Monday, November 30, 2009

T-Mobile USA To Get iPhone Instead of Verizon?

Back in July, I began speculation about possibility of T-Mobile getting the iPhone some time in 2010.  Here's the low-down on why I had thought this was a possible, if somewhat improbable, scenario.  3G and GSM.

In the United States, if you want access to a GSM network, you've got one of two major choices.  ATT and T-Mobile.  As you know, T-Mobile is the smaller of the two.  It's in the 4th place as far as the major networks are concerned, behind Sprint.  As Apple as repeatedly said that there will be no CDMA version of the iPhone.  Conventional wisdom is that Apple will wait until LTE, the next generation wireless network, has sufficient coverage before the iPhone becomes available to Verizon's customers (both ATT and Verizon Wireless will migrate to LTE as their next generation wireless broadband network).

So why T-Mobile?  40 Million reasons.  More at Onxo Mobile Devices

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Energy Galore - Some Day

There's been a talk of a lot of green tech.  This time, it appears to be for real with a Democratic President in the White House.  Well, that's just here in the United States.  It is typically reported that Germany and Japan lead green energy production via solar methodologies.

While fossil fuel dependence will not go away for a while longer, until we run out or there is a miraculous breakthrough green tech that allows for renewable energy to be produced cheaply, we will just have to live with the fact that it'll take decades for the energy infrastructure, not just in the United States, but all over the world, to be sufficiently upgraded to maximize efficiency and have the ability to store green energy.

See, I had hoped that there will even be a day when we will have an abundance of energy.  I'm being serious.  How can we go from not having enough to having too much?  Simple.  Assuming we don't blow ourselves to kingdom-come fighting over energy and natural resources before this dream of mine is realized, we are heading towards a fossil-less market.  More solar panels are going up.  Wind power is gaining a lot of momentum.  Smart grids are coming online.  Options for green energy storage are more realistic than ever before.

Other technologies that power our society are increasingly more efficient, able to squeeze more energy out of fuel than ever before.  More efficient cars, trucks, and ships.  More efficient lightbulbs.  Less energy hungry televisions.

Let's not forget mobile either.  LED screens, SSD drives, low-energy CPUs, new battery technologies all contribute to make smartphones, mobile devices like the iPhone, and laptops do more with less while having the ability to go the distance in a standard work day.

Once more, I remind all the mobile warriors, who happen to be green warriors, that this isn't going to be easy.  We'll have a lot of false starts, setbacks, and likely political foot-dragging, but I think in time, common sense solutions for a green energy future will continue to our lives better.

Yeah, especially for my mobile readers.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hardcore Mobility

It's been a while since I've posted directly with my mobile devices because I am usually in front of my Macbook and I haven't found a bargain blogging app that I truly like.

But having a few errands to run in my hometown, what better time to start, right? Actually, I forgot Macbook battery at home and didn't find a table at the local Barnes & Noble near an outlet.

So I am left with trying using my iPhone jacked into BN's free Wi-Fi.

So it has made me wonder about going totally mobile with my iPhone or G1 for a while just to see what that would be like. I've personally heard of instances of people who totally lived off their Blackberries in the past with access to broadband only at work. So with Android and iPhone users bragging about how great their devices are, should they put their money where their mouths are?

Well, I can honestly say that I'll be giving that a try more this Holidays in the US since I'll be moving around quite a bit, especially this Thanksgiving weekend.

I'll be heading out to the South Coast Plaza in Irvine tomorrow so I am sure to get a lot of opportunities to do a lot of mobile computing.

It sure helps with having extra juice for the mobile gadgets this Holidays.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mobility While Caring For A Kid At Disneyland Or Other Public Places

I know that the PC (politically correct) word is "child".  Still, when you've got a child running, yelling, and playing, let me have this one.  A kid.

So I took my 3-year old nephew to the Happy Place on Earth.  Here's a tip.  You would think with Monday being a work and school day, Sunday would be one of the lighter days at Disneyland.  Doh!  Apparently, it's their 2nd most busiest but the most crowded day of the week.

So obviously, if you've got a child with you, you wouldn't want to carry around a laptop.  Then again, why carry a laptop to Disneyland?  Well, my cousin has an annual pass and she likes the atmosphere.  So I can see why some folks would want to go there just to hang out.  But I was with a child.

I did see a Kindle DX there.  First time I've seen one on person.  I had a small chat with Dave the Mobile Warrior about that but that's something we'll post about later.

What I didn't see a lot of was cell phones, smartphones, or mobile devices like the iPhone.  Here's what I noted.

  • Folks without kids had their iPhones (there was a lot) out while they waited in the 20-30 minute-long line.
  • Folks with kids either didn't have mobile devices or cell phones but I suspect they had to watch over their kids instead of surfing the Web, reading, or playing games.  
  • Folks with kids had cameras.  There was enough flashes to generate their own sun.  
  • Cameras on mobile devices are horrible  as it is.  Even worse trying to capture "the moment" with kids zipping around.
  • There an app for that.  It's called MouseWait.  It sells you how long the wait for the rides are.  There are also Disney's own apps but I didn't find any relating to Disneyland.  I'm sure there is but I was in a rush and couldn't find what I was looking for.  
  • Twitter and Facebook are a good way to get together with people and reporting back on your moment to moment activities.
  • There is actually designated stroller parking lots.  

  • There isn't Wi-Fi that I could connect to.  Given Steve Jobs' influence at  Disney, I'm surprise.  Pixar influence was heavily felt.  Maybe we'll see Google or someone step in to offer the Mickies, Minnies, Donalds, Goofies, and Toy Story gang some way to link to the Internet wirelessly soon.
So, it was a good day with my nephew.  These days, having an Internet connection is good to have but in a place like Disneyland, it's not quite necessarily unless you're using apps to find out how long lines are and looking for things to do.

Perhaps there already is one but if Disney can create an app with Disney's going-ons and a realtime update, that would really help a lot.

Note:  These pics were taken with an iPhone.  I didn't share the awful ones.  I don't think you care to see them.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gameloft And Others Cut Back on Android Dev

Gameloft, as well as other developers, are cutting back or abandoning Android app development all together.

This is what I'm afraid of. Right now, I don't see a lot of people getting excited about their Android phones. It's as simple as that. Android is one of the most exciting mobile platform on the market today for the media, bloggers, and armchair quarterbacks, but it just isn't generating the same kind of excitement among users as the iPhone and iPod Touch is doing for its users.

I've spent $$$ on my iPhone apps while I've spent less than $20 on my G1. Why is that? Here's a couple of reasons:
  1. Even at 10K strong in the Android Marketplace, the few apps compare favorably in use, feel, and looks as even mediocre apps in the iTunes app store.
  2. I don't know if any app I buy now will work with my future Android devices. Already, there is a lot of fear of fragmentation is what I'm hearing and reading about. Just thinking about the Microsoft Windows Mobile situation.
Basically, Google created a huge potential and has yet to made it work for developers as well as users. You can't blame users or developers for this.

Gameloft is reporting the iPhone has already grown to 13% of its revenue while iPhone apps are selling 400 times better than Android apps. One can attribute that the fact that the iPhone has been in the market two years longer than Google's mobile platform. Maybe.

However, after a year, I believe Apple had been bragging about one billion downloads.

Well, I attribute that to the beta-ish status of the G1. I am hoping the new devices like Droid and others running Android 2.0 will realize the full potential what Android can do.  We'll see what Google does to help its developers and it better come through big time.

Note:  Google is in the mobile market to sell ads and be a player in mobile search.  It gives away its apps for free.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NSA Helped Microsoft With Windows 7?

NSA, the premiere spy agency in the United, no...the world, helped Steve his latest version of OS. Not that Steve. This Steve. Steve Balmer.

The NSA confirmed that they worked with Microsoft in beefing up Windows 7's security. The reason, after all, is because as the government continue to rely on private sector software, it is integral that the spy agency, with its great cryptological and computer scientific expertise, lend a helping hand.

This is important. In an age where cyberattacks instigated by individuals, rogue governments, and, very likely, multinational corporations on governments, other corporations, and individuals, it makes sense that we have the best security we possible can.

I'm sure the Chinese, North Koreans, Iranians, Russians, and even some of our allies are thrilled to learn about this. They'll be glad their welfare is being looked after as well. It's not like the NSA will ask Microsoft slip in some kind of secret entrances into Windows 7. Would they? Nah...

For the sake of transparancy, this has gone on for years with Microsoft and the clandestine agencies and I'm sure other software companies are also involved.

More at Gizmodo, NPR

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reading On A Smartphone Is Good Enough?

A friend sent me a great article from the NY Times about ereading and whether people will be reading with their iPhones or Kindles.

I had some time to think about that since I ordered my first reader, Barnes and Noble's Nook.  I won't get it until early December.  I eagerly anticipate it's arrival and I can see myself get a lot of mileage out of it.

Nevertheless, the mobile device I carry with me, whether it is my G1 or iPhone, will almost certainly be with me 24/7.

The NYT article doesn't take sides but I decided to provide a little more meat on the subject.  It's an interesting one.  It's also quite important because our reading behaviors can ultimately decide what publishers and tech companies do.

Lots more at Onxo Mobile Society.

More at NY Times.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Microsoft Store Dance

Microsoft is trying to compete with Apple in the retail realm.  Well, right way or not, this is certainly different.

If this is a regular occurrence, I'll go to the Mission Viejo store just to check it out in person.  I do like how some customers joined in.  Apple store workers are probably laughing or saying a silent prayer of thanks they don't work for Microsoft, but heck, whatever works to bring in the crowd, right?  The tech and mobile biz is very cut-throat.

Now, I want some caroling for the Holidays coming up from both Apple and Microsoft.

More at Engadget, MacdailyNews (including a lot of not so kind comments from readers)

Monday, November 16, 2009

How Much Will Apple's iTablet Cost?

We're about 2-4 months away from Apple releasing the iTablet and between now and then, we're going to hear a lot of crazy stuff about what features it'll include, how much it'll cost, and what new revolutions will it spawn.

Talking about features and how it'll change the mobile computing experience will be mostly conjecture.  As is trying to figure out the cost to the average mobile user.  However, Apple is limited by the reality of the marketplace and the competitive forces involved.

So, I took some liberty in trying to guesstimate just how much the iTablet will cost us.

And if my numbers are correct, ouch.  But that depends on how you want to score one.  

More at On Apple.

Let me know what you think the iTablet will realistically cost.

Palm Needs A Palm Desktop for WebOS

Is something afoot with Palm's latest WebOS release?

In the past, each release from Palm fixes the link between Pre and Apple's iTunes.  It has been an ongoing battle between Apple and Palm, similar to the war between Apple and the innovative Apple community that unlocks/jailbreaks the iPhone and iPod Touch.  But with the latest update, the iTunes link with Pre was not restored.

Perhaps this has to do with the fact that Palm lost to Apple when they both went in front of the USB Implementers Forum earlier in the fall.  Personally, why Palm did this was just stupid and out of character.  Well, perhaps, it did something that Palm needed but may no longer.

Palm knew it was never going to be allowed by Apple to hook the Pre into iTunes indefinitely and while these battles are cute, it could undercut WebOS with customers in the long-run.

So, Palm will need its own solution.  And it needs it badly.  Ask my fellow Android users and developers and they'll tell you they wish Google has some sort of solution to Apple's iTunes for synching and delivery of contents.  So, don't be surprised to see the Palm Desktop resurrection for the WebOS.  And there's what they can do to really stick it to Apple:

  • Bring a bit of WebOS to PD (Palm Desktop).  
  • Integration with Amazon's store to challenge iTunes.  Maybe Amazon will even give Palm a piece of the action.  
  • Offer tie-ins for other devices like Android, not just WebOS.  This isn't as insane as it seems.  Palm and Google have a tight relationship with the Pre.  Plus, it'll make other folks thinking about WebOS and it's superior interface to Android.
  • Offer Google apps via a built-in browser.  Well, Palm can base PD off Webkit if it wants just as WebOS' browser is based on.
  • Offer desktop access to Palm's app store.  More than just buy apps, let folks use PD to use the apps. Last I checked, Apple isn't doing this at all or even thinking about it.
  • Facebook, Twitter, Myspace - let folks access updates into PD as well.  
  • Open it even to iPhone and iPod Touch users.  Seriously open it up.

Essentially, make PD the one-stop access to for Palm,  Android, WM, Symbian, and Blackberry users to access their contacts and social updates.  With what I'm thinking, Palm can just ahead of the game and really give Apple a run for the money.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mobile Summary - What's Been Happening In the Mobile Market

Things are moving very fast in the mobile world right now.  So, here is a brief summary of things that I've kept up with.

  • Android seems to be making a huge run for a chunck of the mobile users.  I haven't seen this kind of excitement in a platform with the number of different gears out there since the early days of Windows CE.  Even Dell, a traditional Redmond ally, is entering the mobile market with Android.  
  • Droid is kicking up a lot of dust.  At who, well, that's hard to say now.  Though I don't like the keyboard or the boxy design, I like everything else about it.  Bigger screen than the iPhone with a whole lot more resolution.  And it's thinness is something worth noting.  All that without sacrificing battery life. Also, it runs Android 2.0.
  • I recently rooted my G1 for tethering and installing Google Navigation.  I think this is why Android has such a large following.  Smart smart folks involved and it is more open than the iPhone will ever be.  Of course, that's both good and bad.
Windows Mobile
  • I'll be honest here and say I don't know what's going on.  I know the HTC's HD2 is out.  But no WM 7 or Zune integration.  On the other hand, Zune gaming is looking good this week with additional 3D games.  As an Apple fan, I am contemplating getting a Zune HD just to see what the big deal is.  Yeah, I'm a gear lover.  I'll still be getting iPhones, Macbooks, etc. 
Palm Pre
  • After the iPhone, I'd get the Pre.  Right now, the Android devices are underpowered and new gears won't be out until 2010 with better insides.  Today, Palm's stock price jumped on rumors that Nokia is looking to take it off the market.  I don't know if Nokia wants WebOS but with a bunch of former Apple guys with access to NOkia's deep pocket and treasure, wow, this would be better than if Dell picked up Palm.
iPhone Platform
  • Not a good few weeks.  Okay, iPhone demand continues to be strong.  Shortages and stuff like that.  Except in China where today, it has sold 30K in about two weeks.  Orange managed that in one day.  But then, I wouldn't get a crippled iPhone either (no Wi-Fi in China).  
  • Oh, and even as it provides a tool for developers to see how their app is doing through the approval process, Apple is facing a new revolt of sort
  • There are now 100,000 apps with over two billion downloads.  
  • Still waiting on the iTablet. Lots of blog chatters about Apple trying to save the print realm.  
ATT Versus Verizon
  • This is interesting.  You know those 3G commercials?  Verizon is doing the same thing that Apple has being doing to Microsoft with the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" campaign.  Alright, maybe VW took some liberty at how it wants to influence potential customers or VW customers looking to jump ship to join ATT.  ATT has decided it would have none of it no more and has sued VW to make them take off the commercials and for damanges.  ATT has a lot to lose as it is rumored that they will lose their iPhone exclusivity in 2010.
  • ATT issued a memo disputing VW's claims.  More at electronista.
  • Again, the commercial is pretty good for its entertainment value.

  • It's never enough.  Nintendo is a cash machine but apparently, it's never enough in a capitalist society.  So, what happened?  Well, I'm thinking the economy has more to do with it but news and blogs are saying it has more to do with the iPhone.  Okay, maybe some but not all of it.  Still, it's been a while since I've bought a Nintedo handheld and I won't be getting it until it's like the DS 2 or something.  The next version of DSi will have bigger screens.  Let's hope that Nintendo decides to bring more than just that.  The iPod Touch is not completing with the DSi or PSP directly because it can do so much more.  But because it can do so much more and by the sheer installed base, it is getting a lot of attention from traditional gaming outfits.  It'll be interesting to see how Nintendo responds.  We already Know Zune is going into Windows Mobile and Xbox mobile gaming is likely just around the corner.  Maybe Nintendo should buy out Palm and add DS gaming to it?  What do you think?
  • Crunchgear doesn't think Nintendo needs to worry about Apple right now.  Not yet.  I agree, for now.  Nintendo, with the recent price cut to the Wii is going into the important Holiday Season with more sales than Xbox, PSP, or PS 3.  
  • See the above Android section.
  • Google just bought Gizmo5.  VOIP with Google Voice.  Match made in mobile heaven.  This is interesting because there were talks that Skype was interested in Gizmo5 until eBay, Skype, and the former owners of Skype settled their disagreement.  Imagine how this works out.  Android devices requiring only data access and calls via VOIP.  
  • More on the Gizmo5 buyout:  Daily Wireless, CNet
  • With the purchase of Gizmo5, look out for blogs and news reports about exploding VOIP markets.  Folks will be jumping on the bandwagon about it.  Take it easy.  Skype isn't going to sit this out.  But love to see Google Voice go at it with Skype.  An Edison-Tesla type of brawl in our time.
  • Chrome OS is coming a lot nicely.  We should see it in the next few weeks.  
  • While we're on Google, CNet has an interview with Google's CEO and made a claim that Docs will be just as good as Office.  About the Docs statement, I don't use OpenOffice for the same reason I don't use Docs as much.  You want to rival Office?  Check out Numbers from Apple.  Go ahead and copy it, Google.  Microsoft said it copied OS X.  So that's okay.
  • This week, it was reported that phone sale growth resumed in the third quarter of 2009.
  • 45 Million smartphones shipped worldwide,  representing a 5% growth. More if you're willing to pay $7000 for the rest of the report at Strategy Analytics.  Yeah, this is all I need to know.
  • Here is a table lifted from IntoMobile.  Nokia is number one, followed by RIM and Apple.  Apple with just two models (and two various of the 3GS) may put a hurt on others next year.  Nokia is in the pole position with 39.3%.  RIM has 20.8% (great growth) with Apple trailing at 17.1%.  No one has has double digit marketshare or growth except folks in the "others" category.  
  • Nokia, mentioned above, in looking to snatch Palm off the market, according to Barron's.  

Here's my thought in all of this.  The ideal situation is each of the mobile giants have an equal share of the market.  That way, it keeps them all honest and their innovation engines running high.

So, this has been what's going on the last couple of weeks in mobility.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Google Wave Invitations

Hello, fellow mobile warriors.

I got my official invitations to Google Wave just today but a friend invited me a couple of weeks ago.

I've got 5 free if anyone wants it. You can email me at: As for come, I'll let folks know.

Update: I've got 15 more, so that makes twenty invitations. I'm just giving them out to Onxo readers you guys are awesome! No strings attached!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free Wi-Fi At Airports Courtesy of Some Rich Tech Companies

Free is good.  And even better is free Wi-Fi.  That's right.  This Holiday Season, Google will be offering free wireless Internet access via Wi-Fi

This will bring a whole lot of goodwill for Google as delays and other airport-related issues are likely to crop up.  So from now until January 11, 2010, you'll have wireless Internet access with your smartphones, mobile devices, and laptops.  And for Seattle and Burbank, your free Wi-Fi will remain free forever!

Why is Google doing this?  Love?  Because they want mobile warriors to get used to the fact that wireless access is here to stay and that we better get used to it!  Well, sort of.  I'm sure they have bigger mobile plans in mind and this is just a started.

In their press release, they're doing this because they know things'll go bad at the airport so this is to help folks stay connected and pass the time.  Here are some details upfront:

  • Google has googles of money to be doing this.  The goodwill will be enormous.
  • 100 Million folks will travel between the 47 participating airports.
  • Boingo Wireless, Advanced Wireless Group, Airport Marketing Income and others are involved. 
  •  Also, "once users log on to networks in any of the participating airports, travelers will have the option make a donation to Engineers Without Borders, the One Economy Corporation or the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. Google will match the donations made across all the networks up to $250,000, and the airport network that generates the highest amount per passenger by January 1, 2010 will receive $15,000 to donate to the local nonprofit of their choice."
  • Here is a list of the 47 airports:

Not to be outdone, Yahoo is offering free Wi-Fi for Time Square starting today.  And for a whole year!  And where is Redmond is all this?  Well, Redmond is working with JiWire to provide free Wi-Fi for folks who use Bing.  Not a bad deal since I already use Bing from time to time.

Oh, and Macworld mentioned a few airports missing from the list that I thought would have jumped at this opportunity - LAX, SFO, and JFK quickly comes to mind.  Some wireless airport outfits charge $10 for a mere 20 minutes of access.  The shame.

One more thing.  Toyota also offers solar-powered Wi-Fi as a part of their Prius promotion using solar trees. You've got to see it.

More at info:

Google Map Shows Where To Get Flu And H1N1 Shots

Here is the link to Google's map that allows you to input your zip or city and state to find out where you can get flu and H1N1 shots.

The link is here.  I think it's prudent for folks to get it.  Of course, I think you should use your personal judgment when it comes to getting the shots.  No, no.  I'm not talking about the voodoo science that's being spread about vaccines.

What I mean is if you're in the priority category, get it.  Pregnant folks (women) and children.  Here are some critical information I ripped from a health site in Orange County, CA.

  • people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age,
  • healthcare and emergency medical services personnel,
  • persons between the ages of 6 months through 24 years of age, and
  • people from ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza complications because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems
  • Approximately 10% of the vaccine supply will be available through Kaiser Permanente to its members (NOW AVAILABLE)
  • More than 1,000 private health care providers will receive vaccine, so check with your provider
  • Many schools, colleges and universities will be offering onsite vaccinations for school children
  • Many Community Clinics will have vaccinations available to the public
  • Several hospitals, cities, community service centers, and the Health Care Agency will be offering public vaccination clinics.
Anyway, there are lines for a lot of the public venue where shots are provided.  Charge up your iPhones, smartphones, and Kindles and be prepared to wait a bit.  And it could save your life as well as those of your love ones.

Monday, November 9, 2009

App For That Term Abused

Last week, I was discuss with some friends in the tech sector about mobile news.  Apple this, Microsoft that, Google and Verizon does Droid, etc.

One of the topic was something that I had a feeling was about to get out of control.  Well, it did today.  You know those Apple iPhone commercials.  The term used often was "there's an app for that".  Well, along that line, bloggers started using it and abusing it.  Then it was used by the Droid campaign from Verizon Wireless (though some said it's Motorola).

Now the great state of Florida is getting into it.  I'll let you watch the video and you'll see how they've even outdone VW and the bloggers.

Pretty cool, eh?  Swipes and pinches included too.

More on this at CNet.

Breaking: Google Just Bought AdMob for $$$

Via CBS Marketwatch, I just found out Google bought AdMob for $750
million in stocks. That's a lot of confidence in the market place for
mobile ads.

AdMob has grown quite a bit with increase in mobile Internet use over
the last couple of years, specifically, with iPhone ads served.

This is certainly a very interest move by Google. There is no more
information at this time. How will this affect the marketplace? Not
much but it certainly gives Google a legs up as it tries to dominate
mobile ad and search.

That's right, my fellow mobile warriors. Mobility is here to stay and
given the vote of confidence Google just placed in mobile, we're sure
to see a lot of interesting developments.

Note: No cash was involved so I wonder if it also means the AdMob
folks also think Google's value will continue to rise.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

T-Mobile Outage A Valuable Lesson For Health And Security Reasons

According to T-Mobile, only 5% of its 40 million-ish subscribers suffered yesterday's outage.  Oh wait, that's 2 million of our fellow mobile warriors.  Anyway, I hope no Onxo readers had to go through that.  I was fine on my G1 and I kept testing it once I found about this little hiccup.

And 2 million of more than 250 million mobile users in the United States is a small hiccup but it is a blip.  According to T-Mobile, the hours-long outage was caused by bad programming.  Or something that to effect.

Over at On Android, I mentioned that I believe it is what it is as T-Mobile said it was.  But because it only affected less than 1% of the mobile market (and most of them might not have known unless they were using their phones at the time), it will quickly be forgotten.  But that's unfortunate as there is much we can learn from this.

It's not a terrorism situation but what if it was?  Everyone talks about how vulnerable our docks, water, electrical grid, and transportation systems are but no one has said anything about our wireless networks.

Sure, we hear stories now and again about cyber threats.  Sometimes it's the Russian mobsters or freelance hackers with ties to the Chinese military.  And we hear about identity threats.  What about attacks against the wireless networks?

After all, these towers are just sitting out in the open.  And forget about the physical attacks on the wireless infrastructure.  I'm wondering about the security of the servers that run these wireless networks.  We don't hear anything about it but I wonder how secured they are against outside attacks?

Further more, as we head into the cold season in the Northern Hemisphere, traditional flu has taken a backseat to H1N1 with even the Department of Homeland Security being asked to help out by issuing federal guidelines for businesses.  One of the recommendations is for workers to use wireless networks should the need arise to work from home.

There's two reasons why mobile warriors need to pay attention.  First, the wireless networks is congested as it is with the FCC trying to figure out what to do about spectrums.  Second, more and more mobile users rely exclusively on their mobile phones or smartphones by forgoing their landlines. that means more people will be using their phones to make calls or tethering the laptops for Internet access.

I just hope that T-Mobile's outage is something the wireless providers pay a lot of close attention to.

Personally, I've got my landline for DSL access as well as my G1 services.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rooting For WiMax

I'm rooting for WiMax. That means rooting for Sprint, Google-Intel-backed Clearwire, and anyone else involved in making equipment and gears to support the 4G network. And that's fine with me. I use Intel chips in my Macbook, I'm recently inducted into the exclusive club of Google Wave, and my first mobile service was with Sprint.

A lot has been said about LTE but WiMax for the moment seems to be taking the lead in global deployment while LTE networks are just beginning to come online. Where WiMax seems to be doing well is in Asia. Why is that significant?

While Western economies try to find their way out of the dark, even with signs of stabilization in the financial market, will still take years before the job market recovers and the masses feel good about their future. As an American, I like to think we're a scrappy bunch and we'll be alright. Still, it'll take time.

Meanwhile, Asian tigers continue to go gangbusters as they rely increasingly on the Chinese economy and less so on an US recovery. And as recovery takes place half way around the world from where I'm sitting, and WiMax is being deployed and demanded, I don't see how WiMax will go easily into the night once LTE networks come online.

Here are some statistics that point to the strength of WiMax and why investments by Sprint and Clearwire could pay off in the US:
  • Motorola shipped its 10,000th WiMax access point (Wireless Weekly). That includes 35 contracts all over the world.
  • WiMax equipment accounts for 40% of growth form the previous year (Daily Wireless).
  • 4 Million customers worldwide with 45 new devices to support them.
  • Android. Yes, not the iPhone. Android's flexibility could be WiMax's salvation and the Google backed OS could allow it to become the number one mobile OS in 5 years. Certainly, early support for WiMax could be a marriage made in heaven for the 4G network and the mobile platform.
  • WiMax now available in Philly and Chicago. Previously, I had complained but understood why Sprint hasn't brought the network to bigger markets. Will, they have and will continue to surge forward, just ahead of Verizon Wireless' own 4G network.
  • WiMax investment now pays off later in more ways than one. Aside from revenue, a software upgrade can turn the whole WiMax network to support LTE protocol.
  • Tech island, Taiwan, will show off WiMax-enabled Taxi.
  • Smartphones are beginning to appear on the market support the WiMax network. For instance, The Samsung Moment sports a 3.2 AMOLED touchscreen, full keyboard, 800Mhz CPU (that means fast!), and all for $179 (IntoMobile). Oh, and it's Android-based.
For folks reading Onxo for a while now, you might notice that I am high on T-Mobile and the iPhone (though I own just about every other mobile devices as well). One, T-Mobile isn't ATT, and iPhone, you have to admit (for those of you who can get pass the Apple biases), is second to none on the market right now. Still, I am not married to the network or platform. As a true mobile user, I'll gravitate towards the gears and tools that can best help me do my work.

And this is why I'm pulling for WiMax. It's likely to have a greater impact than pundits out there are willing to admit (because then they'll have to say they're wrong). Plus, having a competitive network in the world is good for the hundreds of millions of mobile warriors worldwide. And just maybe, we'll also see it in other major US markets even before LTE testing is completed.

And for all that I've said above about WiMax living off Asian nations, the US broadband is still one of the largest in the world and what happens here will matter as it is one large pie for developers, device makers, and platforms to support.

So, root for WiMax even if you're not Sprint customer. And who knows, if WiMax comes to your street, seriously, take a 2nd and 3rd look at it. VW is pushing hard for LTE but that's like a year away. And ATT? Right, 3G is still where they're sitting on right now. As for T-Mobile, well, we all know about the rumors of a Sprint buyout (which would be good because that means more cash for WiMax deployment) or cooperation with Sprint on 4G (which is also just as good because it also means more cash for WiMax depolyment).

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