer or fatter than usual and many bluetooth gizmos such as Morolola’s earphones which really rock!

Wireless Report covered two big issues at 3GSM:

  • What is going on with 3G? Although HSDPA is considered more of a “3.5G” solution – due to its theoretical speeds – what is 3G doing at this time, in Europe or anywhere else? Something that continues to stick with me is the question of “what compelling content” will make these fast wireless networks be sold on the customer – what is the “value-add proposition”? Are WiMax and other technologies in the works going to take over traditional cellular technology with mobile broadband and wireless VoIP? How will the carriers cope and plan for this? What are they doing to protect their business and existing heavily-invested business model?

  • Why the “all of a sudden” focus on Mobile TV? Because the equipment manufacturers are still looking for that one breakthrough “killer app” that will continue to add consumer dollars into the mix as other purported revenue-bearing “features” either slow down or flop – the gravy train has to continue somewhere. Nokia and Sony Ericsson actually signed a partnership to concentrate on a Mobile TV standard. All the tens of billions spent on newer networks and infrastructure has to be recovered somehow, and current music downloads and other things are underwhelming insofar as customer adoption. The one shining light has been ringtones. So what is the second act? They are betting on Mobile TV no doubt. If it’s not 30fps with clear (even stereo) audio, then my take is that this will be a dud. The “herky jerky” mobile TV solutions in place now are not worth a penny, although they are nice for a few days of novelty use.

  • Tomorrow: Hot Issues (continued)

    TECH TALK 3GSM World Congress 2006+T

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    Rajesh Jain

    An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.