Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends
Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month we feature a video blog for mobile videophones, mobile wireless wins for IPWireless, and lots more "video on the go".
User Generated Content: MyVideoBlog
Mobaila announced MyVideoBlog, a service for customers of mobile provider "3" Italia. The service allows users to create a video diary from their 3G mobile videophones by placing a video call to the short code 4380.
The service is a natural outgrowth of a trend Intel told us was important in the Spring of 2001. At our Broadband Home Summit Europe conference, the lights went on for us when Kerstin Schueler (Intel, Germany) talked about how "consumers will fuel the digital content spiral" with their photos, their music and their videos which are increasingly coming from their digital cameras, MP3 players and other consumer devices.
Broadband Wireless: There's More Than WiMAX
With all the emphasis on WiMAX development and its potential for providing mobile broadband wireless services, it is worth noting that non-WiMAX vendors have been getting a string of broadband wireless wins around the world. Examples of recent IPWireless wins include:
- supplying equipment to Alcatel for netZAP's commercial expansion of its UMTS TD-CDMA Network in Jakarta. The network is scheduled for completion before year end with service going live in January 2006.
- providing technology used in "Neltes tinklas", which launched their wireless broadband access network in Lithuania. It supports full mobility and data transfer speeds of up to 3 Mbps
- powering the T-Mobile CZ network recently deployed in Prague.
- IPMobile, which plans to introduce data communications services in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka in October of 2006, is basing them on UMTS TDD technology.
A Facelift for Video Services
After last year's Consumer Electronics Show, we wrote "What was big at CES? Our answer is the dawning of Video-on-the-Go". Many announcements this year have borne that out, including a raft during the past few months.
Video content sources and their means for getting to viewers keep expanding. A few of the latest include:
- EchoStar recently launched its PocketDish portable video player. Their press releases concentrated on a comparison of their device with Apple's video iPod. Both have 30-Gigabyte hard drives and provide video, music and photo storage.
- TiVo, the maker of digital video recorders, announced a feature which lets TiVo owners watch recorded television shows on Apple's video iPods and on Sony's handheld PSP game machine. Previously TiVo had announced its release which allows users to transfer programs to PCs, DVD's, and portable video players that support Microsoft's mobile video format.
- Maybe instead of skipping that commercial you want to view it? TiVo plans to offer an advertising search solution in Spring 2006. The new product will deliver targeted advertising to subscribers that want to view particular advertising categories like automotive, travel, telecommunications, and consumer packaged goods.
- Movielink, a joint venture of five Hollywood studios to offer movies over the Internet, has signed a deal with Twentieth Century Fox, allowing it to offer movies from all major studios for the first time.
- Lime, a media company devoted to lifestyle programs on subjects like organic food, hybrid cars and alternative medicine, has started a Web site featuring a collection of blogs, podcasts of radio shows and many video clips drawn from its TV programming via Wisdom Media Group. It is already sending text programming to mobile phones and will add video offerings shortly.
- AOL made an arrangement with Brightcove of Cambridge, Mass. that will allow almost any producer of video content to distribute programming on its service and split revenue from advertising or fees. Users will find the programs through AOL's video search feature, which offers an index to video clips on the Web.
- Verizon Wireless has agreed to use Qualcomm Inc.'s MediaFLO network to broadcast live TV to cell phones in about half of the markets already covered by its CDMA EV-DO high-speed wireless service. The service is set to launch commercially in late 2006.
- NBC Universal has become the second network to sell television shows a la carte on Apple's online iTunes store. More than 300 episodes from about a dozen prime time, cable, late-night and classic TV shows are now available for $1.99 apiece, viewable on computers or downloadable on the latest, video-capable iPod.
- Sprint Nextel announced a deal with vendor MSpot to offer full-length movie and TV downloads to mobile phone subscribers for a flat fee of $6.95 per month.