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CTIA: In Case You Missed It

The many announcements at CTIA were mostly content-related, and mostly fun. Here is a sampling:

* Sprint Nextel continued its support of a multidevice, open-access world. The growth in wireless so far has been in handsets, but theres another industry looking to enhance the devices that are in peoples lives, said Sprints senior vice president of operations, Atish Gude. The consumer electronics numbers are staggering 62 million portable entertainment devices, 42 million imaging devices. Every car is a consumer electronics device. The phone, he noted, is a Swiss Army knife but is a master of voice. As networks are built like WiMAX ¬ which promise ubiquitous, broadband connectivity consumer electronics devices purpose built for media consumption and image capturing will become wirelessly enabled and targeted to business and personal users alike.

All information will be digitized, said Gude. The sum total of all information, past, present and future, will be in the cloud, and that great repository of information will be made available anytime, anywhere, on any device. Its game-changing.

* mSpot, a mobile music and radio enabler that works with Sprint, Alltel and others, announced it has reached 2 million subscribers, doubling its base in six months. Two of the companys latest services are Make-A-Ringer, which allows users to legally crop snippets of songs to customize ringtones, and Remix, which allows users to synch their phones over the air with their PC to sideload music wirelessly. It also announced a new partnership with Def Jam music.

* VeriSign Inc. has teamed with Bamboo MediaCasting to create a mobile pod cast service and delivery bundle, called VeriSign Mobile Media Cast. It also announced it has integrated the KickApps social media plaform into its Social Media Solution, which enables Web publishers, media companies and individuals to create their own social networking sites. We are focused on interoperability between operators as well as between applications and operators, explained Chirag Bakshi, vice president of wireless messaging at VeriSign. Enabling this within the mobile environment will give rise to entirely new business models.

* NetMotion Wireless has certified the Mobility XE VPN product for use on Windows Mobile 6 devices. The application optimizes all connections available to a device, behind the scenes, allowing users to pass in and out of wireless coverage areas.

* M2M operator and MVNO KORE Telematics has announced a new suite of voice offerings for the telematics marketplace. ASPs and channel partners will now be able to embed and manage voice technology into their M2M applications for low-use applications. For instance, voice can be used in the event of an emergency to call a dispatcher or call center, or gives the ability to speak with patients during health care monitoring, or can enhance building security applications when it becomes necessary to check on occupants.

* Alcatel Lucent is getting hip and hosting a contest for regular consumers to envision and design wireless devices and applications. These consumers, however, need to be residents of Second Life, the virtual reality social networking site. ALU is providing a sandbox area so peoples avatars can use tools and materials to design their creations.

* Virgin Mobile USA Inc. has introduced Studio V, for creating and sharing graphics and ringtones, rewarding users for creativity. Other users can purchase original creations, and a cash reward goes to the creator. The service is free.

* StreamServe, first announced at CTIA in the spring, said its social media platform is now commercially available. Designed to be white labeled by operators, the platform gives individuals the ability to create social networking sites with mobile interoperability, for text updates to profiles, mobile chat, and so on. The platform allows integration with Facebook and MySpace, among other Web 2.0 communities, or can be used to create individual communities. The functionality creates a lot of traffic and text message revenue for carriers, explained Mikael Vinding, CEO at StreamVerse. Eventually advertising opportunities will be there too.


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