Home   News Index   2005 Wireless News   2004 Jan. to June Wireless News

July to December, 2004, Wireless News

December, 2004

Radio waves from mobile phones 'alter human DNA'

But the European Union-funded Reflex research did not prove such changes were a risk to human health. A spokesman said the study had not shown the biological changes led to disease. Around 1.5 billion people around the world use mobile phones.  Full Story  BBC News_ 12/21/04


Mobile phone users worldwide double since 2000; China, India and Russia lead the way

Mobile phone subscribers around the globe totaled nearly 1.5 billion by the middle of this year, about one quarter of the world's population, the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said. Mobile phone subscriber growth outpaced fixed lines, which totaled some 1.185 billion today against 1 billion at the start of the century, and was also outstripping the rate of increase in Internet users. Reuters_ 12/9/04

October, 2004

US cell firms OK technical standards for multimedia messages sent over mobile phones

The common standard for multimedia messaging should enable mobile phone users to exchange photos, video and audio clips just as they do e-mail, regardless of their wireless carrier. The standardized service won't go into effect until wireless companies negotiate terms to deliver "outside" messages to their customers. The lack of interoperability is seen as a key stumbling block toward wider usage of each individual carrier's multimedia offerings -- and increased wireless data revenues for the companies.  Full Story  AP/MSNBC_ 10/29/04

TV-B-Gone: Inexpensive remote zaps off any TV in public places like restaurants

San Francisco entrepreneur Mitch Altman's invention is creating an internet buzz and already has sold 2,000, the entire first production run. The gadget works by emitting every known set manufacturer's signal to shut down. In his daily experiments in stores and elsewhere, Altman said, few people have objected. Is Cellphone-B-Gone next?  Full Story  Los Angeles Times_ 10/21/04 (logon required)

Ultrawideband: The once-secret military technology is Wi-Fi on steroids

The new type of high-speed wireless connection that promises downloaded data rates of up to 1 gigabit per second -- roughly 18.5 times the speed of Wi-Fi -- to personal computers and other devices. Upstream data can be sent at 480 megabits per second. The technology has won support from big chip companies like Intel Corp., Texas Instruments Inc. and Motorola Inc. spinoff Freescale Semiconductor Inc., as well as smaller players like Pulselink, Israel's Wisair and San Diego-based Staccato Communications. Electronics giants Sony Corp., Philips and Panasonic are also embracing the technology. Full Story  Reuters_ 10/11/04

September, 2004

African leaders seek global donations to help people in poor countries buy mobile phones, computers

President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal said cell phones and Internet access are steps out of poverty and into economic growth. The new fund, pooling voluntary contributions solicited from buyers of high-tech goods in wealthy nations, will be launched in Geneva on Nov. 17, Wade said.  Full Story  Reuters 9/22/04

Israeli defense electronics block unwelcome cell phone calls in Mexico churches

Four churches in the northern city of Monterrey are using equipment made by Israeli telecoms equipment firm Netline Communications Technologies to block incoming calls during masses. The Tel Aviv-based company was set up in 1998 by former military and defense industry specialists to develop mobile telephone jamming systems, mainly for the security industry. An official at one church said the jamming is so successful they're getting calls asking for information from churches all over the country.  Full Story  Reuters_ 9/21/04

New German mobile phone to detect bad breath

The phone will use a tiny chip measuring less than one millimeter to detect unpleasant odors, a spokeswoman for Siemens Mobile said. A research team in the southern city of Munich is developing the device using new sensor technology.  Full Story  Reuters_ 9/21/04

Motorola Inc. to invest $90 million in a new research facility in Beijing as the U.S. mobile phone maker fights to wrest back top position in the domestic handset market

The world's second-largest cellphone maker expects the research and development center to focus on phone design and user interfaces in a volatile market expected to be worth more than $8 billion this year. The move is part of the Schaumberg, Illinois-based company's plans to consolidate its North Asian headquarters in a sleepy Beijing suburb. Full Story  Reuters_ 9/10/04

Wireless technology to rival cable, DSL - Intel

The emerging wireless communications technology called WiMAX, which can blanket entire cities with high-speed Internet connections, will rival DSL and cable as the preferred way to connect homes and businesses to the Internet, Intel Corp. says. Intel has begun shipping samples of WiMAX chips to customers and has committed to building WiMAX into its Centrino notebook computer chips starting in 2006.The company stands to profit if customers also back WiMAX, since Intel likely would become a lead supplier.  Full Story  Reuters_ 9/7/04

Wi-fi nets get security makeover
Wireless security systems have had an overhaul and do a better job of letting only authorised users join wireless nets. The improvements have been made to re-assure businesses that wi-fi networks can be made safe enough to be really useful and widely deployed.  Full Story  BBC_9/4/04


Pace for wireless number switches quickens
The number of U.S. wireless subscribers who are switching providers while keeping their telephone numbers is accelerating, the Federal Communications Commission said on Friday. The FCC is expected to recommend cutting the time it takes to transfer a number between a wireless and land-line phone to two-and-a-half days from the current four days.  Full Story _Reuters 9/3/04

For about $10 million, Philadelphia officials believe they can turn all 135 square miles into the world's largest wireless Internet hot spot
The ambitious plan, now in the works, would involve placing hundreds, or maybe thousands of small transmitters around the city -- probably atop lampposts. The network would deliver broadband Internet almost anywhere radio waves can travel -- including poor neighborhoods where high-speed Internet access is now rare. And the service would either be free, or far lower than the $35 to $60 a month charged by commercial providers, said the city's chief information officer, Dianah Neff.  Full Story  AP/CNN_ 9/1/04

Verizon Wireless offers consumers a worldwide phone

The phone from Samsung Electronics is designed to work on mobile networks around the world. The U.S. wireless venture of Verizon Communications introduced the phone so that Verizon customers can begin use Vodafone's network services when they travel in Europe and Asia.  Full Story  Reuters_ 9/1/04

August, 2004
Intel Corp. seen readying new Wi-Fi chip to ease congestion on wireless networks
Intel is expected to announce the availability of a "tri-mode" Wi-Fi chip that supports the two most popular wireless data technology varieties -- 802.11b and its speedier cousin, 802.11g -- and the less-used 802.11a. Intel's current chips support only the "b" and "g" varieties. Tri-mode Wi-Fi chips are expected to become prevalent, allowing computers to automatically connect to the best available network.  Full Story  Reuters_ 8/23/04

Business travelers to surf the Web securely on long-distance flights by combining services from Boeing Co. and iPass Inc.
Redwood Shores, California-based iPass, which makes software that connects travelers to their offices from remote locations, said corporate customers will be able to connect to the Web on planes within six months using wireless links from Boeing. Northern Sky Research predicts the airborne internet market could grow to between $200 million to $300 million by 2008 from roughly $5 million to $10 million this year. So far Boeing only provides Internet links on a few long-haul routes for German carrier Lufthansa's but it said seven airlines have plans to outfit their planes.  Full Story  Reuters_ 8/22/04


New York set for citywide wireless access. Not all city dwellers are happy about it.

New York City is on the verge of going fully wireless, according to a deal being finalised this month between authorities and a group of six technology companies. More than 18,000 new lamp post-based antennas will be installed to strengthen wireless cell coverage around the five boroughs.  The companies will pay the city government around $25 million each year. However, in the borough of Queens, local activist John Campos has set up a protest group to lobby for what he describes as a more responsible placing of wireless transmitters and antennas.   Full Story  BBC_8/21/04

Wireless net to get 10-fold speed boost

Competing technology groups are proposing different ways to speed up the data rates of wi-fi which could reach 540 megabits per second. The battling technologies, called WWise and TGn Sync, are being assessed by the US Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) which oversees developments to wi-fi technology. Full Story  8/15/04

July, 2004

Motorola has fix for GPS flaw on some phones

Motorola Inc. said a software glitch is hampering the use of global positioning services on some cellular phone models sold by Nextel Communications Inc. Motorola said the problem was traced to a flaw in the interface between the handsets and a software module from SiRF Technology Holdings Inc. Motorola said the flaw was not caused by the SiRF software, and the two companies were testing a fix that would be deployed as soon as possible. Customers use the A-GPS service for things like downloading weather updates and locating vehicle fleets.   Full Story  Reuters_ 7/21/04

AT&T Wireless launches fast data networks
AT&T Wireless launched high-speed 3G data networks Tuesday in Detroit, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle that will give mobile users Internet broadband-type services. The company has invested $200 million in 3G UMTS (Third Generation Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service) networks, which it said it also plans to introduce in Dallas and San Diego by the end of the year.The networks will run at speeds of 220 kilobits per second to 320 kbps.  Full Story  CNN _7/21/04

Lucent signs $5 billion pact with Verizon Wireless
Lucent Technologies Inc. has signed a contract worth at least $5 billion to supply equipment, software and services to help Verizon Wireless improve its network, the companies announced.  The contract includes a $525 million March pact for Lucent to supply Verizon Wireless with network gear for high-speed Internet services. Lucent said it will supply software, network gear and services to improve the coverage and capacity of Verizon Wireless' voice and data services.  Full Story  Reuters_7/13/04

FCC OKs spectrum swap by Nextel
Verizon objects to deal
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday unanimously approved a plan to solve interference with public safety radio networks by moving some of Nextel Communications Inc.'s mobile phone spectrum to another band. Competitor Verizon attacked the move as a boon to a carrier that has caused interference to public safety agencies. Full Story   _IDG News Service 7/8/04

T-Systems, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, aims to make worldwide WiFi as easy as phone calls
T-Systems is linking 10,000 locations for wireless computer access and aims to connect half of the world's public hotspots to a seamless network, it said. Subscribers of one service can log onto any of the other 120 participating services and pay one bill at the end of the month, similar to the international roaming agreements between cellular operators. The number of public hotspots worldwide is expected to grow to 135,000 by late 2006 from some 35,000 at end-2003, according to estimates by Datamonitor.  Full Story  Reuters_ 7/6/04

Are remotes out of control?
The average American household has four remotes, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. The latest models require technological bravado, are expensive, or don't work as expected. "I think it's scandalous how little the people who design these things seem to keep in mind that people don't know it by heart as they do," said 90-year-old Robert Adler, who designed the first TV remote control 50 years ago.   Full Story  AP/CNN_ 7/2/04

European Commission demands more wireless R&D
The European Commission says that the EU must improve its commitment to R&D as well as strengthen its patent laws to foster a competitive mobile data sector. A European Commission communication, entitled "Mobile Broadband Services," outlines the challenges the Commission has identified in this area, including the inter-operability of devices and the requirement for patent protections, particularly for content services with a high added value. Full Story  The Register_ 7/1/04

 

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