Mae : Wireless Mobility Blog
| News and views on everything wireless and mobile, from WiFi and WiMAX to 3G and fixed-mobile convergence (FMC).

In-Flight Phone Service Coming to Emirates Airline Next Year?

November 21, 2006

If you’re planning to fly to Dubai next year on an Emirates Airline flight, keep your eyes and ears peeled for details about a new on-flight mobile phone service offered by AeroMobile (a joint venture between communications vendor Arinc and Norway-based telecom service providers Telenor).

A report (;1267221105;fp;4194304;fpid;1)earlier this month noted an announcement from Emirates Airline regarding plans to deploy the mobile phone service on one of its Boeing 777 planes early in 2007, assuming it can get necessary approval.

On-board phone service hasn’t been that successful to date. Boeing previously tried to get  an Internet access service called Connexion off the ground, but phased it out in August after failing to find a buyer.

Nielsen Study: iPod Video Less Popular Than Expected

November 20, 2006

Apple’s line of iPod MP3 players have dominated the market for a while now. But a preliminary study Nielson Media Research may indicate that by turning its device into a media player (iPod Video) for TV and movies as well as music, Apple may have overextended its reach.

A Reuters report I came across this morning said that data Nielsen has gathered so far show that “despite iPod's upgrade to video capabilities in October 2005, the device is still

mainly used as an audio device.”

That conclusion was reached from various findings, including this one: only 2.2 percent of items played on an iPod Video actually are videos.

Apple iPhone Rumors Return With a Vengeance

November 17, 2006

Well, the Apple iPhone rumors are back. This time, word has it that Taiwan-based manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry (also known as Foxconn Electronics) received an order from Apple for 12 million iPhones. That’s the same company, InfoWorld says, that builds Apple’s iPod.

According to AppleInsider, the new iPhone rumors started with a report published Thursday in China Times.

Coming in 2007: Wireless Internet in Seoul's Subways

November 16, 2006

I thought this was kind of interesting when I saw it: WiMAX day reports that the subway operating company in Seoul, South Korea—Seoul Metro—is planning to begin installation of wireless Internet access in its underground trains next year.

The service will be provided by KT, using WiBro technology. Access will be available in some trains and stations this coming January, with coverage of the entire system by end of 2007.

The English version of notes that the WiBro installation is a sidebar to Seoul Metro’s $439 million project replacing hundreds of aging subway trains, slated to be complete by 2009.

Firetide Selected to Help Build Singapore’s WiFi Network

November 15, 2006

Yesterday, a spokesperson from wireless mesh technology manufacturer Firetide called to let me know that the company has been selected to build part of Singapore’s nationwide WiFi network.

I thought the story was rather interesting, since most WiFi projects involve a particular city, not an entire country. (Granted, it’s not a very big country; CIA World Factbook describes the island nation as being “slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC.”) Here are the details.

In partnership with iCell Network, Firetide will be building the eastern portion of Singapore’s WiFi network.

Boost Mobile and loopt Launch Mobile Location-Based Service

November 14, 2006

Last week I wrote an article about a new location-based service from Helio that lets friends find out the location of their nearby friends using a mobile phone.

Apparently, this type of service is becoming more popular, especially for younger mobile phone users; today an announcement landed on my desk about a similar service being launched by Boost Mobile (a Sprint Nextel brand) and loopt (a social mapping service startup in Palo Alto, CA).

The service, Boost loopt (try saying that ten times fast), “leverages the only 100 percent GPS-enabled wireless network to automatically update the location of everyone in a private network of Boost customers and displays that information directly on a map on the phone,” the companies said in a press release.

In a statement, Boost Mobile’s Director of Value Added Services, said: “Fourteen to 25-year-olds are committed to their social circles and constantly want to know where their friends ‘are at.’ They also comprise the majority of Boost Mobile’s customer base. 

The Skeptic Questions Interactive Mobile TV and Cell Phones as Mini Computers

November 13, 2006

A couple of items caught my eye this morning, both of which relate to the ways in which mobile technology is changing the way we live, work, and play. One is a study commissioned by Nokia, the other is a news story citing Samsung’s predictions about the future of mobile phones.

I take these news items, by the way, with a grain of salt, since in both cases the info is being provided by companies that make the technology in question—and thus have an obvious stake in the matter.

First up is a study Nokia commissioned from London School of Economics, about the impact of mobile television, specifically on the broadcasting and advertising industries.

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs): Hazardous To Your Health

November 10, 2006

Turns out that PDAs can be hazardous to your health. Who knew?

USA Today reporter Stephanie Armour wrote in an article today that, increasingly, companies are facing workers’ compensation claims from employees claiming they were injured by PDAs.

WiFi for Cheaper, Better, Easier International Calls?

November 9, 2006

In a recent blog entry, I wrote about T-Mobile’s dual-mode (WiFi/Cellular) service being rolled out in Seattle. In the entry, I posed the question: “are consumers actually interested in dual-mode services?”

A definite “yes” answer came from a reader who asked to be identified as Levi from Nairobi, Kenya, who is attending graduate school in the U.S. and wants a cheaper way to communicate with friends and family back home.

Driving While Talking on a Cell Phone: A Contentious Issue

November 8, 2006

Have you ever talked on your cell phone while driving? C’mon, be honest—we’ve all done it. And, at least some people are pretty opinionated about their right to talk and drive, as North Carolina-based Triangle Business Journal learned recently when it conducted a poll on this very topic.

The poll asked, “Do you think North Carolina motorists should be allowed to use their cell phones while driving?”