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#TBT: You want Wi-Fi with that?; ‘The Simpsons’ goes wireless; local number portability showdown … this week in 2003

Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!


You want Wi-Fi with that?

BOSIE, Idaho-Public broadband service provider Wayport Inc. launched Wi-Fi service in a dozen McDonald’s restaurants in the Boise, Idaho, area, providing customers with high-speed wireless Internet access. The launch is one of six U.S. Wi-Fi tests McDonald’s is conducting this year and follows up previous launches in New York, San Francisco and Chicago … Read more

Color screens, cameras are the hot features driving new phone sales
A new report shows the mobile-phone industry could hit almost 500 million shipments this year, a number driven by demand in emerging markets in Asia and Latin America and sales of color- and camera-enabled devices. “We see positive signs from vendors and carriers that this growth has the stamina to continue through the volume Q4 holiday season,” said Strategy Analytics in its assessment of the mobile-phone industry’s stellar third quarter. The firm found the global handset sell-in numbers grew at a 23 percent annual rate in the third quarter of this year, up from an 11 percent increase in the previous quarter. Due to such rapidly increasing sales, the firm raised its 2003 sales predictions to 492 million units. The firm found Nokia Corp. lost some market share, although it maintained its lead in the market, while Motorola Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. gained some market share. Strategy Analytics also found LG Electronics Co. Ltd. edged past Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications for the No. 5 slot. In a separate study, research firm Allied Business Intelligence found sales of color screen mobile phones and other advanced devices picking up-another good sign for the industry. The firm also said sales of smart phones will continue to grow, predicting the smart-phone market will hit 150 million units by 2008 … Read more

AT&T follows up American Idol texting contests with … NFL players?
LIBERTYVILLE, Ill.-Following its successful text messaging campaign with the “American Idol” TV show, AT&T Wireless Services Inc. announced a new text messaging promotion for football fans. AT&T Wireless and Motorola Inc. announced they teamed with the NFL to conduct a TEXTDown promotion, allowing fans to place votes for their favorite players in the quarterback, running back, wide receiver, defensive end, outside linebacker and cornerback positions through text messages. … Read more

Hi-diddly-ho, neighborinos! “The Simpsons” is going mobile
LAS VEGAS-The Fox TV network is planning a major new wireless effort centered on one of television’s most well-known families-the Simpsons. Homer, Marge and the rest of the cast of the hit animated series will soon make the jump to wireless, said Jim Beddows, Fox’s vice president of wireless entertainment. The company plans to sell a variety of “Simpsons”-themed wireless services, including ring tones, wallpapers and games, starting in the fourth quarter. The effort highlights the expanding nature of the wireless data market. As wireless services and technologies evolve, Hollywood companies and other content providers have begun entering the wireless market in greater numbers. Fox worked with “The Simpsons” writers and animators to create specialized content for its wireless offerings, Beddows said … Read more

Bonds for rural broadband? 
WASHINGTON-The Telecommunications Industry Association voiced support Wednesday for new legislation to foster funding of high-speed Internet access for distance learning, telemedicine and other programs in rural America. The Rural Renaissance Act is sponsored by Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.). “This legislation is visionary in its approach to ensure that Americans in even the most rural settings can access the same broadband capabilities that most businesses and citizens in urban areas can access today,” said TIA President Matthew Flanigan. “The $50 billion this measure seeks to raise through the selling of bonds is a resourceful way to fund network development in rural areas … Read more

Local number portability was the policy issue of the day
WASHINGTON-It ain’t over ’til it’s over, and state regulators are not giving up until they are sure the wireless industry cannot succeed in delaying the Nov. 24 mandate to implement local number portability. “The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners will remain vigilant. The wireless industry has already pulled off a double hat trick in delaying LNP until now; we do not want them to get a triple hat trick,” said James Bradford Ramsay, NARUC general counsel. The opponents and proponents have been scrambling all over Capitol Hill in an attempt to either delay or thwart the delay of WLNP until after the holiday shopping season. As of Thursday, Ramsay’s side appeared to be ahead as one of the staunch supporters of a delay, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters that he does not support a delay at this time. He is instead waiting for a response to a letter he sent Tuesday to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to issue rules on wireline-to-wireless portability. Stevens spoke to reporters outside a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the universal-service system … Read more

Bluetooth shipments hit 1 million per week
Countering claims that the technology has yet to gain a foothold, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group reported shipments of the short-range wireless technology exceeded 1 million units per week worldwide during the third quarter, according to Bluetooth semiconductor volume tracking service provider IMS Research. The Bluetooth SIG said the growth was significant because the general consumer audience is still largely unaware of the technology that is becoming increasingly standard in a number of consumer electronics, including mobile phones, headsets and personal digital assistants. Bluetooth SIG Executive Director Mike McCamon also attributed the growth to the organization’s Five Minute Ready program, which was launched last December and has been criticized by some analysts as too time intensive for consumers. McCamon acknowledged that while five minutes may be too long a time frame for consumers to set pair Bluetooth devices, it was an important initiative at the time to focus Bluetooth product developers on the importance of usability … Read more

3G services boost Japanese operators’ revenues
TOKYO-Japanese operators NTT DoCoMo Inc. and KDDI Corp. posted first-half results, with both operators achieving strong results boosted by third-generation services. NTT DoCoMo posted an operating profit of $5.5 billion in the first half of its fiscal year, although its operating revenues were up 6.4 percent. The decline in operating profit was due to an increase in marketing for its FOMA 3G service. The operator said it is still on track to achieve a record full-year profit.To that end, the operator raised its target number of FOMA subscribers by the end of March 2004 to 2 million from 1.5 million. The operator had more than 1 million 3G subscribers at the end of September … Read more

 

Check out the RCR Wireless News’ Archives for more stories from the past.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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