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!

China Mobile doubles investment in wireless data networks
BEIJING-China Mobile will double its investment in wireless data networks and GPRS this year, but reduce its investment in GSM networks. The forecast was made by CCID Consulting, affiliated with China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII), at its 2003 China IT Market Forum held in Beijing on 18 February. China Unicom would also reduce its investment in GSM and concentrate on the CDMA network. CCID Consulting expects the number of Unicom’s CDMA subscribers to increase to 34.4 million in 2004 and 59.7 million in 2005. The country’s total number of mobile-phone subscribers would grow by 60 million this year to 270 million. … Read more

Content companies come to play at 3GSM
CANNES, France-Although much of the industry’s attention was on big-name carriers and equipment makers, wireless content providers also managed to make waves of their own during the 3GSM World Congress. Wireless technology company End2End said Vodafone Egypt will use its content platform to offer application download services. End2End’s technology will power the Vodafone live! offerings of polyphonic ring tones, color content and Java downloads. Separately, Java application publisher Tira Wireless said European carrier MmO2 will carry the company’s applications through its new Revolution service. … Read more

T-Mobile UK subs can send texts to non-GSM subs in the US
CHANTILLY, Va.-Wireless interoperability company InphoMatch said T-Mobile customers in the United Kingdom will now be able to send text messages to non-GSM wireless subscribers in the United States. InphoMatch manages the text messaging interoperability agreements for T-Mobile USA Inc., as well as a variety of other U.S. carriers. The deal with T-Mobile in the United Kingdom is part of a larger industry effort to create systems to allow international text message interoperability. … Read more

Connect your phone! … to your computer
LEVALLIOS, France-Motorola Inc. will use software from BVRP Software in its mobile phones to allow users to connect to their personal computer using a cable, infrared or Bluetooth wireless technology. The first Motorola phones to use BVRP’s Mobile PhoneTools software will be launched throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia in early April. … Read more

Qualcomm tests GSM 1X with China Unicom
The issue with U.S.-based Qualcomm has never been whether it has great technology, but whether its technology can make great market strides. Stalked by what industry watchers call either envy or sheer dominance of GSM-based technology, Qualcomm has had to combat GSM’s increasing global footprint. But with Qualcomm’s announcement of its GSM 1x solution trial with China Unicom, the company expanded its potential to bring GSM operators and subscribers within the coverage of its CDMA technology. The beauty of this solution is that it will encourage handset manufacturers to roll out dual-mode CDMA/GSM handsets, said Kimberly Kleber, director of product marketing at Qualcomm. However, Kleber admitted the success of the solution depends on whether and when handset vendors produce dual-mode phones for the technology. She said the CDMA protocol has enough traction in North America, China and Southeast Asia to attract handsets that will use the solution. Japan also is a potential market as one of the protocol battlegrounds, with KDDI supporting CDMA and NTT DoCoMo backing GSM and UMTS technologies. Kyocera, Sanyo and TCL Mobile said last year they plan to make dual-mode handsets. Kleber said it requires only a simple software upgrade and the use of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards. … Read more

Qualcomm BREWs up international momentum
SAN DIEGO, United States-Qualcomm increased its wireless footprint with announcements in China and Japan. In China, the CDMA proprietor signed a joint venture with China Unicom to foster the development of BREW-based CDMA wireless data applications, splitting the ownership between both companies. “With the outstanding value-added services enabled by BREW, CDMA subscribers in China will now be able to experience the brilliance of the CDMA network,” said Yang Xianzu, chairman of China Unicom. In Japan, carrier KDDI introduced BREW-enabled services ranging from games and entertainment to business, productivity and location-based applications. … Read more

Sound quality drives number of calls, churn
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.-In a recent survey of 450 active mobile-phone users nationwide, 72 percent of respondents said they would take and place more calls in noisy environments if voice and sound quality were improved. The survey also found that 61 percent would consider switching mobile carriers to obtain better sound quality on their calls, and 25 percent said they would pay more for it. … Read more

Nokia’s first camera phone comes to the US
HELSINKI, Finland-Wireless users in the United States will soon get to try out Nokia Corp.’s first camera phone for the U.S. market, the 3650. The company said it is shipping the device in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. “Bringing the Nokia 3650 to markets such as North America, reflects Nokia’s determination to offer a superior mobile imaging experience for a wide base of consumers,” said Juha Putkiranta, senior vice president of Nokia’s imaging business unit.

BlackBerry goes beyond black
TORONTO-Research in Motion (RIM) is expected to soon add color to a new line of low-cost BlackBerry handheld computers, according to analysts that follow the Canadian company. Last week, at a trade show in Cannes, France, RIM displayed a new model of the BlackBerry, the 6200 series. It was a smaller version of the standard BlackBerry, with a blue casing rather than the standard corporate black casing. As well, RIM showed off a prototype BlackBerry with a color screen. All BlackBerrys now have monochrome displays. RIM has not yet publicly announced plans for color models. But analysts said they expect the new color units to hit the market about mid-year. They believe the new 6200 series BlackBerry could sell for less than C$200 (US$134) after discounts from carriers. Users currently pay in excess of C$700 (US$469) for a full-featured BlackBerry. … Read more

18 million camera phones sold in 2002
BOSTON-Research firm Strategy Analytics said 18 million mobile phones were sold last year with integrated digital cameras, with Nokia Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. taking the lead in the market. The firm said 13 million camera phones were sold in Japan last year, with Vodafone’s J-Phone taking the lead. Nokia accounted for 91 percent of all GSM camera phone sales last year, while Samsung controlled 24 percent of CDMA camera phone sales. “Japanese vendors like Sharp and Toshiba are leveraging their experience to gain a wedge into the infantile camera phone market in Europe and North America,” said David Kerr, the firm’s vice president. … Read more

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

The post #TBT: China Mobile doubles down on wireless data; Nokia’s first US camera phone; BlackBerry, beyond black … this week in 2003 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.


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