Monthly Archive for July, 2007Page 4 of 19

EU wants to open up 900 MHz beyond GSM

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GavelInteresting news coming straight out of Brussels today via Cellular-News. They’re reporting that the European Commission will has proposed abolishing a 1987 rule which limits the use of the low frequency/cost 900 MHz spectrum to GSM services. Since 1987, European Union rules have set aside the frequencies between 900 MHz and 1800 MHz exclusively for GSM phones, which helped the E.U. roll out mobile phone services cheaply and quickly.

If the commission is successful, telecoms will be able to use the cheaper spectrum for services like video, data streaming and broadband Internet, estimating that the move would cut the costs of maintaining wireless mobile networks by 40% for the industry.

Obviously no word yet on if those savings would be passed onto the consumer (unlikely), but BBCool will keep you informed. The commission expects the measure to be passed into law by the end of the year. What do you think, folks: good move or bad for our friends in Europe?

Comcel deploys Babelfish-like translation tool for BlackBerry

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Babel FishIf it came down to choosing between a BlackBerry-based translation solution and shoving a live fish into my ear, I’d probably choose the former. Thankfully, Comcel, Colombia’s largest carrier, has deployed a solution from US text translation company RantNetwork that allows BlackBerry users to translate both text and images (i.e., the solution works with text from both documents and photos taken by the user) into 20 different languages.

RantNetwork is marketing the tool as a way for people to reduce the barriers foreign language present in their business and personal relationships. Here’s what CEO William Grandizio had to say:

“We have been working for years on mobile applications that will change the way the mobile community approaches situations involving foreign languages.”

If you’re interested in the BlackBerry solution, head here. If you’re interested in the “fish thing”, go here.

BlackBerry Theme Builder speaks out

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Krad's BlackBerry themes are really coolThere’s nothing better than a slick custom theme for your BlackBerry. Ever since RIM allowed users to create their own themes, there’s been a healthy development community within the depths of the Internet busily crafting their masterpieces.

With Plazmic’s Content Developer’s Kit 4.2.2 having just dropped, we thought now would be a good time to step inside a theme builder’s mind and see what it’s all about. Check out theme builder Chunky Munky‘s thoughts after the jump, and feel free to post your own as a comment.

Step into Chunky Munky’s mind…

WorldMate Live beta for BlackBerry announced

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WorldMate LiveMobiMate, a mobile travel service provider, announced today the launch of WorldMate Live for BlackBerry. The solution is an automated service providing frequent fliers with up-to-date flight status and other useful information to their BlackBerry. World-weary travelers can use WorldMate like a personal travel assistant, with customized flight-update alerts, schedules and itinerary, and meeting notifications.

WorldMate Live will be available August 2nd in beta form. Go here for more info.

Orange gets BlackBerry 8820 first

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BlackBerry 8820While our friends in the States are still trying to figure out when AT&T will be getting the BlackBerry 8820, UK carrier Orange beat everyone to the punch and announced the launch of the Wi-Fi enabled device today.

Other than Wi-Fi sexiness, the BlackBerry 8820 features increased MicroSD memory capacity, but sadly, no 3G. No pricing info yet, but you can go here for more details on the device.

Did Apple bamboozle AT&T?

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Bags of Money!We all know that RIM co-CEO, Jim Balsillie thinks AT&T’s strategy with the iPhone is “dangerous”, and we’ve all had a chance to share our piece on the matter. However, recent reports coming from those ever trustworthy financial insiders might open the debate wide open all over again.

Word on TheStreet is that AT&T is paying Apple a bounty of between $150 and $200 per phone — plus $9 a month per phone over the life of the typical two-year customer contract. This is basically an insane amount of money, considering that over a two year period, AT&T is paying Apple the price of an iPhone to have the rights to sell said iPhone for five years exclusively.

While these numbers haven’t been confirmed by either company (and never will be), if the market believes them to be accurate, expect Apple’s stock to reach the stratosphere. While some analysts are stating that this is still a good deal for AT&T, the reality is that Apple’s shrewd negotiating has allowed the iPhone to make them stacks and stacks of money.