Wednesday 15 April 2009

QR Codes in Newspaper Ads to redirect mobiles to web content

Canada's National Post newspaper began using two-dimensional (2D) bar codes this week to link newspaper articles to video and other content.

The link from paper to the Web is made possible through a free downloadable mobile app for smartphones from Scanbuy, N.Y. Directions on point visitors to When the camera on the phone takes a picture of the bar code, the application reads the embedded information in the code and triggers a Web browser to open, which searches the Internet for the URL and serves up the page on the phone.

National Post hopes to offer advertisers a print ad service that gives consumers options to discover more information about products and services on the Web, according to Scanbuy CEO Jonathan Bulkeley. He noted that Canwest Publishing is the largest media company in Canada.
The deal adds to the hundreds of thousands of people that have already downloaded software from Scanbuy's Web site during the last six months. "We're supporting hundreds of scans per day in the United States," Bulkeley said, suggesting that people can go to the site, create a 2D bar code and download it for free. "The codes are put on t-shirts and other marketing items to promote brands."

In the past few months, Scanbuy has signed deals with telecom carriers such as Alltel, before being acquired by Verizon, and Sprint, which will soon begin to ship handsets with the 2D bar code readers preloaded on phones. Today, the software is available to download on 45 phones. Nike ran a soccer promotion in Mexico, as did Fanta in Denmark and Scandinavia using 2D codes, Bulkeley said.

Bulkeley said he has been considering getting a 2D bar code tattoo to have something readily available that can demonstrate the technology. "You could have one code and continually change the link behind it to pull down different content," he said. "It's like redirecting a URL."

Watch the Video here:

Tuesday 14 April 2009

New Blogs on the Block

There are couple of blogs which I found useful and have been started this year.

3GPP Wireless Technology Demystified
This is by my colleague Venu Panchamukhi and its a very technical blog covering HSPA, HSPA+ (Release 7) and hopefully HSPA Evolution (Release 8) soon.

Wired n Wireless
This is another technical blog with focus on LTE with a mix of some other news.

If you are a new blogger and would like everyone to know about your blog then please feel free to add your blog in the comments. No Spam please as I am going to check each of the links before approving it. Also note that the blog should be related to telecoms, wireless, 3G, 4G, etc.

IMS Deployment and Future Strategy

A very interesting post by Christophe Gourraud in The IMS Lantern. If you are even remotely interested in IMS then you should read the post here.

Monday 13 April 2009

Qualcomm to put Femtocells in Mutant Animals ;)

In the latest breakthrough from its labs, Qualcomm has perfected a new version of its system-on-a-chip (SoC) technology that can be embedded into animals, turning them into living, breathing highly mobile femtocells. By creating biological femtocells, Qualcomm is allaying one of the critical weaknesses of the wireless network: while the devices on the network are mobile, the infrastructure of the network is static. By turning the family dog, for example, into a femtocell, the issues of dead zones and coverage gaps disappear as coverage moves with you wherever you—and your dog—go.

Research into these dynamic biological networks is still in its infancy, but Qualcomm has released a demo video on the technology, which you can view below. As part of that research, Qualcomm is trying to overcome what it sees as the inherent limitations of many species of animals. Pigeons, for instance, could be used to create a pervasive flying network in any heavily trafficked downtown area, but the pigeon isn’t the most long-lived of animals and it has several predators, thus requiring an operator to constantly reintroduce new pigeons into the network to maintain capacity levels.

Qualcomm has solved that problem through genetic engineering. It has crossbred a pigeon with a wolf, creating a hardier more aggressive femtocell that can defend itself from both predators and the elements. The only problem with this approach, though, is its high susceptibility to industrial espionage. A rival operator could introduce biological femtocell predators into a market, to attack, maim and possible even eat another operator’s femtocells. While bio-engineering femtocells such as the wolf-pigeon might seem a natural defense mechanism against tactics, the rival operator could always engineer a better femtocell. Qualcomm demonstrated how a shark crossbred with a hawk could effectively nullify a femtocell networks composed of wolf pigeons.

See the Video below:

By the way, I hope you have realised that it was an April Fools joke :)

Sunday 12 April 2009

Mobile Screensaver helps catch a burglar

This story can probably be nominated for the most stupid awards.

A bungling burglar was caught out after he left his mobile phone - with a picture of himself on the screen - in a house he had broken into, police said.

Richard Hannah was jailed for six years today after he was found guilty of burglary by a jury at Nottingham crown court.

Hannah, 30, was confronted by the owner of a house in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, after he broke in at about 4am on 15 September last year.

After a scuffle between the pair, Hannah, from Poplar Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, left his mobile phone, with a screensaver photo of himself, at the house.

Hannah was found guilty today of burglary after a three-day trial, despite claiming the phone had been stolen and left by someone else.

He was jailed for six years under the government's "three strikes and you're out" crackdown, Nottinghamshire police said.

Saturday 11 April 2009

Future Phones will be able to understand your thoughts

Honda is working on a technology for Robots in Japan where they can understand the owners thoughts. Right now only four commands can be understood but the success rate is 90%. If this technology becomes successful it can probably be applied to phones as well.

I remember reading (cant find link, sorry) that NTT DoCoMo has already developed a prototype of phone in which you can speak without any sound and the person at the other end wont even notice. He will hear normal voice.

NTT DoCoMo launched Motion sensing phones couple of years back and the main idea was that the user can control things by motion of their hands. I havent dug into details but I can visualise myself in future working on my laptop and just by waving my hand ask my mobile to start composing a text message. I would be able to dictate the message and just with another wave of my hand, the message will be sent.

Japan has always been the leader of these kinds of technologies and companies out there are working hard innovating new technology. NTT DoCoMo (again) showed off last year a technology where the volume can be controlled just by rolling the eyes. At the moment all these things involve some kind of human attachment which makes them impractical for the time being. In future hopefully there will be better alternatives and more reliable technologies like these.

Anyway, we wont see any of the above technologies anytime soon. There is a funny video on Youtube that you will like about these future technologies that is available below:

Friday 10 April 2009

HSPA based Laptop Enabler/Disabler

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) today unveiled its most advanced mobile broadband module, uniquely designed with innovative features to provide a richer and cost-effective internet experience for all. The next-generation module marks the latest milestone for Ericsson, furthering the company's vision of an all-connected world.

Ericsson's F3607gw mobile-broadband module for HSPA/GPRS/EDGE networks, to be released in June, will provide enhanced functionality and convenience through its innovative features, reduced power consumption, prolonged battery life and an increased level of integration, reducing the number of necessary components and therefore cost. The new module will also provide built-in mobile broadband support for Microsoft Windows 7.

Mats Norin, Vice President of Ericsson Mobile Broadband Modules, says: "The combination of leading technology and innovative design in the next-generation module is key to delivering a superior user experience at an affordable price. This module release confirms Ericsson's commitment to making the benefits of connectivity available to everyone."

An important facet of the F3607gw is the unique wake-on wireless feature. By remaining connected while a notebook or netbook is in sleep mode, the module's wake-on wireless feature enables users to remotely wake up the device. This innovative technology will allow a new set of applications to be built into the computer to further enhance security and instant-on functionalities, such as the ability to disable the computer in case of theft, or instant distribution of important messages and security updates.

Operators can also combine the wake-on wireless feature and embedded GPS functionality to create a range of differentiating services for consumers and the enterprise market, including remote manageability, security updates, asset protection and tracking and geo-fencing. The module can also be used for content push services, such as podcasts, public warnings, traffic updates and database updates.

Specifically, the wake-on wireless feature supports security solutions based on Intel's Anti-Theft PC Protection Technology. An anti-theft management service in the network can send a message via SMS to the mobile-broadband module inside the notebook, which securely transfers the message to Intel's Anti-Theft function inside the processor platform. This takes appropriate actions, such as completely locking the computer and making it unusable. When the notebook is located and recovered, an unlock message can be sent to the notebook that makes the data accessible again.

Thursday 9 April 2009

Anritsu's LTE Tester MD8430A is a winner

Anritsu Company announces its MD8430A Signalling Tester was the only test instrument to win a prestigious CTIA Emerging Technology (E-Tech) Award, announced during the International CTIA WIRELESSS® 2009 show in Las Vegas. The MD8430A, the industry’s first LTE base station simulator, earned a second prize in the 4G - Service Creation & Development category of the E-Tech Awards, which recognize the finest wireless products and services.

“We are thrilled and honored to have won a CTIA E-Tech award because it signifies the best and brightest technologies in the wireless market. We would like to thank everyone who participated in the voting and supported the MD8430A,” said Wade Hulon, Vice President and General Manager of Anritsu Company, Americas Sales Region. “The MD8430A is being used by LTE chipset manufacturers to ensure the quality of their products, speed time to market, and reduce design and production test costs.”

Approximately 300 entries were received for this year’s E-Tech Awards. They were reviewed by a panel of 30 recognized members of the media, industry analysts and executives who selected finalists based on innovation, functionality, technological importance, implementation and overall “wow” factor. More than 40,000 wireless professionals voted on the finalists to determine the winners in 18 categories.

The MD8430A is a highly accurate cost-effective solution for manufacturers of LTE chipsets and mobile devices to evaluate their products and improve time to market. Developed in conjunction with leading chipset manufacturers, the MD8430A augments Anritsu’s broad 3GPP test suite, providing developers of wireless devices and systems with a single-source test solution company.

The MD8430A is designed with 4 RF units that enable 2x2 MIMO system handover tests in a simulated network environment. The base station simulator can conduct end-to-end testing at downlink speeds up to 150 Mbps and uplink speeds up to 50 Mbps. All critical 3GPP air-interface LTE protocol tests, including baseband coding/decoding processing tests; protocol sequence tests, such as position registration, origination, termination, handover, terminal and network disconnect tests; and application tests, are supported. Powerful L1/L2 cache analysis functions are provided as well.

Presentations on Mobile Apps

There are couple of interesting Mobile App related discussions in Forum Oxford recently, for anyone interested:

An interesting presentation on Application Stores and Mobile Social Media by Cedric Giorgi is available on SlideShare.

Another one titled, The App store and Future of Mobile Applications by William Volk is available on Slideshare as well.

William has also started an interesting discussion where he makes an interesting point:

In the case of the Android App Market, paid app sales are a fraction of what one would expect. The top paid apps have sold only a few 1000 copies, free apps have reached download numbers of over 250,000.

Why? Most users have not opted-in to Google Checkout, which is the billing system used.

Apple, of course, requires users to opt into iTunes, but iTunes already has widespread acceptance. 93% of iPhone users have purchased an app.

My understanding is that Google approached T-Mobile about this and the idea of adding carrier billing as an option was rejected.

So let me get this straight:
1. Apple cleverly cuts operators out of the app revenue stream.
2. Competing 'open' platform, Android appears.
3. Operators reject Google's offer to use their billing systems for app purchases.
4. Operators see no revenue from app sales on iTunes AND Android App Marketplace.
5. Android is a non-starter for app developers in business terms.
The question is, will users opt in for PayPal when the RIM App World turns on?

You can follow the discussion here.

Wednesday 8 April 2009

More than 1 Trillion messages were sent in 2008

CTIA -The Wireless Association® announced the findings of its semi-annual industry survey, which includes numerous positive metrics on the industry’s continued growth and popularity. In particular, wireless revenues showed impressive year-to year gains, as wireless data service revenues for the year 2008 rose to more than $32 billion. This represents a 39% increase over 2007, when data revenues totaled $23.2 billion. Wireless data revenues for 2008 amounted to nearly 22% of all wireless service revenues, and represent what consumers spend on non-voice services.

According to the survey, text messaging continues to be enormously popular, with more than one trillion text messages carried on carriers’ networks in 2008—breaking down to more than 3.5 billion messages per day. That’s almost triple the number from 2007, when 363 billion text messages were transmitted. Wireless subscribers are also sending more pictures and other multi-media messages with their mobile devices, with 15 billion MMS messages reported for 2008, up from 6 billion the year before.

According to the survey, text messaging continues to be enormously popular, with more than one trillion text messages carried on carriers’ networks in 2008—breaking down to more than 3.5 billion messages per day. That’s almost triple the number from 2007, when 363 billion text messages were transmitted. Wireless subscribers are also sending more pictures and other multi-media messages with their mobile devices, with 15 billion MMS messages reported for 2008, up from 6 billion the year before.

As of December 2008, the industry survey recorded more than 270 million wireless users. This represents a year-over-year increase of nearly 15 million subscribers. The industry’s 12-month record for subscriber growth was reached in 2005, when 25.7 million new users came online.
Other highlights of the survey include: wireless customers using more than 2.2 trillion minutes in 2008, an increase of 100 billion minutes from 2007, and record-breaking six-month wireless service revenues of more than $75 billion with annual service revenues reaching $148 billion by year-end 2008.

The CTIA Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey results were released on 1st April 2009 at International CTIA WIRELESS 2009®. Billed as the most important global technology event of the year, with more than 1,200 exhibiting companies and around 40,000 attendees from 125 countries, it took place April 1st -3rd at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

According to another survey in Canada, relationships often blossom thanks to technology. Two in five (42%) of Canadians aged 18-34 would send a flirtatious text to hint they have a crush. Youth are also significantly more inclined to flirt with their crush using Facebook wall posts or gifts (35%) and instant messaging (32%). On the other hand, just over one in ten Canadians aged 55+ would use Facebook (15%) and instant messaging (12%).

Results also show Canadians are doing everything from flirting to breaking up, all using technology. Surprisingly, a full 10 per cent of Canadians would give someone the hint that their relationship is over by changing their Facebook status. When it comes to breaking up the old fashioned way, 35 per cent of Canadians would choose to break up with someone over the phone or in person and only 10 per cent would opt not to use technology to get this message across.