A little while ago, in my Business 2.0 column, I pointed out the detrimental impact the mega-mergers will have on the telecom equipment market place. It seems that does is arriving sooner than later. Siemens, which is trying to find out ways to get rid of its struggling handset business, is apparently in talks with Nortel and Acer in a bit to shore up its position in the wireless equipment business. Reuters quotes a report in Der Spiegel, indicating a link-up between Nortel and Siemens. Another German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said Siemens was in advanced partnership talks with Acer, Taiwan’s top personal computer company, over its mobile phone business.” I expect more shake-ups or link-ups like this going forward.
Cell Phones, have evolved so quickly from the late 1990s when they looked like ugly plastic bricks and had sound quality of a computer speaker. Today you can play games, listen to music, watch full motion video, surf the internet, and send text messages and email on these little wonders. Oh yeah, you can talk on them as well. San Diego Union Tribune has a nice feature on the future of cell phones, a very Qualcomm-centric vision of the future. “Two years from now, I don’t think they’re even going to be called phones, but I don’t know what they’re going to be called,” Jeff Belk, senior vice president of marketing for San Diego-based Qualcomm told the Union-Tribune. “A good rule of thumb is that anything you see commercially available in Japan or Korea usually takes between 12 and 24 months before it finds its way to our shores,” Belk said. Well they think downloadable music, television-on-phone, location based services and micro-customization could be big in US in 2005. Talking about LBS, Wave Market has just launched Crunkie which is a location-based group social networking cum blogging application. Oh, looks like we got all the buzzwords in one sentence.
This month London is ranked first on JiWIre’s Top 10 WiFi Cities List for having the greatest number of Hotspot locations, followed by New York and Paris. Well after they got jiggy with GSM, GPRS and UMTS, why doesn’t it surprise me that the Brits are so enamored with WiFi as well. San Francisco is at #8, though I am sure if you did per 1000 residents, it would be way up there in terms of rankings.
There are no holy cows for Andrew Orlowski of The Register. In his latest missive filed from CTIA, he takes on HSDPA, EV-DO, myth of free Net calls, and of course, Skype. “Carriers have greater pretensions that that: they want to be TV channels and Wal Mart, too.” That line alone makes it worth reading.