Monthly Archives: February 2009

Back from MWC 2009 in Barcelona

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After a few weeks traveling I am back in KL after the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. I was planning to link any comprehensive report  from the blog-sphere with the highlights from last week, but strangely enough I did not find any. So I will summarize my high level impressions from the show:

  • The news with most press coverage was incredibly the handset that a pickpocket stole from a Telstra exec, with the yet-to-be-released Windows Mobile version 6.5, and loaded with “secret product information”. Is Microsoft using new viral marketing techniques? or was really the show lacking any more striking news?
  • Where are the Android handsets? After more than one year of Android birth many were expecting 2009 MWC to unveil stunning new handsets. But Android devices were missing. HTC only showed  its T-Mobile’s G1. Are HTC, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson and others preserving their weapons for the Xmas season?
  • Still some interesting devices, like LG’s Watch Phone also shown at CES, or the INQ Social Mobile Phone, a web-centric budget phone that got the best mobile phone award. This is a $50 mobile phone optimized to enjoy Facebook, Skype and IM from a mobile, in Om Malik’s words, “chasing what is going to be the biggest trend in the mobile industry: application-specific mobile phones”.  Also grabbed my attention the Texas Instruments’ pico-projectors embedded in mobile phones.
  • There were also major annoucements of large Network contracts with less attention from the general public. The most significant was Verizon’s annoucenment for LTE deployments as early as 2009! Verizon also disclosed their selected vendors, with Alcatel-Lucent as the biggest winner, followed by Ericsson.

In general, less visitors than previous editions,  more sun, a few Lara Crofts in Hall 8, and occasional pickpockets making it into the headlines.

Broadband at 1 Gbps in 2012!!

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Koreans and Japanese enjoy today broadband connections at 100 Mbps. Not being enough, the Korean Communications Commission wants to boost the country broadband infrastructure to provide 1 Gbps service in 2012!!

That  is a tenfold increase from today’s speed and in only three years from now. If the objective is achieved, that increase in performance would even surpass Moore’s Law, initially forecasting doubling of computing performance every 18 months, and shortened by the industry to only 12 months. But Koreans would even go faster with this!

This aggressive objective makes the $6 billion broadband stimulus package of Obama’s administration quite shy, if we are to believe that broadband infrastructure is an asset for the economy to drive innovation and growth.

Quoting Om Malik:

Availability of such high-speed connections has allowed Korea to emerge as a leader in the MMO and online gaming industries. Even higher broadband speeds are going to unveil many new usage scenarios, which can lead to new company creation. […] IPTV is another area of focus for KCC. […]

The efforts are part of giving Korean IT infrastructure a boost, according to KCC. The plan is going to cost about $24.6 billion and will create 120,000 jobs. KCC was established because of the convergence of telecom, broadcast and broadband industries.

Image from JoongAng Daily.