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


Attempting to Track Down iPhone Sales Numbers

July 2, 2007

So, this morning I got curious: how well did iPhone sell over the weekend? I figured I might be able to get an idea by calling some of the larger Apple Stores around the country. I went to and grabbed phone numbers for five stores: one each in Los Angeles, CA; Dallas, TX; New York City; Tampa, FL; and Lyndhurst, OH (near Cleveland).   Then, bracing for the time-consuming task of navigating phone menu systems, I hit the phone.

Motorola on 802.11n: 'We're Waiting Until It's Ratified'

May 25, 2007

Sometimes, being an early adopter of new technology is not the best business strategy. That’s the tact being taken by wireless products manufacturer Motorola. CNet News reporter David Meyer wrote in a Friday article that, speaking at a ZDNet event in London, Motorola senior products manager Angelo Lamme said the company has no plans to make any 802.11n-based products until the standard is fully ratified by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).   That’s despite the fact that 802.11n may not be ratified until 2009.

Broadband Wireless in India

May 4, 2007

In a recent Slashot post (April 27), a contributor identified as Zonk shared info from another contributor, Codecracker007, indicating that the government in India is planning to roll out free, 2 Mbps broadband access for all resident of the subcontinent by 2009. This is according to an April 26 article in The Economic Times which said that the service will be provided by government owned operators BSNL and MTNL.

That report warned that this plan, if implemented, “holds the potential to kill the telecom business as we know it.” That being said, it not too surprising, given that “the Indian government and its autonomous regulatory bodies are very proactive in holding the consumer interests above the operators.” The Slashdot post said that this heavy-handiness on the part of the government has helped reduce long distance and wireless tariffs by up to a factor of 20 during the past seven years.

So what does all this have to do with wireless?

CTIA Wireless News Starts Now

March 26, 2007

The CTIA Wireless 2007 show kicks off tomorrow in Orlando, Florida. Already the newswires are starting to get flooded with announcements from wireless industry companies promoting their latest products, services and achievements. A quick search on Google News for “ctia” turned up the following:
  • Announcement that the creator of BlackBerry (Mike Lazaridis) has replaced Motorola’s CEO (Ed Zander) as the CTIA keynoter.
  • Announcement from TCS that it has been selected as a CTIA Wireless 2007 E-Tech Award finalist.
  • Announcements from Pantech and Nokia about their displays at the show.
I’m bracing for continued deluge of news as the show gets underway, and will be blogging, albeit from afar, on events and news that catch my eye.

Meraki Networks Aims to Bring WiFi to the Masses, Starting in San Francisco

March 5, 2007

Meraki Networks—a Mountain View, California-based provider of wireless networking devices—is on a mission: bring WiFi to the masses. Or, as the company put its, “to bring affordable Internet access to the next billion people.”   How’s the company intend to do that? By making available what it calls “the first consumer wireless mesh Internet network designed to ‘unwire the world.’” First stop, San Francisco.   Meraki today announced that, during the next several weeks, it will be working with official in San Francisco to deploy a WiFi mesh network that’ll provide free access to 15,000 residents.   Okay, let’s back up here a little.

ABI: Wireless Connectivity Technologies Converging in Computer Chips

March 5, 2007

Among manufacturers that make chips and other components found in wireless consumer electronics products like cellphones and PDAs, there is a definite trend toward trying to cram more and more functionality into smaller and smaller spaces.   One way to do this, ABI Research noted in a new report out today, is to create wireless integrated circuits (ICs, also known as computer chips) that truly are integrated in the sense that they bring together multiple wireless connectivity technologies—such as WiFi, GPS, and FM radio.   In other words, the convergence of different wireless communications technologies is being applied to the very chips that power handheld device applications.   ABI predicts that by 2011, 32 percent of all ICs with Bluetooth, WiFi, WiMedia, GPS and FM radio functionality will be “integrated products that are either incorporated into a connectivity package combining two or more solutions, or will be integrated with a host processor or baseband processor.”   Perhaps unsurprisingly, ABI predicts that the two equipment sectors to see the majority of this integration will be cellular handsets and mobile computing.   The change is happening already, ABI said. Analyst Stuart Carlaw used two examples to illustrate this point:   Broadcom’s recently launched BCM4325, which integrates Bluetooth, FM radio and WiFi in a single IC   CSR’s recent acquisitions of NordNav and Cambridge Positioning Systems, in line with the company’s goal to begin producing ICs that combine GPS and Bluetooth   “We are on the cusp of a high level of integration activity, as silicon vendors look to add value to their offerings, diversify, and differentiate themselves in what are increasingly competitive markets,” Carlaw said in a statement.

Ovum: Fixed-Mobile Convergence is More Than Just Dual-Mode

March 1, 2007

Two terms that are tossed around very frequently in the telecommunications industry are “dual-mode” and “fixed-mobile convergence.” Both refer to the idea that, someday, there may be phone services and handsets available that let users seamlessly switch between different types of networks. Most often, the idea is that those will be cellular and WiFi networks.   Dual-mode services promise to improve the end-user experience when using next-generation telephony—saving money on minutes and getting access to better bandwidth when within range of WiFi network, but retaining connectivity via cellular in virtually all locations.   A new report out this week from Ovum, though, says that the industry of late has been much too focused on the development of dual-mode phones. All this hype, the research firm claims, is creating unrealistic expectations surrounding the viability of dual-mode telephony anytime in the foreseeable future.

Spotigo Claims to Run World's Largest WiFi Hotspot Directory

February 26, 2007

Here’s something that landed on my virtual desk the other day, which I thought was kind of interesting: Spotigo, which claims to run “the world’s largest hotspot directory,” now boasts more than 180,000 WiFi hotspot listings, 100,000 of them in Europe.   The directory lets you search for WiFi hotspots in more than 130 countries, and sort your results by country, city, ZIP code, provider and site type (e.g. café, hotel, park). For American users, the search form may be a bit confusing with its European flair (cities are selected as “town” and you’d use the Postcode field for ZIP).

Wireless Energy Efficiency Pop Quiz

January 16, 2007

Pop quiz: which of the following is the most energy efficient method of delivering mobile broadband?

1. WCDMA (cellular)
2. WiMAX
3. WiFi

Here with your answer is ABI Research analyst Stuart Carlaw (quoted from a recent news release): “From a pure coverage perspective WiMAX is twice as energy-cost-effective and metro Wi-Fi is 50 times more energy-cost-effective than WCDMA.

Parks Associates: Adoption of Standards Will Drive Growth in Wireless, Multimedia Networking

January 3, 2007

As is usually the case with technology, once the underlying specifications become standardized, adoption becomes widespread by both consumers and manufacturers/providers. That’s because standardization reassure people they knew what they’re getting, and that it will work the same way in a variety of applications.


Research company Parks Associates noted this fact in its recent report about the market for wireless, multimedia networking. The firm predicted that “industry adoption of next-generation specifications will provide a substantial boost to the market for wireless multimedia networking, prompting growth in excess of 50 million wireless network devices by 2010.”


Two of the specification poised to help spur the growth are next-gen WiFi and Ultra-wideband (UWB), Parks Associates said.