Archive for the ‘Wireless’ Category

Sprint’s new insurance policy

Sprint (NYSE:S) is getting into the insurance business–sort of. While it won’t be hiring actuaries or issuing policies, it will be supplying one of the key connectivity elements in one of the newest frontiers in auto liability: usage-based insurance. Sprint is partnering with Walsh Wireless to deliver M2M devices that can track how much, where and even how safely a car is driven–data which insurance companies can use to calculate personalized premiums. (more…)

In 4G, Cisco goes back to IP roots

Access has never been Cisco Systems’ (NASDAQ:CSCO) strong point, a conclusion that the vendor itself seems to have reached by abandoning its WiMax radio business. PCWorld originally reported on Friday that Cisco had stopped developing and manufacturing WiMax base stations, and FierceBroadbandWireless today confirmed it. That leaves Cisco to focus on the area of the 4G network it is arguably best positioned to dominate, the IP core. (more…)

VZW says LTE networks averaging 5-12 Mb/s

Releasing the first results from its 4G trials, Verizon Wireless (NYES:VZ, NYSE:VOD) today said that its first two long-term evolution (LTE) networks are averaging download speeds of 5-12 Mb/s and upload speeds of 2-5 Mb/s, while achieving peak downlink speeds of 50 Mb/s and uplink speeds of 25 Mb/s. Though the Boston and Seattle networks have yet to be tested in the real conditions of a commercial launch, the initial results show VZW’s new 4G network to be significantly faster than any 3G network running today. (more…)

First iPad commercial gets Oscar debut (video)

Steve JobsApple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) much-awaited iPad, which goes on sale April 3rd, had its commercial debut at last night’s Oscars. In true Apple fashion, the commercial featured a catchy song and a compelling demo of what the device does well, including e-reading, photos, music and email.

The tablet computing device has received a storm of media coverage, both before and after it was officially announced at the beginning of the year. Analysts have since put out multiple forecasts on iPad sales, most of which have the supply not meeting demand for the device. To name a few, Canaccord Adams analysts say production problems will limit the number of units available at launch to 300,000, while BroadPoint AmTech believes the iPad will definitely sell out in hours – much like both versions of the iPhone. (more…)

Charter exploring wireless options

Of the major cable operators, Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CCMM) is one of the few that has yet to articulate a wireless strategy. But this week in its first earnings call after emerging from bankruptcy, chief marketing officer Ted Schremp held out one possibility: ”We’re keeping a keen eye on peers that are working with alternatives such as Clearwire. We maintain the flexibility and the opportunity to join that if and when we so desire.” (more…)

Officer in pursuit! — T-Mobile backing up cops with M2M

There will be no donut jokes in this posting.

T-Mobile (NYSE:DT) has always prided itself as being on the leading edge of innovative machine-to-machine communications, embedding M2M modules in everything from children’s watches to industrial farm equipment. It’s latest M2M trial is no exception. T-Mobile is currently working with an unnamed police department in the US to track the movements of its patrol officers–and it’s not using GPS. Rather, the trial uses accelerometers embedded in the officers’ flashlights to determine whether they’re running, walking or still. Embedded M2M modules then send that info over the T-Mobile GSM network to dispatch, which can use that biometric data to determine if an officer is in pursuit  or–heaven forbid–incapacitated. (more…)

What the mobile touch-screen takeover means for businesses

Taptu2The most forward-thinking of companies have traditionally been those that optimized their sites for mobile, but that’s no longer enough. The rise in popularity of touch-screen mobile phones means that businesses also need to optimize their mobile Web sites for a consumer that is on-the-go and prone to pinching, pulling and tapping their touchscreens.

Right now, about 83,300 shopping and services Web sites have gotten on board with this trend, according to a report from mobile search firm Taptu.

Taptu makes its business from touch-enabled sites, so it’s not surprising the firm believes that the mobile touch Web presents a huge opportunity. But, a report from Gartner today gives credence to its findings as well. (more…)

How much power do mobile search partners have?

Motorola BackflipAT&T (NYSE:T) has finally embraced Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, but not entirely. When it launches its first Android phone, the Motorola (NYSE:MOT) Backflip on Sunday, the default search engine will be supplied by Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO). It’s a big win for Yahoo, but it raises the question, will it become the norm for AT&T? If so, what does it mean for other wireless operators that have search agreements in place?

Android is open-source, so AT&T was free to use any search engine it liked, but the move is surprising nonetheless. Yahoo trails far behind Google in mobile search with even the iPhone using Google as its default search engine. According to the Nielsen Company, Google Search was accessed more than any other mobile Web site between January and September of last year. (more…)

Sprint goes on all-you-can-eat offensive

As it promised last week, Sprint (NYSE:S) delivered a new more-aggressive ad campaign this week targeting its competitors Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD) and AT&T (NYSE:T), but rather than go after their data networks with a frontal 4G assault, Sprint targeted their unlimited voice plans–and it brought CEO Dan Hesse back to the studio to deliver that attack.

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Adobe talks back about Apple, HTML5 (video)

Flash

Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) used last month’s Mobile World Congress to outline its plans for Flash 10.1 as and Android, but the company has been in an increasingly tight spot when it comes to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)-competitor Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Apple CEO Steve Jobs first slighted Adobe’s Flash Player when he excluded it from the announced features on Apple’s much-hyped new iPad. But this wasn’t surprising considering Apple also blocked it from the iPhone, for which Adobe has used workarounds to enable. (more…)