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Nearly half of Japanese bathe with cellphones March 25, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Lifestyle, Mobile Telecoms.
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Hi-tech mobile phones and leisurely baths are well-known passions of the Japanese, and apparently they’re not mutually exclusive. A survey released Monday showed that 41.2 percent of people in the country have at least once taken their mobile phones to the bathtub to make calls, type e-mails, listen to music or play games.

The practice extends across all sexes and ages, although teenagers were the most likely to have bathed with their phones, according to the poll of 16,250 people carried out by video-game maker Sega.

The most common reason for taking the phone to the tub was to type e-mails, followed closely by listening to music. The survey will come as no surprise to Japanese mobile phone makers, some of which advertise that their handsets are safe for the bath.

Japan has one of the world’s most advanced mobile networks, with nearly 85 percent of users carrying third-generation phones that allow Internet access and other interactive features. Soaking in the bathtub is a nightly custom for many in Japan, where trips to hot-spring resorts are a popular pastime.


Ericsson’s HSPA platform to enable mobile TV, Vlogs September 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Blogging, Mobile Telecoms.
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Ericsson announced its U335 WCDMA mobile platform, the first to enable the introduction of mass-market HSPA multimedia devices capable of new services such as mobile TV, mobile video blogging and other services demanding both high uplink and downlink data speeds.

The Ericsson U335 combines high-speed uplink data with state-of-the-art multimedia functionality at a price level that makes true mass-market consumer devices possible. It differs from Ericsson’s previously announced HSPA platforms, which have focused primarily on network access for PC-card products and high-end feature phones, making the U335 the first platform enabling HSPA devices for all segments on the market.

The latest addition to the mobile platforms portfolio of multimedia platforms, the U335 is expected to become a flagship product by supporting not only higher uplink data speeds than its predecessors but also incorporating several mobile TV standards and advanced multimedia features.

“By enabling mobile TV through MBMS, DVB-H and Unicast, together with outstanding imaging, video and music capabilities in a cost-efficient package, we expect to see many consumer models built on this platform,” said Robert Puskaric, head of Ericsson’s mobile platforms’ unit.

By launching the U335 platform, Ericsson brings HSPA to the mass market almost one year ahead of schedule. Strong R&D efforts, together with the flexibility to adapt to market changes, make this possible, and show why Ericsson is the market leader in the WCDMA segment for independent platform suppliers.

Products built on the U335 platform are expected to be available in volumes in the second half of 2008.

No iPhone shortage this Christmas September 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Apple, Gadgets, Mobile Telecoms.
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Apple’s doubling production to meet demand

There might be queues aplenty on iPhone launch day on Friday 9 November, but there certainly won’t be a shortage of phones.

Sources close to Apple say the company is nearly doubling the number of iPhones it’s making ahead of Christmas from the originally planned 1.54 million, to a staggering 2.7 million.

That’s presumably to meet rising demand from the US following the $200 (£98) price cut in the iPhone’s price there, while also satisfying eager iPhone buyers in the UK, France and Germany.

If the increased production numbers are true, then Apple will have also busted its own stats for the whole of 2007, with 4.8 million phones to be built, compared to the 3.6 million it had originally predicted. Apple says it hopes to sell 10 miillon iPhones by the end of 2008.

Technology proves precious in deadly Japan quake July 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Mobile Telecoms.
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Telephone connections are always among the most vulnerable lifelines in a natural disaster, but technology has turned into a crucial asset in Japan’s latest earthquake.

Japan’s telecom operators, like other companies, suffered damage to infrastructure in Monday’s 6.8 Richter-scale earthquake in central Niigata prefecture, which killed 10 people and injured more than 1,000 others. But the mobile telephone network was quickly repaired, letting survivors and relief workers communicate easily. Japan has more than 100 million mobile telephones in use in a population of 127.7 million.

Telecom giant NTT Corp., whose assistance is often requested by the government even though it is a private firm, installed traditional phone booths in shelters for earthquake victims. Its cellular wing NTT DoCoMo set up machines to charge mobile phones. Japanese mobile operators also have free message boards, accessible in two clicks during a disaster, that let people share information.

“For example, you can write, ‘Everything’s okay,’ or ‘Get in touch with us,’ or any other phrase for your family to see,” said an official at operator Softbank Mobile.

For those who cannot use their thumbs or do not have a mobile, a similar voice-message service for disasters exists on all Japanese telephones, cellular or stationary, by dialing 171. KDDI Corp., Japan’s second largest mobile operator, also offers a service providing radio control and maps in disasters. The service guides the person to the safest route by assessing the region in real time.

“The system works even if the link with the cellular network is cut off as the locations are charted out through the GPS satellite system,” a KDDI engineer said.

At the request of disaster authorities, all mobile telephones sold in Japan since April have come equipped with a GPS receiver, which lets rescue workers trace where a call is coming from even if the person does not know where he or she is. The service was already on many telephones previously, meaning that roughly 30 percent of the mobiles used in Japan can be traced by GPS, or the Global Positioning System.

NTT DoCoMo also recently came up with a special high-tech helmet to be used in times of disaster. The multimedia helmet has a high-speed connection and GPS receiver, along with a lamp, a camera in the front, and a miniature solar panel to power it.

“This equipment would let a rescue worker look automatically and in real time at what’s going on, while allowing complete freedom of movement,” said a researcher of the Tanizawa firm that helped develop the helmet.

Japan experiences about 20 percent of the world’s major earthquakes and has developed an infrastructure to deal with them, including an elaborate system of disaster alerts. However, the latest earthquake caused alarm as it triggered a small radioactive leak at the world’s biggest nuclear plant, situated just nine kilometers (five miles) from the tremor’s epicenter.

Automakers also scaled back production due to damage to a company supplying auto parts. Softbank suffered the worst damage among mobile operators, with 93 sites affected. NTT DoCoMo said that a dozen antennas went out of service and KDDI said that only three were knocked out. But all three companies said that most damage was repaired within days.

Motorola Zante Q900 coming July 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Mobile Telecoms.
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Motorola has revealed more photos and details of the upcoming Q900 cellphone, also known as Zante, which is actually the name of a Greek island.

The Zante name is good for a cellphone because it doesn’t have an actual meaning, it is like what Microsoft did to the their player called Zune.

Anyhow, the good looking Motorola cellphone features the classic sliding keyboard which gives it plenty of style. The keyboard itself seems to be big enough so you don’t press other keys by accident, it has 5 rows and the mighty QWERTY style. The screen is on the QVGA TFT category with the usual 65 thousand colors and measuring 2.4-inches.

On the technical specifications it has: 128MB of internal RAM memory; support of different audio files such as MP3, WAV, MIDI, AAC, ACC+, and WMA.2.5mm; game controllers; and Java. The connectivity options are bluetooth, or for the internet related tasks, EDGE. And if storage capacity is one of your needs, there is one expansion slot to increase the memory to 2GB, thanks to a miniSD card.

As for the Motorola Q900 price, it will cost approximately $270 and it is suppose to become available during October by T-Mobile and Motorola.

Via >Gizmodo