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


Kelton Research: Home WiFi More Important Than Starbucks Coffee

November 2, 2006

In a recent survey of 549 American age 18 and up, Kelton Research found that access to broadband, wireless Internet in the home is more important than a cup of Starbucks coffee every day.

Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they would rather give up Starbucks for a year than go without WiFi.

The importance of WiFi was reflected in answers to two other questions Kelton asked. When asked what would be worse, having WiFi go down for the weekend or having a favorite sports team lose the big game, 81 percent thought losing WiFi would be worst, while only 19 percent ranked sports more important.

Symbol Technologies Bridges Various Radio Frequencies with RFS700 Switch

November 1, 2006

Symbol Technologies, a company that specializes in enterprise mobility solutions, announced today what it says is the first ever radio frequency (RF) wireless switch (RFS7000) capable of bridging all RF technologies—including RFID, 802.11n, mesh, voice over wireless LAN (VoWLAN) and WiMAX.

In its announcement about RFS7000, Symbol said the switch “is designed to support and consolidate Wi-Fi and emerging RF technologies,” enabling businesses to “efficiently and cost-effectively deploy and centrally manage wireless voice, data and infrastructure devices throughout the RF spectrum.”

In an article today, Laptop Magazine reporter Jeffrey Wilson noted that the RFS7000 supports up to two-hundred and fifty-six 802.11a/b/g access port, and enables Layer 3 roaming, “which allows mobile users to maintain a connection to high-bandwidth applications as they roam.”

Here is an image of the unassuming-looking RFS7000, courtesy of

T-Mobile Launches Dual-Mode Service in Seattle

October 26, 2006

The big wireless news so far this week is T-Mobile’s launch of its dual-mode WiFi/Cellular service in Seattle.

TMCnet Associate Editor Patrick Barnard reported yesterday that the new service “lets T-Mobile’s subscribers make free phone calls using their at-home WiFi network or from any number of public WiFi hot spots which have been set up throughout the city. For now, only subscribers using the Nokia 6136 and the Samsung T709 dual mode phones can place free calls over WiFi.”

The new service uses Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) technology, which was developed by Kineto Wireless and is now part of 3rd Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP) standards.

RFID vs. WiFi for Hospital Inventory Tracking Systems

October 23, 2006

We’d all like to believe that the medical equipment found in hospitals is efficiently managed, so that if we need it, it’s readily available. But apparently, that’s not always the case.

In a new report out today, ABI Research says that, at any given moment, much of the expensive equipment owned by hospitals—everything from low-tech wheelchairs to high-tech machinery—is hard to find because it’s either already being used, or is in storage. The result is that hospitals tend to over-purchase this type of inventory, and then not utilize it efficiently.

Femtocells: New Kid on the Block for Dual-Mode Services

October 20, 2006

All week, a new report out from ABI Research about femtocell technology has been burning a hole in my pocket. Friday has arrived, so it’s time to comment or throw this into the “never got to it” pile.

In the report, ABI predicts that, by 2011, annual worldwide shipments of femtocell products will reach 19 million units. The research firm predicts that “Initial offerings are likely to be simple affairs that rely on Ethernet connections to existing ADSL gateways.”

D-Link Joins the 802.11n Crowd

October 18, 2006

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) hasn’t yet formally ratified its 802.11n wireless standard, but manufacturers already are planning or releasing products based on the draft specification. The latest to do so is D-Link, which today announced three new wireless devices based on draft 802.11n technology.

D-Link’s new products are the Link Xtreme N Gigabit Router, and two accompanying desktop and notebook adapters—DWA-552 and DWA-652. All three products, the company said in its press release, “are designed for consumers, small businesses and gamers who demand the highest performance possible from their wireless networks.”

Prudential Analyst: Apple to Intro iPhone in Early 2007

October 17, 2006

Rumors started flying yesterday about a possible “iPhone” from Apple after a post appeared on the Apple Insider blog citing information from Prudential Equity Group analyst Jesse Tortora, who said in a research note that Apple will begin offering two iPod-based cell phones during the first quarter of 2007.

According to the Apple Insider report, one of the phones will be a smart phone (with integrated keyboard, video and music capabilities) and the other will be a smaller phone with music functionality only. At least one of the phones, Tortora said, will include WiFi capabilities.

The new phones reportedly will be launched in small numbers at first as a market test.

Analyst: FMC Won’t Catch on Until Carriers Upgrade Networks

October 11, 2006

Here is an interesting article about fixed-mobile convergence, by Computerworld Australia’s Darren Pauli, that appeared in the October 9 edition of Pauli predicts that, despite all the talk about dual-mode (WiFi/Cellular) telephone services and handsets, most companies will hold off another five years or more before jumping on board with the new technology.

The reason, Pauli says, is that “while FMC promises reduced call costs, access to multiple communication lines via one number and seamless network switching, the mobile technology behind it is dragging its feet.”

T-Mobile to Launch Dual-Mode Handsets and Service

October 9, 2006

Last week, I blogged about D-Link’s launch of its new, dual-mode handset—the V-Click—and noted that the only other comparable product slated for availability soon is Paragon Wireless’ hip-2200. It appears I may have spoken too soon.

According to an Associated Press report that hit the wires Friday, by year’s end T-Mobile plans to launch its own dual-mode handset and companion service.

D-Link Intros V-Click Dual-Mode Handset

October 4, 2006

There’s been talk for quite some time about fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) and dual-mode handsets. Recently the potential of this new technology has finally begun to see the light of day in actual handsets and services available to consumers.

A case in point is D-Link’s introduction this week of a new, dual-mode (3G cellular/WiFi) handset: the V-Click. On the phone’s product page, D-Link explains users will be able to insert a SIM Smartcard or chip from their cellular provider into the handset to gain GSM access; a button allows users to switch back and forth from cellular to WiFi modes.