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Convergence Oceania 2007 wrap-up

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Nov-2006 20:41

This year's Convergence Oceania (Auckland) was quite an interesting event. For the first time I walked around the show floor knowing more people than having to actually introduce myself. This was great - after three years attending the event (three times in Wellington and twice in Auckland) it means I am actually getting to a new networking level.

The event is organised by the Wireless and Broadband Forum New Zealand, and brings together the ICT industry, government entities and enterprise users on a single day with sessions, forums and a showcase of technologies.

During the day I had the opportunity to meet and greet people, introduce myself, introduce people I know to other people I know and create conditions for some businesses, plus lots of interesting talks with industry players.

Unlike previous years, this time the coffee cart wasn't sponsored by Vodafone New Zealand, but Willian Cass' aangel did a great service making sure everyone was full of caffeine.

The Telecom New Zealand stand was interesting, and I had a chance to play with their upcoming Telecom New Zealand Palm Treo 700wx, and compare it with my Vodafone Palm Treo 750v, both running Microsoft Windows Mobile OS. I noticed the CDMA version comes with a stub antenna, it uses a different grey coating (compared with the rubberised blue coat on the Treo 750v) and just a tad bigger buttons. I was promised one of these new handsets pretty soon for a review.

Nutshell's Ian Miller stopped by while I was comparing the Palm Treo models, and I ended up with one of their cases for these new models. Nutshell makes some very nice leather cases for PDAs and smartphones in general - but it's almost unknown here in New Zealand, even though he's based in Auckland.

I met Nick Robertshawe (Telecom d>zone), who arranged the Telecom sponsorship for our Geekzone 2006 event a few months back, and talked about the next event, what we're planning, etc. I also had a chance to introduce him to the guys at DayOut.co.nz, which has released one of the first .mobi domains in New Zealand, dayout.mobi.

I also had the chance to meet some Geekzone Forum visitors from within the Telecom ranks, but I can't say who is who, sorry.

Walking around I met Pat Kelly from APT, who showed me a couple of interesting devices - including an AnyData ADU-610WK HSDPA USB modem (which, unlike the vodem, can reach a maximum speed of 7.2 Mbps) and the Hantel WLL-HTT800F, a CDMA fixed line solution.

Steve Simms, from Tomizone was there, and I had a chance to explore a bit of this service. He was just back from the U.S. where Tomizone was being introduced. It basically allows users to share their broadband connection wirelessly, and charge for this. The router uses a special firmware, and the billing system is provided by Tomizone. You can have friends in a white list, who will be able to use the service for free, while everyone else will have access to the broadband connection for a fee. It sounds great if you live in a dense area and can put a wireless AP by the window, but it makes much more sense for someone who owns a food court or a cafe and don't have access to other brand services.

Mike Peachey from TradeQuotient showed me their mobile dispatch application, working on a browser and on compatible J2ME-enabled mobile phones. Tradespeople can receive service orders on their mobile, acknolwedge, start the clock and charge, all from the their handsets, with full support from the backend database. Very cool.

Leigh-Mardon had an interesting security application, the Cellular Authentication Token (CAT), enabling OTP (one time passwords) on mobile devices, including J2ME, Symbian and Windows Mobile clients.

For VoIP lovers, IT Net World was therem and James Baker showed me their Swix solution for hosted IP telephony based on Windows Server. The platform is vendor independent, and different licence types, for small/medium and large organisations. The whole thing integrates with the active directory and seemed very slick, including call handling, rerouting, voice-mail and many other PBX-like features.

Also there was Barry Williams, representing Renaissance and their products in New Zealand, including a new Asus Tablet PC, US Robotics Skype Phone, and a few other wireless products. It was through him that I found out that Palm is bringing the Treo 750v and Treo 700wx directly to the market with the operators (Vodafone New Zealand and Telecom New Zealand), with Renaissance disitrbuting the other Palm handhelds, and possibly in the near future the new Palm Treo 680.

I spent quite some time talking to InternetNZ's Communications and Research Officer, Richard Woods, who joined the organisation after having worked as a tech reporter for years. We discussed the current state of technology coverage in the MSM and blogs, and lots more. I ended up joining the Internet Society of New Zealand.

As I said before, Vodafone New Zealand wasn't there, but Dion Knill (Vodafone Head of Business Terminals) showed up to attend some sessions and we had a quick chat.

To complete the day, I got a ride back to the airport in the same cab as the InternetNZ crew, and scored an entry to the Air New Zealand Koru Lounge, courtesy of David Farrar, whom I met for the first time, albeit briefly.

It was a very full on day (flying in and out the same day) but worth the visit.





Other related posts:
Microsoft Ignite New Zealand, Microsoft Surface Studio
Geekzone data analytics with Power BI
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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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