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Duma Video USA NAB 2012

 Duma Video the low latency, low power MPEG-2 & H.264 encoder & decoder leader for demanding military, industrial, live broadcast, IPTV and IP streaming, Microwave/RF, and multiscreen application markets. We feature a robust, flexible FPGA-based design, supporting up to 1080p60 resolution. Our compact design fits two boxes side by side in a 1U rack, and can be customized to fit up to four. Our product features front panel control, a large high resolution screen, & video playback monitor. Available as hardware & IP. We are looking for distributors.

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Mobile World Congress Conference Agenda MOnda February 27

 

Opening Keynote 1: Mobile Operator Strategies
Join the CEOs of the world’s leading operators as they discuss the strategies that are shaping the mobile industry today and well into the future.
Locations: Auditorium 1
Time: 9:30 – 11:00
Speakers: Franco Bernabè ,Anne Bouverot,Ralph de la Vega,Vittorio Colao,Li Yue

Keynote 2: The Connected Consumer
Join industry leaders from the world’s retail, advertising and mobile companies as they discuss the future of the connected consumer.
Locations: Auditorium 1
Time: 11:30 – 13:00
Speakers: Brian Dunn,John Donahoe,Michael Roth,Ben Wood

Mobile World Live Extra
Mobile World Live Extra featuring Facebook
Locations:
Time: 13:20 – 13:50
Speakers: Bret Taylor

Mobile Cloud: Competitive Landscape
This session will address the challenges that this hyper-dynamic competitive scenario bring to mobile operators as well as the entire ecosystem.
Locations: Auditorium 3
Time: 14:00 – 15:30
Speakers: Robert Marcus,Olaf Swantee,Francisco Varela,Holger Luedorf

Business Transformation: Operators as Agile Businesses
In this session, we examine key success factors, pain points and case studies to help service providers deliver the agility and ingenuity they need to seize business opportunities and maximise their revenues.
Locations: Room 6
Time: 14:00 – 15:30
Speakers: Robert Rich,Ersin Unkar,Jay R Blanc Selva,Martin Creaner,Pat McCarthy,Ben Weintraub,John Dillon

Mobile Applications: The Future of Voice & Messaging
This session will bring together key players in this evolving marketplace to ask whether there has been a shift in the balance of power, and what mobile voice and messaging will look like in years to come.
Locations: Auditorium 2
Time: 16:00 – 17:30
Speakers: Frederic Huet,Kobus Smit,Talmon Marco,Jan Koum,Tom Christian Gotschalksen,Biju Nair,Alan Brenner

Mobile Health: mHealth & The User – Building Trust, Creating Demand
This session will question the extent to which patients and consumers in different markets are ready and willing to use mobile health.
Locations: Room 5
Time: 16:00 – 17:30
Speakers: Nicolaus Henke,Jose Perdomo,Dr Michael Reilly,Christian Lindholm,Josep M. Picas,Martin Kopp

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Keynotes

 


 


In the keynote programme, CEOs and executives from established and new companies in the broad mobile ecosystem will share their insights into the critical global business trends,  growth strategies and technological innovations that are redefining mobile today.

 

Mobile World Live Keynotes

The Mobile World Live keynotes will once again feature the industry’s leading lights, who will be sharing their visions for the future of mobile technology. These special standalone afternoon sessions are a break from the traditional format, and are the only Mobile World Congress conference sessions to be broadcast live over the internet and via Mobile World Live

Featuring Facebook CTO Bret Taylor, Mobile World Live Extra is a special session heading up the Mobile Application stream. This session will be broadcast on Mobile World Live TV and on www.mobileworldlive.comBret will discuss how Facebook is working to enhance the distribution and discovery of applications across mobile platforms.

The GSMA Mobile World Congress and Mobile World Live are proud to host the Ford Motor Company’s executive chairman Bill Ford Jr. in the first of the 2012 Mobile World Live keynotes. During 2011, Ford unveiled a number of prototype and concept technologies that demonstrated the company is already on the path to achieving its vision of the connected future.

Bill Ford’s presence at the 2012 Mobile World Congress will mark the first time Ford executive chairman has delivered a keynote technology speech in Europe. Join this special session to discover how Ford is working towards improving the motoring experience through technology innovation and ubiquitous connectivity and share in Bill Ford’s vision of the connected future.

 

In 2010′s inaugural Mobile World Live Keynote, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt famously proclaimed Google’s new strategy of putting “Mobile First!”

The following year saw Eric Schmidt return to give an update on the meteoric rise of Android and emphasised the importance of LTE and cloud computing to the future of new mobile services and innovative technologies.

Make sure to once again join Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt for what promises to be another excellent and thought-leading contribution to the Mobile World Live keynote programme.

 

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Franco Bernabé, Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia GroupRalph de la Vega, President and CEO-AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, AT&TAnne Bouverot, Director General, GSMABen Verwaayen, CEO, Alcatel LucentWarren East, Ceo, ARMBrian Dunn, CEO, Best BuySunil Mittal, CEO & MD, Bharti Airtel

John Chambers, Chairman & CEO, Cisco SystemsHans Vestberg, President and CEO, EricssonDon Callahan, COO & CTO, CitigroupRené Obermann, CEO, Deutsche TelekomJohn Donahoe, CEO, eBayBret Taylor, CTO, FacebookWilliam Clay Ford, Jr., Executive Chairman, Ford Motor CompanyDennis Crowley, CEO, FoursquareEric Schmidt, Chairman, GooglePeter Chou, CEO, HTCMichael Roth, Chairman & CEO, IPGMichael Abbott, CEO, ISISKevin Johnson, CEO, Juniper NetworksStephen Elop, President and CEO, NokiaRyuji Yamada, President & CEO, NTT DOCOMODane Hesse, CEO, Sprint Nextel

Santiago Fernández Valbuena, Chairman & CEO, Telefonica Latin AmericaJon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor GroupVittorio Colao, Chief Executive, VodafoneJo Lunder, CEO, VimpelComJohn Partridge, President, VisaShi Lirong, President, ZTE

 

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Hoeksteen/CornerStone February Issue

HK Logo

 

Hoeksteen/CornerStone Multicastings

Feb. 25 2011 live from the Nimk (Netherlands Media Art Institute) in Amsterdam 21:00 – 00:00 (C.E.T.)

Politics Economics Culture Communications

Salto1 Cable Television for Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

Real Time Stream htt://Salto.nl

Hoeksteen Mobile http://qik.com/hoeksteen

 

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Mobile World Congress Barcelona Day 3

google-picGoogle backs high-speed network evolution

Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes the rollout of LTE networks and new cloud based services this year will mark the start of a new era for mobile innovation. “LTE will provide the platform for a set of new mobile applications that we can only begin to imagine,” said Schmidt in a special keynote session at Congress yesterday afternoon. Not surprisingly, he positioned Google’s own Android OS as at the forefront of this change. He said that Android phone activations were now running at 300,000 a day with 170 Android-based handsets currently available from 27 device vendors – making it the “world’s fastest-growing mobile platform.” He claimed that such scale made Android a compelling prospect for developers. “Developers think ‘mobile first’ because they know this is where there is scale and growth; they also go where the money is.”

 


HTC handsets storyHTC unveils ‘Facebook’ and tablet devices

HTC announced what Peter Chou, its CEO, described as ““the broadest lineup of phones we have ever announced at one time.” The company unveiled five Android smartphones plus its first tablet device, HTC Flyer. Among the updated smartphone portfolio are two devices (pictured) which feature a dedicated, “contextual” Facebook button, which has been integrated with a number of applications to enable one-touch content upload and sharing via the social networking site. One device, ChaCha, includes a QWERTY keypad as well as a small (2.6”) touch screen, while its sibling, Salsa, is touch-screen (3.4 inch display) only.ChaCha and Salsa will be available in “major European and Asian markets” in the second quarter, and HTC is also working exclusively with AT&T in the US for these products.

HuaweiHuawei unveils new smartphone and the scale of its ambitions

Huawei announced a new smartphone and an updated tablet, both based on Android, in further evidence of the vendor’s ambition to increase its presence in the high-end device market. Speaking to Show Daily, Huawei Device’s chief marketing officer Victor Xu said the company plans to ship “more than 10 million” smartphones in 2011, up from 3 million shipments last year.The vendor’s Ideos X3 is its first smartphone based on version 2.3 of the Android OS, also known as Gingerbread, and has a 3.2-inch screen. Huawei boasts the new handset’s thickness of 11.2 mm makes it “the thinnest handset on the market today”. Comparable handsets from Motorola (12.4 mm), HTC (12 mm) and Sony Ericsson (15 mm) are chunkier than the new model, claims Huawei.

 

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xplace uses Teracue MC-SCREEN in MediaMarkt Netherlands

xplace GmbH, Europe-wide market leader and specialist in digital customer information systems, uses Teracue MC-SCREEN encoders to distribute digital signage advertising signals in HD quality on hundreds of LCD and plasma screens.

xplace’s newest product is currently installed in the TV departments of the Dutch Media-Saturn stores: Instore-TV via IP-TV. It provides digital signage on all available LCD and TV displays. In addition, live TV and videos on demand can be played on all TV equipment in highest HD quality.

This is done by using a video distribution system based on an IP network. Thus a single live video stream can be provided on any number of devices.

The professional production and display of the content which is later sent via the IP network is performed by a SCALA digital signage system.

The production of the live video streams and live distribution of the digital signage content adopts MC- SCREEN encoder by Teracue. The MC-SCREEN software encoder grabs digital signage screen- displays, converts the complete desktop view of the PC into a full HD stream and sends it out into the network (multicast). The displays in the stores receive the HD stream via standard IPTV set top boxes, as the Aminet 130 and 140 series from Amino.

In this case MC-SCREEN is installed directly on the SCALA HD digital signage players. As the MC- SCREEN encoder can be operated directly on the SCALA player, and due to the fact that it is a pure software encoder, a full HD video stream can be produced cost-efficiently and without requiring extra hardware. This is a new step for Digital Signage signal distribution.

About Teracue

Teracue was established in 1991 and currently employs 15 personnel. Development and the marketing of professional Broadcast and IPTV systems through an international network of specialised dealers represent the main business activities of the firm today. Clients include public and private broadcasting companies, corporations, banks, universities, clinics, medical and training facilities, fire services and police centres, aerospace companies, military and other federal organisations. Further information is available at http://www.teracue.com.

About xplace

xplace GmbH with its registered head office in Göttingen is a specialist in interactive customer information systems in retail. With its in-house developed software platform, the company provides a multifaceted information system which is used on digital advertising displays and kiosk terminals. Alongside POS-Terminals, POS-TV and POS-Software the product range includes internet portals, marketing services and hardware. xplace GmbH employs around 130 employees and is represented by sales partners in almost every country in Europe.

The installation of the Instore-TV systems in the Netherlands is part of the Europe-wide rollout of the “xplace Instore-TVs“. In one year over 800 stores in 16 countries were equipped with the product. By the end of 2010 all of the Media-Saturn stores in the Netherlands will be fitted out with Instore-TV via IP-TV. Further information can be found at http://www.xplace.de.

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Satellite Communications Systems from Paradise Datacom

Supplier of satellite communications products and subsystems, Paradise Datacom provides satellite modem and RF products to a variety of satcom technology users located around the world.

Modems & Protection Switches

Evolution modems and switch

Quantum Series

With the advent of the PD155i Satellite Modem/IP Router, Paradise Datacom expands on its repertoir of paired-carrier ready modems. These units, in addition to the PD20, PD20L, PD60 and PD60L modems, allow all the standard features and options of the Evolution Series modems with the addition of the bandwidth savings of DVB-S2 and the ability to overlay the transmit and receive carriers utilizing Paired Carrier1 technology to reduce bandwidth by up to 50 percent.

Vision Series

Paradise Datacom’s 80Mbps Digital Video Broadcast Vision Series Modems are available in IF and L-Band versions. Featuring the best TCP/IP feature set in any DVB modem, these robust 1RU chassis include TCP Acceleration, HTTP Acceleration, Header Compression, Ethernet Bridge, QoS, VLAN Support, IP Diagnostics for all network topologies.

Evolution Series

The Paradise Datacom Evolution Series modem is offered in a 10 Mbps, 25Mbps and 55Mbps configuration, for both IF and L-Band operation. An Open Network/Closed Network Modem, it is fully compliant with IESS-308, 309, 310, 314, 315, offering a range of data interfaces including Ethernet, HSSI and serial LVDS, plus a range of modulation schemes including 16QAM. The Evolution Series Satellite Modem embodies a new concept in modem design. The core of the Modem is implemented with programmable logic, which allows easy reconfiguration to the needs of the user, and provides futureproof flexibility.

The Evolution Modem Redundancy Switch system offers a revolutionary approach to Modem Redundancy Protection by integrating the Backup Modem and 1:N Redundancy Controller into a single unit. The Backup Modem / Controller becomes a 3RU high 19 inch chassis, which incorporates the traffic and overhead interface connectors necessary to support the online Modem group. This low cost and compact 1:N scheme employs proven integrated 1:1 Redundancy technology pioneered by Paradise Datacom.

Simple, Flexible, Powerful

The Modem firmware and software for each modem series is easily upgraded through an Ethernet management port, plus an innovative new menu structure makes configuration a simple procedure. Advanced user interfaces support the display of text in different languages for universal appeal, and a unique Web User Interface offers full remote control and in-depth performance analysis tools using Internet Explorer without special Monitor & Control software.

The Web User Interface available via an embedded web server includes a Receive Spectrum Analyser, a Receive Constellation Monitor, a BER Tester and graphing of Eb/No, Rx Power, BER plus other parameters, using Internet Explorer.

http://www.paradisedata.com/

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Five Steps for Building Transcoding into Your Workflow

 

 

Video producers in the broadcast, film and video production, and web publishing industries are seeking new ways to increase visibility and income from their videos. But each additional revenue opportunity imposes different operational requirements, including new playback software or hardware, delivery platforms, video formats, and other customizations. In some cases, device interoperability will allow the reuse of existing versions of content without transcoding. But with the hundreds of formats and variants in existence today, the majority of video files must be transcoded before submitting them to the chosen recipients.There are a wide variety of factors to consider when bringing transcoding into your workflow. A video workflow may be as simple as converting a file to the right format and delivering it. Or it may be much more complex, involving automated processes from ingest to asset management, asset management to editing, editing to various distribution points, and so forth.But whether the transcoding project is simple or complex – the same questions are relevant. Which format should I use at each step in my workflow? Which wrapper? What settings? When should I switch from a high quality format to a low quality one? Let’s examine some of the technical and procedural considerations you should think about while trying to answer these questions: How can I ensure my files will be compatible with different devices? First and foremost, you must consider device compatibility. This is the whole point of transcoding, making video files that work on the devices or systems you want to support. But even within a video file specification – and especially within broad specifications such as MXF, QuickTime, or Transport Stream – any given system or platform will only support a subset of the full specification. The reason is simple: hardware has limitations, software typically has either limitations or bugs, and from device to device these limitations will be different. You can’t simply assume an “MXF-compatible device” will magically work with all other MXF-compatible devices. You must consider and test device compatibility before designing your transcoding workflow. What information do I need to keep? Once you know what format you need, you should evaluate which information you really need to preserve. For some edit workflows, timecode and metadata are very important to the editing tasks. For other workflows, caption preservation is essential. These details can make or break a video workflow and must be addressed as early as possible in the workflow design process. How will my video file be used? Regardless of your device, different types of video formats are suited for different things. Will your file be used for editing or for transmission? You need to determine how your files will be used before developing a transcoding workflow. How will the chosen format affect video quality? There are other format nuances to consider when designing your workflow. For example, consider a video being transmitted at a constant bitrate (CBR). Typically, CBR files will have “buffer windows” – the period of time during which they guarantee a given bitrate. This window is used to let the player know how much pre-roll (the time between clicking the play button and having the video start) needs to be loaded before playback. Typically transmission methods, end-user experience, or both will determine how much pre-roll is acceptable. However, while a short pre-roll may seem like a desirable thing, it is not always the best solution. Take for example a video where the first second of video is not very complex, perhaps a still frame. But the next second is very complex, like water splashing. The challenge is the encoder must respect the buffer window when encoding! Ideally, the encoder would use some leftover bitrate from the first second to do a good job encoding the second. This will have a direct effect on video quality and can result in dropped frames. As you can see, subtle encoding nuances can have a dramatic effect upon video quality. It is worth considering both your format specifics and the type of content you are dealing with when considering your transcoding workflow design. How fast is my network and how much storage do I have? High quality, editable files are big. You need to understand your file storage limitations and network constraints. Try to pick an archival format that can be read by as many devices as possible. This will ensure that in ten years you won’t be stuck with files you cannot read. Also make sure the video is an appropriate format for how you are likely to use it. How many generations of content exist between start and finish in my workflow? Videos are typically compressed using “lossy” algorithms, which compress video by losing information the eye cannot detect. Every transcode will introduce some loss to your original. The goal is to shorten the path from original to output in all cases. Use original footage directly whenever possible to create final products, rather than having multiple generations of material. Do I need the highest quality or an automated workflow? To get the highest possible quality, you will have to encode everything by hand. Craft encoding software will give you granular control over settings and time-based compression statistics – provided you have someone who knows how to use it. If not, or if you are dealing with a high volume of content, you can set up an automated workflow. The vast majority of televised and web-enabled content is transcoded in this way. This method works because most video formats and workflows have enough bitrate or smart enough tools to maintain high quality through an automated process. What video file formats am I likely to receive? You need to think outside the actual function of transcoding to examine your incoming content. With thousands of devices, phones, edit systems, cameras, and other sources of video, you want the flexibility to support a wide variety of formats if you are planning to accept user-generated content or content from a variety of sources. Getting Started: Five Steps for Creating an Efficient Transcoding WorkflowOnce you have answered all of the questions in the previous section, the following five steps will facilitate the development of an effective transcoding workflow: Test Device Compatibility. Review the devices you plan to use and what formats they support. Test compatibility between devices directly and identify any necessary conversions. If you haven’t chosen devices yet or can’t test them, use the most commonly supported format. Test Various Transcoding Solutions. You need to evaluate a range of possible transcoding solutions from plug-ins to full enterprise solutions. This will give you a sense of what is available, what functionality the tools provide, and how easy the solutions are to use. It is also essential to test these solutions with your own devices. Review What Needs to Be Preserved at Each Step. After choosing a transcoding solution, review your workflow to determine what information you need to preserve between each step. Do you need to keep timecode between your camera and your edit bay? Do you need to crop black and perform inverse telecine before delivering? If so, review your content and tools to make sure you can accomplish these tasks as efficiently as possible. Pick Your Formats and Settings. Finally, choose your formats, tools, and settings. There are a variety of ways to check quality, but the most important thing is to find representative content for quality testing. Test Early and Often! Once you have deployed your transcoding solution, you need to test the entire ecosystem. Driver changes, version updates on devices or platforms, and any changes to your devices may introduce incompatibilities. Make sure you test early and often to ensure that lack of interoperability does not halt your workflow. SummaryIn an ideal world, transcoding can be as simple as converting the original audio/video format to another audio/video format. In a few rare cases, it is that simple. But for the vast majority of cases, transcoding is much more complicated. With careful planning and a logical, step-wise approach, you can design and implement an optimal transcoding workflow.

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Day 2 Mobile World Congress Barcelona

Eight operators connect to WAC

Eight operators connect to WAC platform

Exactly a year on from the formation of the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), today saw eight major operators announce they are now connected to the WAC platform.

China Mobile, MTS, Orange, Smart, Telefonica, Telenor, Verizon and Vodafone are the carriers ready to offer services. “We are looking to add at least another eight operators to the platform this year,” WAC CEO Peters Suh told a press conference at Mobile World Congress.

The early WAC apps are based on the initial WAC 1.0 specification launched last year, while yesterday also saw the launch of the new 2.0 spec, which supports HTML5 web applications with multimedia capability. The initiative promises in-app billing support and user identification in version 3 of the spec, available this coming September.

At a press conference which featured representatives from Vodafone, AT&T, Ericsson (launching a white-label storefront already offered by Telenor), Orange, KT, Samsung and Telefonica, it was COO Julio Linares from the Spanish carrier who was the first to attempt to counter any cynicism from the attending press. “There was a lot of doubt a year ago that so many different companies in the industry could move at speed,” said Linares. “We are all moving at the right speed.”

Other areas of debate at the press conference focused on whether operators with multiple app offerings will begin to merge their stores into a unified WAC service. Vodafone Europe CEO Michel Combes said that its app offerings are now WAC compatible in all its countries, while Telefonica’s Linares noted that the operator has started implementing WAC in its home country of Spain and plans to roll out across all its operations in future.

The representatives were also keen to stress that the 12,000 apps currently available via WAC were focused on both the feature phone and smartphone markets. “We really want to extend apps to feature phones and unlock data usage in that space,” said Vodafone’s Combes.

Meanwhile WAC’s Suh stressed that the initiative has the support of the device community, including Huawei, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and ZTE. In a statement, it was noted that both Samsung and LG “will be further driving uptake of WAC by ensuring that all devices produced by the two companies that are capable of supporting the WAC runtime will do so.”

 

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Mega operators back LTE convergence

Mega operators back LTE convergence

The world of LTE has undergone change with the announcement by a group of the world’s largest operators that they will support and promote the convergence of the two LTE standards, TD-LTE and FDD LTE.

Speaking at the LTE TDD/FDD International Summit in Barcelona this afternoon, the chairmen of China Mobile, Bharti Airtel and Softbank outlined their enthusiastic support for an industry initiative to bring about the convergence of the TD and FDD variants.

Commenting on the formation of the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI), the chairman of China Mobile, Wang Jianzhou, said that converging TD and FDD would bring about an economy of scale that would have support from the global industry.

“The goal of GTI is to align all partners to build a strong and thriving TD-LTE ecosystem, promote the commercial deployment worldwide and provide the most economically mobile internet product.” Wang added that it was very important that the convergence followed a synchronised development path for both TD and FDD-LTE. “Therefore, we’re here today to initiate an open platform for TD-LTE for the global industry.”

These messages were echoed by Sunil Mittal, chairman of India’s Bharti Airtel, adding that the formation of the GTI was a historic moment, but absolutely necessary. “This announcement may put the final nail into WiMAX’s coffin,” observed Mittal.

The success of this planned convergence, according to Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of Softbank, would be due to lower costs and higher speeds. “That’s why we’re supporting TD-LTE for the next generation – it has lower cost, provides higher speeds and is more frequency efficient.”
Son also pointed towards the importance of volumes when it comes to deciding what standard would gain acceptance. “Asia has two-thirds of the world’s population – so you can guess where the biggest volumes will be of the future.”

The GTI, which is designed to run for two years and will work closely with the GSMA and NGMN organisations, also has the support of Vodafone, US WiMAX operator Clearwire, Area2 and E-Plus. Other operators and technology vendors interested in joining the convergence initiative would be welcomed, stated the GTI.

 

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RIM preps LTE PlayBook tablets

After much industry gossip, RIM has made public its plans for adding HSPA+ and LTE capability to its PlayBook tablet. The company confirmed that, in addition to its existing Wi-Fi-enabled  tablet, it would shortly launch a dual Wi-Fi/WiMAX version, and then during the second half of 2011 PlayBooks supporting Wi-Fi/HSPA+ and Wi-Fi/LTE.

The company’s MD for EMEA, Patrick Spence, told Show Daily that the PlayBook was a leap in innovation. “The PlayBook has a dual-core processor that enables it to run a multi-threaded and multi-tasking OS, together with support for Flash, HTML5 and open internet standards.”

“We’re calling the PlayBook the first professional tablet for people that want to get things done.”
Spence claims that many of the tablets available today are very consumption-oriented. “Whereas the PlayBook can be used to create content and allow users to access email within the enterprise. It can also serve as a companion device so that business people don’t need to carry a laptop to remain productive.”

The company said that the PlayBook can support applications such as WP, email, spreadsheet and Powerpoint and effectively replace laptops used by many corporate users. RIM maintained that it had already seen a high level of interest from enterprise customers to replace existing laptops with PlayBooks.

“We think we’ve got a simple proposition with a connection to the Blackberry handset, with the PlayBook’s bigger screen allowing better composition and editing,” said Spence. “This will make the PlayBook more useful than the basic functionality that comes with other tablets.”

While not wishing to release the price of the PlayBook, other than it being competitive, Spence confirmed that the Wi-Fi version would be shipping this quarter in the US, and then becoming available in other markets from the second quarter. The Wi-Fi/WiMAX model will be offered in the US  by Sprint starting this summer.

 

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ZTE launches new flagship Android, aims for the high-end

ZTE took the wraps of a new flagship Android smartphone at Congress yesterday and vowed to ramp up its focus on the “middle to high-end” devices market. EVP He Shiyou told reporters that ZTE had “successfully entered” the high-end markets in Europe and Japan and had also had “breakthroughs” with tier-one operators in the US. He noted that the Chinese vendor shipped 90 million devices globally in 2010, a 50 percent increase over the previous year, citing an IDC study that placed ZTE as a top five handset vendor as a result. Signature models such as the ZTE Blade and ZTE Light are available in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Key to ZTE’s progress has been its ability to sell smartphones at low price points. “We believe that the key to making the mobile Internet widely available is to lower the entry threshold,” said He Shiyou. As part of its new strategy, ZTE said it would “accelerate its expansion of the smart devices portfolio with its latest smartphones, tablets, and Internet box devices, in order to build a comprehensive Smart Information Platform.”

The vendor’s new flagship phone – the ZTE Skate (pictured) – is described as a “fashionably thin and lightweight” 4.3-inch touchscreen Android device. It features an 800MHz processor, HD display and 5-MP camera. It will be available globally from May. ZTE also showcased three new devices in its Light tablet range, including a new 10-inch device based on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) due for launch in the third quarter.

He Shiyou also underlined ZTE’s commitment to the WAC initiative, noting that the vendor will have a number of “open platform products” based on the WAC standards available in the first half of this year. Among its WAC-enabled smartphones is the F952, which ZTE is showcasing this week.

 

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Telstra to launch LTE by year end

=Telstra CEO David Thodey announced at the Mobile World Congress on Monday that the operator will launch LTE in the central business districts of all Australian capital cities by the end of 2011.

Ericsson is supporting the infrastructure upgrade in what is expected to be the first LTE deployment at 1800 MHz.  Sierra Wireless will supply dual-mode dongles that will fall-back to Telstra’s HSPA+ Dual Carrier network outside the new LTE coverage areas.

On Thursday, Telstra will participate in the GSMA-organised seminar to promote the building of an eco-system for HSPA and LTE in the 1800MHz band.  This seminar takes place on Thursday in Hall 2 Mezzanine, Room D.

 

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Microsoft CEO positions WP7 as the choice for operators

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer used his Congress today to position Windows Phone 7 as “the most operator-friendly platform available,” being joined on stage by Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, to trumpet the benefits of the alliance to these partners.

According to Ballmer, Microsoft is “working to ensure that the mobile operators can add value over and above connectivity, distribution and customer service. Windows Phone will continue to be the best place for mobile operators to add value.”

Ballmer’s comments follow recent reports that a number of tier-one operators have expressed concern about the increasing strength of Apple and Google in the mobile ecosystem, particularly with regard to delivering services to high-value smartphone customers. Microsoft is now positioning itself as the best possible alternative to this, aided by the support of the global number one handset manufacturer – with numbers two and three also having WP7 devices available.

Nokia’s Elop underlined this sentiment, stating that the alliance is “good news for operators because we are in the situation where we can actually create that third ecosystem, and create and entirely different situation than was appearing before. This also allows operators to offer more choice to the ultimate consumers, which is important.”

The Nokia CEO also said that: “Nokia has had a long-standing relationship with operators all over the world. We understand what it means to be the most friendly partner for operators.”

While the relationship between Microsoft and Nokia understandably dominated much of the event, Ballmer also made reference to other partners in the Windows Phone ecosystem. “Today we are working hard and we work successfully with OEM partners like Samsung, LG, Dell, HTC – who we have worked with now for about 14 years – and many others to deliver incredible experiences,” he said.

A passing reference was also made to the fragmentation which is becoming apparent in the Android ecosystem: “the Windows Phone platform, like any other platform, will only thrive with scale and variety. And we are going to work with our partners to bring their best innovations into our platform, while also working to ensure that their innovation does not lead to the kind of fragmentation for developers that other platforms in the phone arena are currently experiencing,” Ballmer said.

With devices from Nokia on the horizon, and a “significant” update to the platform scheduled for later this year, Ballmer also talked-up the potential for third-party apps developers. “Additional volumes mean additional returns” for these partners, he noted. Following the launch of the platform late in 2010, there are now 8,000 apps available for consumers.

 

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Twitter must “work like water” on mobile, says CEO

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo used his special keynote address at Congress today to call on the mobile industry to more tightly integrate the social networking service into devices. He claimed that every device on show this week – from the highest-end  smartphone to the least expensive SMS-only phone – was currently capable of supporting Twitter but noted that the experience was often different between platforms. “The experience has to be the same; we don’t want users having to relearn Twitter,” said Costolo, who stated that his vision of Twitter was to make it work like water – “It needs to work the same way in the bathroom as it does in the kitchen. Instantly useful and simple.”

Twitter is using this week to meet with operators and device makers to work on embedding the service deep into devices to create what Costolo called a “single sign-on experience” and closer integration with phone features such as cameras. He noted that 40 percent of all tweets now originate via mobile devices, while 50 percent of all active users access the service via more than one platform.

Costolo also used his address to announce a crowdsource translation platform that will allow users to translate tweets into local languages. The platform will initially support Russian, Indonesian and Turkish languages with Portuguese to follow soon.

Elsewhere, Costolo revealed some impressive stats on recent Twitter usage. More than 4,000 tweets per second were registered towards the end of last week’s Super Bowl, though the record is the 6,000 tweets per second recorded in Japan at midnight on New Year’s Eve.  Costolo said that the spike in Twitter usage during sports events and TV programmes such as Glee in the US and the X-Factor in the UK is proof that Twitter had effectively already created its own advertising platform. “We have become that second [interactive TV] screen,” he said.

 

 

 

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