Despite reports that UMA adoption rates are low, there’s still big bucks to be had, as a recent study by Infonetics Research is claiming that there will be $46 billion in the fixed-mobile convergence market by 2010. Beyond UMA handsets like the BlackBerry 8820, this market includes the network controllers the facilitate the Wi-Fi voice handoff, and residential gateways (like Hotspot@Home). The report is also forecasting a jump from 188,000 FMC subscribers in 2006 to 38.2 million in 2010. We can certainly expect the 8820 to be accounting for a decent chunk of that as it gains steam.
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S4BB has announced an updated version of their Web Video Generator today, including support for the BlackBerry 8130, BlackBerry 8310, and BlackBerry 8820. In a nutshell, the Web Video Generator lets you grab YouTube videos and convert them for playing on your BlackBerry. If you YouTube at all, you’ll know that at any given moment, there are at least one or two clips that are stuck in your head – lucky for those folks, the Web Video Generator is available right over here.
The United States Postal Service has announced that AT&T will be heading up their wireless needs via the BlackBerry 8800. There’s all the obvious e-mail and voice benefits to be had by the move, but USPS is interested in experimenting with some location-based services for tracking personnel and cargo by the 8800’s integrated GPS. 5,400 postal employees get kitted out with the BlackBerrys, with BlackBerry 8820’s to be phased in by the end of the year.
A recent report from Analysys is claiming that European adoption of dual-mode UMA handsets, like the BlackBerry 8820 or the upcoming BlackBerry 8120, is low due to complicated set-up and relative ease of implementing separate land-line and mobile services. UMA handoff, which lets your Wi-Fi pick up voice traffic from your mobile when you’re in range, has been equated to fixed-mobile convergence in general, but this report argues that bundled pricing and shared marketing for mobile and fixed voice services is a more effective way of bringing the two technologies together.
Indian carrier Bharti Airtel is bringing out their own BlackBerry 8820, just in time to butt heads with the competition. The price point for the Wi-Fi-enabled enterprise device rests at Rs. 31,990, matching Vodafone’s price exactly. Once upon a time, Vodafone owned a stake in Airtel, but ditched it in favour or Hutch Essar. With the BlackBerry 8310 missing from Bharti Airtel’s lineup, that decision could very well pay off.
The carrier formerly known as Hutch is now offering both Wi-Fi and GPS to India by way of the BlackBerry 8820 and the BlackBerry 8310. Vodafone is running the show these days, and lately they’ve been enjoying the benefits of Hutch’s acquisition. For anyone interested, the 8310 is going for Rs 24,990 and the 8820 for Rs 31,990.