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

Intel’s WiMAX Ambitions: Fantastic or Foolhardy? You Be the Judge

September 20, 2007

At its Developer Forum Wednesday, Intel officials outlined the company’s plans to combine WiMAX with Centrino Duo processors to develop what it claims will be a new category of mobile, broadband-connected computing devices. The initiative, which is slated to bear fruit next year, includes the use of High-k metal gate silicon technology to deliver better battery life.   CBR reporter Rhonda Ascierto pointed out in a Thursday report that Intel’s main focus remains on notebook computers, but the company is branching out into handheld, Internet-enabled devices and, even more of a reach, the WiMAX networks needed to support such products.   “Intel's WiMax ambitions may still be premature, at least in the US where cellular coverage is almost ubiquitous and WiFi is fast becoming available throughout major metropolitan areas,” Ascierto said in the report.

Appeasing Early iPhone Adopters with $100 Refund

September 6, 2007

If you happened to visit Apple’s Web site today, you may have noticed the “Open letter to iPhone owners from Steve Jobs,” posted Apple-style inside an image of the phone’s screen itself.   If you happened to be among the folks who stood in line to snap up one of the first iPhones in June, the letter probably came as a bit of a victory. You see, this week Apple revamped its line of iPods and iPhones, and lowered the price of the 8GB iPhone from $599 to $399. That means earlier adopters essentially paid $200 extra solely for the benefit of having an iPhones for a few weeks longer than everyone else.

Palm Foleo RIP

September 6, 2007

Less than six months after announcing the Foleo, “the first computer designed to be a companion to a smartphone,” Palm has discontinued the product, CEO Ed Colligan said in a Sept. 4 blog entry.   The Foleo was essentially a mini laptop designed to sync with a smartphone. It was one company’s attempt to fulfill the demands of users for portable computing and telephony. Apparently, there just wasn’t a market for the product—a criticism that some analysts expressed when Foleo was announced in May.   I say “announced” rather than “launched” because, as Colligan acknowledged in his blog entry, no Foleos were ever shipped.

Apple Reinvents iPod Lineup, Again

September 5, 2007

Well, it’s September and you know what that means—time for Apple to announce a whole new lineup of iPods! Today’s announcement about a new product lineup was a bit more exciting than usual because it included a new iPhone-like product as well.   The new “best iPods ever” lineup features the iPod shuffle (1GB, in five “remixed” colors, for $79); the iPod Nano now reshaped in a shorter and squatter form factor to accommodate a color screen for playing video (4GB model $149, 8GB model $199); the iPod Classic, which plays video and music and boasts 160GB of storage (price tag $249); the iPod Touch, which is essentially a iPhone without the phone, featuring the cool multi-touch interface found on iPhone, plus a 3.5 inch display and WiFi Web browsing (8GB model $299, 16GB model $399); and of course iPhone which will soon be even more of a value proposition, Apple claims, when the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store launches. Also coming soon: custom ringtones.   I must say, I do appreciate that the Nano is now video-enabled without losing its solid-state, Flash storage.

How Will EarthLinks’ Restructuring Affect Muni WiFi Projects?

August 29, 2007

Internet service provider EarthLink announced Tuesday a restructuring plan to cut costs. The plan includes cutting 900 jobs, and closing the company’s offices in Orlando, Florida; Knoxville, TN; Harrisburg, PA and San Francisco, CA. Further, the offices in Pasadena, CA and Atlanta, GA will be reduced in size.   So what does this have to do with wireless? In addition to its other operations, EarthLink has been involved in quite a few high-visibility municipal WiFi projects the past few years, including Philadelphia.

Wireless and Mobile Technology at ITEXPO West 2007

August 17, 2007

INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO West 2007 is less than a month away. (The event this year is being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California, Sept. 10-12, 2007.) If you haven’t registered yet, here’s a plug: this show is not just about IP communications. It’s about wireless, too.   Here are a few of the wireless-related companies that will be at the show.

WiFi Network Helped Minneapolis Deal with Bridge Collapse

August 9, 2007

Craig Settles (author of Fighting the Good Fight for Municipal Wireless and other books on similar topics), who keeps me updated regularly regarding U.S. municipal WiFi projects, wrote the other day to highlight how an only partially-complete WiFi network helped Minneapolis emergency responders deal with the recent Interstate 35W bridge collapse.   As you probably know, during evening rush-hour on August 1, the eight-lane interstate bridge portion of I-35 over the Mississippi River collapsed, dropping vehicles about 60 feet into the water below.   Ironically, Settles in May completed a report about how municipal WiFi networks can help cities cope with disasters.

Firetide Brings Wireless Network to the Carnival

August 7, 2007

Running away to the circus no longer means running way from modern technology. Wireless mesh networks developer Firetide said Tuesday that its portable network solution is now being used by Ray Cammack Shows (RCS), a North American carnival midway company.   Carnivals put on by RCS get 9 million visitors annually. Maintaining the necessary business environment to serve all those people, while moving frequently from site to site, used to be a challenge. No longer.

Happy Birthday to Synchronoss, the iPhone Activator

July 20, 2007

I spent Thursday in the Big Apple at Nasdaq Studios, observing the festivities as Synchronoss Technologies—the company whose software is used by AT&T to handle behind-the-scenes nitty-gritty associated with activating an iPhone—celebrated its first anniversary as a public company. Synchronoss officials were also in a jovial mood over the company's recently signed multi-year deal with AT&T to provide ongoing operational support of the Apple iPhone and its Monday unveiling of a similar deal with broadband Internet service provider Clearwire.   The day dawned a misty, muggy one; waiting for my Metro North train into the city from Westchester, I observed to myself that while it wasn't raining the air was nonetheless positively wet. It was also a day when some people's commutes were disrupted somewhat; as we rolled into Grand Central Terminal, a conductor announced over the PA system that some subways might not be running.

Rumor Mill: iPhone Nano, Coming Soon?

July 11, 2007

iPhone is still in its infancy (not even a month old yet), and already rumors are flying that it could soon have a younger sibling. A Reuters report on Monday said that Taiwan-based JP Morgan analyst Kevin Chung has connections in the supply channel who claim an iPhone based on the iPod Nano is already in the works.   Chung apparently issued a report on July 8 in which he cited both his supply channel contacts, and a patent application filed July 5 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as evidence that the iPhone Nano is in utero.