Truly, Madly, Deeply Wireless
Truly, Madly, Deeply Wireless
By: Jeremy Geelan
May. 1, 2001 02:09 PM
All the buzz and bustle from the show floor of CTIA's Wireless 2001 event, held recently in Las Vegas, Nevada
It took place in March, everyone was there, and it was...big.
The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) presented their latest and greatest-ever gig, the grandiloquently subtitled "Wireless 2001: A Voice & Data Odyssey."
Held at the vast Las Vegas facility known as the Sands Expo Center, adjacent to the mind-bogglingly huge Venetian hotel complex, the show was unprecedented in size, scope, and attendance.
Never before in the field of Internet technology have so many paid so much attention to so specialized a group of technologies. Protocols and languages like WAP and WML, standards like Bluetooth and 802.11B, emerging breakthroughs like streaming video...everything that's humanly possible without wires (and some things that frankly, until demonstrated in Las Vegas anyhow, seemed impossible) was on display here.
Wireless Business & Technology was there in force, thanks to SYS-CON Radio, the traveling arm ofSYS-CON Media that specializes in live reporting from major IT-related events throughout North America and Europe. CEOs and CTOs and other top management were out in force too, and SYS-CON Radio invited various corporate luminaries to bring the wider world up to date on all things wireless by speaking live to WBT's editorial director Jeremy Geelan.
Here we share with readers a collective montage of the interviews - who we talked to and what we talked about. But for the full skinny, tune in to the more than 50 live SYS-CON Radio interviews by clicking on www.wbt2.com.
2Roam, the global wireless Web solutions provider, was in Las Vegas presenting their customer deployments and several of their global projects. Their 32 clients to-date include eBay, Best Western Hotels, Tribune Interactive, Forbes, and Disney (in fact eBay was their first client, and selected 2Roam from over 100 companies).
2Roam offers their customers functionalities such as secure m-commerce, wireless advertising, alerts, messaging, and customer reporting.
After completing a five-country study of WAP, results convinced them that voice was the way to go. Accenture is building a voice-recognition competency practice around its mobile applications, and is forming new alliances in the voice space.
Aligo was at the CTIA Wireless 2001 event demonstrating their M-1 Mobile Application Server, the only 100% Java mobile application server on the market today. Designed to allow the mobilizing of an enterprise's Java-based applications, it enables businesses to deliver sophisticated mobile enterprise applications and conduct secure transactions on a variety of mobile devices including WAP phones and pagers, as well as regular cell phones.
Amdocs is the leading provider of CRM, customer care, billing, and order management solutions for the communications and IP industry. At Wireless 2001, they were presenting their new range of 3G services. Typical clients are large tier 1 or tier 2 carriers looking to develop 2.5 or 3G solutions in the near-term.
Trinneer, a panel speaker at the CTIA event, covered WAP versus i-mode at the technical conference that complemented the show. AT&T launched their SMS service in October of 2000, and they're also working on i-mode services. Tune into www.wbt2.com for Trinneer's view on the wireless industry as a whole.
Axesstel used CTIA to plan, form, and cement several strategic alliances. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Axesstel is a global developer of wireless local loop (WLL) handsets and modem card products for the global communications market. The company's products offer wireless users in a fixed environment the ability to access next-generation high-speed data and information services.
Azur was meeting with several partners and distributors at the show, and demonstrating Eclipse, a platform that makes it easy to combine and publish intranet and Internet content on wireless devices. It's the lowest cost, and one of the easiest solutions for publishing corporate intranet information. The product is distributed through carriers and mobile integrators.
Broadbeam, a leading wireless platform provider, used the CTIA show to announce an agreement with Cingular Interactive, formerly BellSouth Wireless Data, in which Broadbeam will resell airtime on the nationwide Cingular Interactive Intelligent Wireless Network through their own SystemsGO! wireless-managed services.
Broadbeam's SystemsGO! is a complete wireless-managed service, providing customers with access to their gateway servers on a subscription basis, as well as wireless connectivity, server hardware, system and software management, and monitoring and maintenance.
As befits their worldwide, world-class reputation in finance and banking, Brokat Technologies' most significant news at CTIA involved the trend of moving payments and data over the mobile Internet. Brokat has already launched, in Europe, the world's first commercially available mobile payment system, with German telco Deutsche Telecom. With dual headquarters in San Jose, CA, and Stuttgart, Germany, Brokat employs over 1,400 people in 17 countries.
Comverse made several announcements at CTIA, including the news that star*home, a Comverse Technology affiliate, and Vodafone have signed an agreement to deliver a Virtual Home Environment for Vodafone users and international visitors to the Vodafone network. Comverse also announced its mobile Internet call management solution, Mobile Call Manager (MCM).
Covigo is a software company that helps enterprises adapt to the changing wireless world. With Covigo's patent-pending wireless platform, Global 2000 companies can rapidly build, deploy, and manage wireless applications with secure, end-to-end transactional capabilities and integrated voice and data. The Covigo platform supports the full range of wireless networks, protocols, standards and client devices, including WAP-enabled phones, SMS-enabled devices, proprietary PDAs, and voice-only telephones.
UK-based Digital Bridges was founded in 1998 to develop innovative entertainment channels for wireless device users. Its first games channel, Wirelessgames.com, was launched in the second quarter of 2000. Digital Bridges has already signed 20 network operators across the world in several countries from the U.S. to Switzerland. They're also working with a large number of companies in the traditional games and entertainment sectors to bring their content to the wireless Internet.
Diversinet is enabling mobile e-commerce services with their wireless security infrastructure solutions. They have a wireless optimized software security infrastructure that makes it possible to secure any application to any wireless device from any security infrastructure.
DMR Telecom 360
DMR, a subsidiary of Fujitsu, announced a strategic alliance with Wysdom, as well as the kickoff of a joint, nationwide seminar tour to educate potential customers on the five Ws of wireless. As part of the deal, DMR TELECOM360 will implement Wysdom's Mobyle Application Platform (MAP) as an integral technology component of its DMRwireless360 framework.
Emblaze, along with Samsung, bewitched many attendees at the Las Vegas event with their demonstration of the world's first commercially available video cell phone. Emblaze is the only company that offers a commercial end-to-end solution for streaming of video over wireless networks from today's 2G networks (GSM, CDMA, TDMA) to 2.5G and 3G wireless networks.
Everypath was in Las Vegas to announce a partnership with Cygent to provide a comprehensive solution for mobile access to customer account and service information. When Cygent's solutions are integrated with the Everypath Mobile Application Platform, companies can render comprehensive account and service information to customers, partners, and internal sales and service agents in an appropriate presentation for any mobile device.
Fourelle Systems demonstrated their deployment of content acceleration solutions for wide area networks, including satellite, frame relay, wireless, cable, and dial-up. Venturi, Fourelle's flagship product platform, is a best-selling solution for speeding content delivery, increasing network capacity, and reducing network operating costs.
Glenayre announced the availability of their new @ctiveVision Unified Messaging platform application with voice-activated ser-vices. The @ctiveVision Unified Messaging platform simplifies communications by allowing users to manage voice mail, e-mail, fax, and alphanumeric messages from multiple devices through a single, unified mailbox. Subscribers have the option to view this mailbox from a Web interface or any WAP handset. In addition, subscribers can hear all their messages, including e-mail messages, from any phone.
Geoworks is a wireless enablement company that allows access to corporate intranet information from virtually any mobile device. At the show, partnering with U.S. Wireless, Nuance, and Maptuit, Geoworks announced the launch of a trial in the San Francisco area for mobile ATM location services that use both voice and data.
Founded in October 1999, and based in South San Francisco, CA, Gravitate, Inc., is a provider of enabling technologies and applications for the rapid development and deployment of location-precise wireless services. The Gravitate platform is the first comprehensive software solution and suite of applications supporting mobile-to-mobile and static-to-mobile services deployed on wireless devices. At the CTIA event, they forged several partnerships with leading wireless providers including U.S. Wireless, NTT DoCoMo, and Sigma One.
GiantBear Wireless Technology
GiantBear provides the back-end systems that carriers and enterprises need to make their applications accessible wirelessly. Their BearCub product is the only one to allow two-way messaging on digital phones that don't normally allow it. GiantBear's suite of services includes: application development and implementation; portal and platform development and integration; hosting and maintenance services; content and mobile commerce distribution; and billing and customer service integration.
Gtran provides data solutions in the wireless arena, focusing on the 1x and the GPRS space. Currently, they've deployed their services in Korea, and were attending the CTIA Wireless 2001 show because over the next 12 months they're looking to enter the U.S. and European markets. In Las Vegas they introduced their complete line of DotSurfer PCMCIA Type II data cards, available in several versions to address the different operating bands in the Americas and Asia.
iConverse unveiled the iConverse Mobile Developer Program, designed to help developers with varied exper-tise levels leverage the skills they already have to build device-optimizing, interactive mobile applications for every device on the market. Through membership, qualified developers will receive a special developer's edition of iConverse's visual drag-and-drop mobile application development environment, the iConverse Mobile Studio, and access to an online community of educational resources designed to accelerate the mobile application development process.
iDini is Houdini for the Internet, aiming to bring magic to wireless devices. They provide a wireless computer environment for mobile phone and PDA users, who, with their wireless devices, can now have complete access to their attachments at last - opening Word, Excel, PowerPoint, text, PDF files, and graphics.
Intransit Networks announced its plans to provide services and technical expertise intended to establish the company as a leading end-to-end asset- and inventory-locating data network and infrastructure provider. Intransit Networks' patent-pending technology will enable its customers to identify, locate, track, and communicate vital information affecting their assets while utilizing cellular/PCS networks, global positioning satellites, Bluetooth shortwave radio, wireless tags, and the Internet.
Invertix Corporation announced at Wireless 2001 the addition of TruePresence technology to its IM-Anywhere 3G wireless instant messaging and m-commerce platform. TruePresence is a patent-pending technology combining network-determined presence, which relays the on/off status of a mobile device, and subscriber-configured availability, such as Available, Away, Busy, Do-Not-Disturb, and Selective Do-Not-Disturb. Wireless carriers can build on popular SMS by deploying IM-Anywhere to create their own Instant Messaging Service (IMS) without modifications to their network.
The word Kaval, which is in fact Estonian for ingenious, is an apt tradename for this designer and manufacturer of technology that extends wireless signals into buildings and other places radio waves have a hard time reaching. It picks a signal off the air then amplifies and extends it throughout the building. They were at the CTIA event to try and corner the indoor marketplace, and were demonstrating their new LinkNet technology, which converges multiple carriers to allow one low-cost shared network to be implemented and shared by multiple carriers.
Leap pioneered the delightfully named "Cricket" Comfortable Wireless service that lets customers make all their local calls from within their local calling area and receive calls from anywhere for one low, flat rate. Leap currently has several new services in development, including data services designed to further transform wireless communications for consumers.
Livemind was at CTIA to demonstrate their ability to blend content and transaction capabilities in a rich mix known as "contextual marketing." San Francisco-based Livemind develops integrated software applications that enable wireless carriers and portals to deploy compelling revenue- generating data services that are personalized, transaction-ready, and easy to use. Livemind's software transforms traditional content, commerce, and related IP services into contextually relevant and transaction-ready wireless applications.
mobileID was attending CTIA Wireless 2001 to showcase their expertise as developers of the integrated Rapid Adaptive Mobile Platform (iRAMP) System, a next-generation, mobile wireless applications development and deployment environment that solves key wireless development challenges. Built as an open standards-based technology platform, the iRAMP system is scalable and easily ported to any existing system.
Motient owns and operates an integrated terrestrial/satellite network and provides a wide range of two-way mobile and Internet communications services principally to business-to-business customers and enterprises. The company provides eLink and BlackBerry two-way wireless e-mail service to customers accessing e-mail through corporate servers, Internet Service Provider (ISP) and Mail Service Provider (MSP) accounts, and paging network suppliers.
Novarra, a leading provider of instant wireless software empowering the mobile workforce with wireless access to e-business applications, was at Wireless 2001 to announce that Vocal Link will use Novarra's instant wireless software to give customers access to its cross- media messaging applications via Palm and RIM devices. As the charismatic Art Roldan explained, Novarra was able to deploy Vocal Link's applications to these devices in less than one day.
Oberthur Card Systems
Oberthur Card Systems, a global leader and innovator in the smart card industry, is shaping the future by offering the ultimate in SIM, WAP, 3G (IMT-2000/UMTS), e-wallet technologies, and Internet-based card management services coupled with a firm commitment to open standards. At the CTIA event they were demonstrating the latest in smart card technologies, specifically a new suite of applications for ticketing, banking, and mobile commerce.
OpenTV announced during CTIA Wireless 2001 that it has released Spyglass Prism 3.3.0, an enhanced server-based content transformation solution designed to optimize the performance of the new generation of Web-enabled devices. Spyglass Prism dynamically translates richly formatted Web content (XML) and converts it into formats that match the relatively limited display capabilities of non-PC devices, including mobile phones, PDAs, and other wireless devices.
PipeBeach provides a platform, already available in several languages, that combines speech and the mobile Internet. Beata Forsmark explained how you dial into their service and have your voice commands converted into information such as stock quotes, weather, traffic reports, e-mail, and more. Three of SpeechWeb's five founders come from Ericsson, which they left emboldened by a vision for voice-based Internet access.
Pixo provides applications and an OS platform for phone manufacturers. Founded in 1996, they provide all of the applications in the phone, voice applications, PIM, and micro-browser software. Pixo has customers such as Samsung, and is focused on the niche market of providing software for phones. At CTIA Wireless 2001, they were announcing their new System Integrator program and seven new partners, allowing them to take on many more customers in the future.
Plazmic Inc. is developing and deploying a solution for rich graphical media on wireless devices that runs on top of Java. At CTIA they announced a strategic partnership with the Walt Disney Internet Group Japan to work together toward the development of a new rich mobile media entertainment content service for Walt Disney Internet Group Japan's Disney-i site. This would be on NTT DoCoMo's i-mode platform based upon Plazmic's Media Engine's mobile media platform.
Racal Instruments, a British company, was previewing three new products at CTIA. The first is designed for testing GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and 3GPP W-CDMA standards. The second is SmartAIR, the world's first multichannel GSM and UMTS interference analyzer. Last was a new range of air interface monitoring and emulation products providing EDGE (Enhanced Data Rate for GSM Evolution) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) testing for GSM base stations and mobiles.
Rob Mechaley, former McCaw Cellular and AT&T Wireless chief scientist and co-inventor of Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD), was in Las Vegas to announce the formation of RadioFrame Networks Inc. To address these issues, the company has developed a software-defined radio system that improves wireless clarity, coverage, and connectivity indoors while providing wireless LAN connections, all in a single platform solution.
Sierra Wireless was at CTIA 2001 demonstrating their wireless data modem PC card using 1xRTT technology. The Sierra Wireless 1xRTT AirCard is expected to be commercially available later this year. Sierra Wireless also showed their wireless PC cards for portable computers, wireless adapters for PDAs, OEM modules for embedded applications, and rugged vehicle-mounted wireless systems.
Screaming Media announced in Las Vegas an alliance with Lucent Technologies to provide content for their mobile Internet platform which they demonstrated on the show floor as well. Through its content services, ScreamingMedia aggregates licensed content - news, features, photos, video, stock quotes, audio, weather reports and the like - from more than 3,000 publications, then filters, delivers, and precisely integrates this content instantaneously into the Web and wireless platforms of their clients.
Thinque enables companies to connect to, manage, and share information with mobile workers, facilitating faster time-to-market and improving business processes by meeting the unique needs of the extended enterprise. At CTIA Wireless 2001 Thinque was demonstrating how its packaged applications leverage advancements in handheld PCs, the Internet, wireless, and broadband technologies so that users can access information anywhere, anytime.
Unimobile announced at the Las Vegas show an agreement with Categoric Software, a first mover in alerting infrastructure technology for the multichannel enterprise, to provide a universal mobile data delivery platform that guarantees delivery of wireless alerts worldwide. The company's Enterprise 4.0 platform ensures that Categoric's clients can send and receive personalized, time-critical information from any wireless interface, regardless of the carrier or protocol, to mobile employees, customers, and partners worldwide.
Vindigo took advantage of the huge foot traffic at the show to demonstrate its user-friendly Vindigo service on the new Kyocera Smartphone, a combination PDA and cell phone. Vindigo's proprietary platform enables its partners to publish comprehensive location-based applications to consumers, customers, or employees, using Palm handheld computers or Internet-ready mobile phones.
The aims and scope of the WAP Forum are summarized in this issue of WBT. Turn to Scott Goldman's article, "WAP Lives On," in the WAP Update section toward the front of the magazine.
VoiceGenie used the occasion of the CTIA Wireless 2001 event to announce a strategic partnership with SpeechWorks that will result in the SpeechGenie solution. The resulting solution will provide 100% compliance with VoiceXML 1.0, and integrate the latest SpeechWorks automated speech recognition and Speechify text-to-speech engines. SpeechGenie will enable a company's customers to access Web information, conduct online transactions, and manage personal communications (such as e-mail and voice-activated dialing) by simply speaking over any phone.
Westpoint Wireless announced at the CTIA show a new product designed to help the hearing-impaired across America by giving them access to cellular phones. It's an add-on device, designed for the popular Nokia 5100 and 6100 handsets. Luxon explained how individuals who use digital hearing aids get a buzzing sound on digital cellular phones. With the Westpoint Wireless device, however, the RF signal is redirected away from the user's head where the hearing aid itself is located. This eliminates the buzzing and will bring access to mobile telephony to a huge constituency of hearing-impaired users.
Wireless Knowledge, Inc., "child" of parents Microsoft Corporation and QUALCOMM, is a leading provider of enterprise-grade software and ser-vices for companies looking to mobilize their information. Ross explained how through their packaged products, custom application development, and mobility consulting services, they aim to turn e-business into m-business. With its shrink-wrapped software, Workstyle and Anystyle, mobile workers can obtain instant, secure access to corporate data wherever and whenever they need it.
WolfeTech Corporation develops software applications for wireless devices. PocketGenie, WolfeTech's flagship application, is a wireless portal to the Internet that provides users of interactive pagers, phones, and other PDAs with real-time access to Web-based information. Founded in 1997, the company's objective is to provide mobile business professionals with wireless solutions to their everyday needs.
CTIA was an extremely busy show for W-technologies, a global provider of wireless application products and mobile business solutions. At CTIA, they announced an agreement with FedEx to use their Mobilero software. This will enable the shipping giant's customers to wirelessly track FedEx Express, FedEx Ground or FedEx home deliveries, determine the status of a shipment, and track results to multiple addresses via e-mail.
Wysdom is a wireless software and infrastructure company that supports carriers with enhanced software and services that carriers can then provide to their customers. Wysdom licenses its Mobyle Application Platform (MAP) to enterprises, e-businesses, and mobile operators, enabling users to manage information, commerce, and communications on any device.
At the CTIA show, Zucotta was announcing the launch of Version 2.0 of its free wireless development kit optimized for the J2ME platform. Developers, Wenk explained, can download the standard edition of the WHITEboard SDK from the company's Web site. Zucotto also showed off its Xpresso processor, a Java semiconductor designed to bring dynamic, secure mobile Internet services and multimedia applications to wireless devices.
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