Wireless in the spotlight at CeBIT
Set fair for Hanover
Visitors to this year's CeBIT trade fair have been greeted by an array of technological marvels, and wireless firms seem be generating the greatest buzz. The annual week-long event in Hanover, Germany, which this year is expected to draw some 500,000 attendees, has been dominated by cutting-edge wireless technologies and gadgets, with a 7-megpixel digital camera phone from Samsung grabbing the most headlines. The firm demonstrated the SCH-V770 CDMA phone at the event, offering mobile operators and consumers a handset capable of better quality photographs than many pure-play digital cameras can deliver.
Meanwhile, the German arm of UK-based mobile operator O2 has signed up to a wireless music downloading service developed by Nokia with Loudeye. First announced at the 3GSM World Congress last month, the music downloading service marks the latest effort by the industry to get into the music business. Sony Ericsson is also keen to get in on the wireless music action, previewing its W800 "Walkman" digital music player phone, which was officially launched at 3GSM in February. Not to be outdone, Nokia trumpeted its 6021 and 6030 models in Hanover, both of which have the ability to download and play music.
With 3G (UMTS) technology now a common offering among European and US mobile phone operators, many handset makers are coming to market with new 3G phones. One such company is Siemens, which is showing off its FXG75 at CeBIT, a device that will sell for about €500 when it launches at the end of the year.
Likewise, Motorola is at CeBIT with its V1150 clamshell 3G phone, which comes with a 2-megapixel camera and removable optional transflash memory. Meanwhile, the Motorola V1050, a 3G phone designed for Vodafone, comes with an MP3 player, removable transflash memory and a 1.23-megapixel video camera.
On the network side, equipment maker Lucent noted at the fair that it had signed 14 contracts worth an estimated $200m with European wireless telecoms. Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, TP, Colt Telecommunications, Telefonica Moviles, Enterprise Digital Architects, Czech Radio and CenterTelecom were among the firms that inked agreements with Lucent.
"We are at the beginning of a fundamental shift not only in the way networks operate, but also in the way people are accessing and using those networks. In Europe, for instance, we are seeing increased demand for such applications as home networking, IP-video and online gaming, as well as increased interest in using the latest innovations to improve productivity," said Patricia Russo, Lucent Technologies chairman and CEO. "As a result, many European carriers are investing in new technologies and services that will help them expand and enhance their current networks and offerings."