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


ABI: Growth Ahead for In-building Wireless Systems

December 22, 2006

It’s a problem most users of cell phones and other wireless devices have encountered at some point: spotty indoor network coverage. The signal that may be so strong while walking around outside or driving from Point A to Point B may be weak or nonexistent inside a house or other building.


Broadening and strengthening indoor coverage for wireless networks is the topic of a recent report from ABI Research, in which the firm notes the current and anticipated growth of the in-building wireless systems market.


Revenues from deployment of such systems, ABI says, likely will exceed $3.6 billion by 2011.

ASUS Launches 'World's First Wireless Music Skype Phone' in India

December 19, 2006


Listen up, readers in India: ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. (ASUS), a provider of digital home solutions, on Monday launched what it calls “the world’s first wireless music Skype phone,” in the Indian market.


The AiGuru S1 provides free international calls via Skype, WiFi connectivity, wireless music player functions, and remote controller features.


“The goal of digital home technologies is to share computer resource with other electronic devices around the house and provide greater convenience,” said Joe Hsieh, director of ASUS’ digital home business, in a statement. “The AiGuru S1 packed several practical features for easy and wireless access of PC functions.

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.

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.

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.

Yes to WiFi in Singapore, No to WiMAX in Germany

November 6, 2006

Talk about vision. The government in Singapore this past summer announced a ten-year “digital future” plan (Singapore iN2015) to make the country number one in the world in terms of adding value to the economy and society using what it calls “infocomm” technologies.

InformationWeek, in its September 4, 2006 edition, reported that one of the iN2015 goals, to have connect at least 90 percent of homes up with broadband, is being pursued in conjunction with the efforts of service provider SingTel.

More specifically, the InformationWeek report notes that SingTel hopes to make nationwide WiFi a reality in Singapore by year’s end.

WiMAX Network in Chennai, India

November 3, 2006

India’s telecommunications and electrical infrastructures, two arguably key elements necessary for technological advancements, leave something to be desired. By some estimates, for example, annual investment of $20 billion is needed to bring the country’s electrical grid up to snuff to meet yearly demand increases of about seven percent.

But, the country is pushing ahead into the twenty-first century despite the obstacles. Red Herring reported in its Oct. 30 edition that Aircel Business Solutions has committed as much as $100 million to build a WiMAX network in the southern city of Chennai.