Qualcomm Marries Satellite and Cellular Networks

Qualcomm said today that it will build a chipset to offer combined cellular and satellite radios in one handset. It hopes to offer them in 2010. This is a boost for the struggling satellite companies and offers up the potential for a small phone that is integrated with existing CDMA cellular networks.

To build a successful satellite business a company needs access to spectrum, money to launch the satellites and a convenient handset at a reasonable price. During the ’90s this last hurdle was never really surmounted because handsets were big and couldn’t switch over to cell networks. It looked like that would be the case again for a new generation of satellite firms pushing a combined terrestrial and satellite network. Qualcomm’s chipsets and the willingness of cellular carriers to accept handoffs from satellite networks could change all that.

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4iPhone.net launches hosted Exchange service for iPhone owners

4smart4iphoneUp until October of last year, I used 4SmartPhone.net as my hosted Microsoft Exchange provider. In fact, I used them for a good two or three years until I decided that Gmail’s IMAP would meet my needs… and at no cost. I was wondering if they were going to offer service to iPhone owners, since the 2.0 firmware for the phone will support Microsoft Exchange. Sure enough, they are and you can find out about it at their new site: 4iPhone.net. Actually, you can pre-register for it since there’s not much info on the site. 😉

From the press release they sent out today, it looks like pricing will be around $10.95 a month and my guess is that’s if you pay annually in one lump-sum. With an account, you’ll have Direct Push services right from the server for your e-mail, contacts, and calendar events to your iPhone. There’s also the Remote Wipe function to delete data from your device. Why would a consumer need that? Just ask Robert Scoble… he knows why.

If you’re new to the "Microsoft Exchange" world, consider the "Hosted Exchange 101" article we put together last year; it gives you the high-level view of what the service is and why you might want it.

FAQ: Carbon Capture & Sequestration

[qi:_earth2tech] Confused by all these cleantech technologies? Yup, we are too. But Earth2Tech has it all figured out. Today they’ve put together an FAQ for carbon capture and sequestration, including what it is and who all the startups are that we need to be keeping an eye on. Read more here.

Why Wall Street Hates Comcast?

rockybeatup.jpegSlower subscriber growth, worries about competition from phone companies and a management crazy enough to make a bold move — all this has Wall Street worried about Comcast (CMCSA), the Philadelphia-based broadband and cable provider.
The Nervous Nellies of Manhattan’s nether regions have pushed the stock down almost 30 percent so far this year. Of course, these very same worrywarts were sweating about Verizon’s (VZ) bold bet on fiber to the home technologies.
The divergent fortunes of Verizon and Comcast are very clearly reflected in this chart.
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Three Virtual Worlds from Europe Worth Watching

moshimonsters.jpgLondon – I’m still recovering from the jet lag and energy of last week’s Virtual Worlds Forum, where I moderated a couple panels, but managed to cobble together some notes from the inaugural conference/trade show. Incongruously (but very coolly) held in a cavernous, velvet wallpaper-lined, Victorian-era building that’s since been converted into a nightclub/roller skating rink (!), it was a fascinating complement to the unaffiliated Virtual Worlds Conference in San Jose earlier this month.

Even across the Atlantic, you get the same sense of a mini dot com boom in virtual worlds, and the explosion of start-ups mainly looking to capitalize on the success of Second Life on the one hand (3D, open-ended spaces for adults) or Habbo Hotel (2D, controlled environments for kids) on the other– either as would-be competitor, middleware technology provider, or third-party marketing/services firm serving the existing market.

Since it’s based in Europe, however, the VWF gave me a chance to glimpse promising, EU-centric MMOs that will probably take extra time to reach the States:
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Become an Expert Interviewer — Fast

At some point in your Web career — whether as blogger, podcaster or vodcaster — it’s likely you’ll find yourself in the position of interviewing others. If you’re a professional journalist, doing an interview is fairly straightforward. But what if you’re no expert? This cheatsheet, culled from a talk given by podcasting coach Heidi Miller during the Podcast and New Media Expo, can help you prepare.

1. As part of your preparation, search out previous interviews the guest has done. Look for topics “the guest really likes to talk about,” advises Miller, and the topics that “fall flat.” The goal: To find a balance between what your audience wants to hear and also what the guest wants to talk about.

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Juniper’s rolls out T-Rex like router, not quite iPhone

Blame iPhone and Stevenote for my Monday long loss of reality, which made me totally overlook Juniper’s (JNPR) announcement about their new router, T-1600, the very same one, that is supposed to compete with Cisco’s uber router, CRS-1. This was a router Juniper was developing in stealth-mode, and no one expected the company to announce it this soon.

But they did, and issued a complex press release that included the requisite buzzwords like video and IPTV to justify why it was releasing the new router. While the router won’t impact revenues until the end of 2007, it will give Juniper a big morale boost (and a talking point.)

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Apple Becoming a Wireless Carrier?

Bloomberg claims that Apple will be its own carrier for the upcoming iPhone.

I think that if Bloomberg is right, it would be a really great thing for customers.

Signing a contract with a wireless carrier today is a complete mess for the customer. There are way to many plans to choose from, and each one is ridiculously complicated. On top of that, a plan that is advertised at $40/month really turns out to cost around $70/month, due to taxes and fees that are all hidden in the fine print when you sign a contract.

If Apple was the carrier for the iPhone, I’m sure they would make the whole process a delightful experience for the customer, and be very up-front about any hidden fees, as they are with everything.

However, I must say that I find it very unlikely that Apple would make this move. It would be a ton of extra work for Apple.

Bloomberg says that Apple would be a “mobile virtual network operator,” or MVNO, which means that it would use network infrastructure (cell towers, wiring, etc.) that is owned and operated by another company (Bloomberg suggests Cingular). This would save Apple the trouble of having to build towers, which, of course, would be an insane undertaking that I don’t think anyone thinks Apple would do. But even if Apple would be an MVNO, it would still have to operate the dealings with end-users, such as managing plans and contracts. This could become a huge headache for Apple, and it just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing Apple is interested in.

Apple becoming a wireless carrier seems just as awesome, but just as unlikely, as Apple becoming its own record label.

What do you think? Would Apple being the carrier make you more likely to purchase an iPhone?

How to be a billionaire without any real cash?

Somebody really needs to call Forbes on this: how can two guys who are co-founders of a privately held company which at best had $900 million in sales last year be worth a billion each. You know the Google twins, Sergey and Larry. The magazine’s latest list puts the duo at #552 in the list.

First the fuzzy stuff, i.e. the what ifs: assume that tomorrow something goes wrong, another new cool search engine comes to the market and takes away traffic form Google, or for that matter someone discovers that Google is in patent infringement or something like that. (Well these are what ifs?) What if the stock market tanks, and the Google IPO does not happen? Are the toothsome twosome worth a billion each then? Will the venture capitalists who put money in the company take Sergey and Larry’s stock off their hands at those valuations? I fail to understand how does a script which does not trade anywhere on the stock markets, and is still a ill-liquid quantity be worth a couple of billion dollars. This is “froth” being valued against real hard assets of real billionaires.

This is not the way of the capitalist tool I know! This clearly in new kind of math. Anyone have a clue?