Feeds

GSMA talks up embedded phones

Competition to get the price down

The Power of One Infographic

The GSM Association has launched a competition to encourage smaller and more standard embedded 3G modules - all in the name of getting us to own more telephones.

Now that everyone has a mobile phone the GSMA is increasingly focused on getting us to own several, but with punters remarkably unwilling to carry more than one handset the idea is to embed mobile telephony into gadgets and devices: bringing connectivity where none was previously available, or wanted, or (in many cases) needed.

The competition is open to anyone who can manufacture an embedded 3G GSM module, with optional 2G compatibility and (ideally) a PCI interface: entries to be received by the first of October (details in pdf). The GSMA isn't offering much in the way of prizes, beyond introductions to member companies - though the value of that shouldn't be underrated - and lots of exposure including at the conference formally known as 3GSM* in Barcelona next February.

The idea of all this is to get some economy of scale to encourage the push into cars, health-tracking gadgets, and meters monitoring our use of electricity and gas; as well as embedded in our TVs and videos. Everywhere you might conceivably consider putting Wi-Fi is ripe for an embedded mobile phone, according to the GSMA, which is why everyone will be wanting a femtocell to carry all that traffic.

There is precedent here - many cars, and satellite navigation systems, already embed a mobile telephone to download updated information and report accidents. Amazon's Kindle e-book reader packs a 3G CDMA connection (which is why we won't see it outside the USA for a while). Most Kindle users never see it, but the connection on Sprint's network is used to download magazine subscriptions and books automatically. So a gadget-interested American with a modern car could well already have three mobile phones with them - why not a few more?

Network operators are desperate to find more revenue, and the always-on-but-never-busy nature of embedded devices suits the mobile networks perfectly, if they can get the price down to something sensible - they're unlikely to get down to the $5 cost of a Wi-Fi chip, but the possibility of revenue generation makes such a low price unnecessary. ®

*Mobile World Congress - but even the GSMA can't bring itself to use that name in the competition documents, simply referring to the event as "Barcelona".

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.