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Sierra Wireless Aircard 580 CDMA EVDO support for Windows Vista

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-May-2007 19:56

If you are connected to Telecom New Zealand (or other operators) and using a Sierra Wireless Aircard 580 to plug into its CDMA EVDO network, here is good news: you can now download Windows Vista drivers for Aircard 580 with support for 32 bit and 64 bit.

The big CIO smart phone review

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-May-2007 08:57

I've just found out about a (long) review on comparing four smart devices (two Windows Mobile, one Symbian and one RIM BlackBerry). It's an interesting read

There are important differences between selecting phones as a business handheld and choosing a consumer device. Most consumers need only basic phone and messaging functionality; everything else is just frosting on the cake. Not so for business users. CIOs and their staff depend on smartphones to stay connected; in some cases, mobile devices keep their companies up and running. Depending on the organization, specific features beyond phone calls and e-mail are a necessary part of business.

Even when CIOs are willing to upgrade their architecture or buy new hardware, it pays to know the implications of launching a new device across the enterprise. Some devices don't support corporate e-mail services without specific mail servers. Some are designed to function with specific servers, so they work better with one than another.

If you're researching corporate smartphone deployment, the first thing you should do is assess the organization's needs, and thus create a sort of informal criteria for selecting a phone. Purchasing business phones without a clear idea of how the company will use them is like hosting a dinner party and offering only chopsticks as utensils, even though you're unsure if the main dish will be a porterhouse steak, fried chicken or sushi.

Second, assess your current IT architecture to identify the mail servers your organization uses (and the version thereof), as well as corporate mail clients, firewalls and other existing systems that may be affected by a smartphone deployment.

The comparison includes Research In Motion's BlackBerry Pearl 8100, Nokia's E62, Palm's Treo 750, and T-Mobile's Dash, through the eyes of four IT executives: Paul Roche, Network Services CIO; Stephen Ramsey, principal with Brulant; Hugh Scott, Direct Energy VP of IS; and Stacey Morrison, an aerospace industry deputy CIO.

So it's real world thing guys... And the results?

... if we had to vote with our own checkbooks for a business-class smartphone, the Treo 750 is our winner, with the Nokia E62 just a notch behind. Typing functionality, voice quality and Web features are arguably a smartphone's most important features. For us, what sets the Treo 750 apart from the others are its touch screen and stylus, high voice quality and 3G capabilities.

ATM Payphones

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-May-2007 23:38

Well, I am sorry but this is probably the strangest idea I've ever heard of in mobile banking... Actually fixed banking: Telecom New Zealand is installing an ATM Payphone:

TSB Bank and Telecom have teamed up to trial New Zealand's first ATM Payphone kiosk. The kiosk will allow people "on the move" to do their banking and make phone calls from the same handy location.

Telecom National Payphone Manager Lisa Hope said "Telecom operates approximately 4,300 payphones in New Zealand and like payphone operators worldwide is seeking new ways to deliver value to customers."

"There are payphone operators internationally that operate ATM Payphone sites and there is evidence that these sites are popular with customers," Mrs Hope said.

Well perhaps somewhere else... But in New Zealand, where there is a huge penetration of cellular technology?

I can imagine someone going to the ATM to withdrawal some cash, and by the way "I will make a phone call here while a line is forming behind me".

But most importantly:

The ATM service features all current services provided via standard ATM's (sic) and has the most secure ATM technology available. Features include 3DES encryption, anti-skimming facia and card insertion and removal jitter.

Standard Telecom Payphone charges will apply for phone calls made from the ATM Payphone.

I feel safe already...

UPDATE: Added a picture as requested by sbiddle, and got a quote from Telecom New Zealand:

If you're wondering about the reasoning behind sticking an ATM on a payphone.... It enables TSB to get access to pre-existing high profile sites around NZ allowing them to expand their network easily, and the advantage for Telecom Payphones is that they get to share the site rental.

Chat with RoamAD

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-May-2007 15:52

While here at Convergence Oceania 2007 I had a chance to meet Martin Levy, CEO of RoamAD. The company "... supplies a wireless networking platform for converged wireless networks including citywide Wi-Fi networks, public safety networks, highway Wi-Fi corridors, surveillance / CCTV networks as well as general use networks". In other others metro wi-fi networks.

I've spoken to Martin once over Skype and met him briefly in Auckland before, but today I was given the full rundown on their services, including a demo of the remote administration tool used in the platform - including monitoring network nodes around the world.

This is very impressive technology, and I wonder why the Wellington City Council doesn't use some kind of mesh wireless network as part of their broadband plans for the region - I mean, we can't just have fiber, taking in consideration the local geography, access, etc.

Convergence Oceania 2007 in Wellington

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-May-2007 12:47

The Convergence Oceania in Wellington is in full motion... Hon David Cunliffe, Minister for Communications and Information Technology opened the conference, quickly followed by a session with Andrew Seybold talking about current trends in wireless technologies.

Quite a few old faces around, and new people too. Met Gary Rogers and Pat Kelly from APT who showed me some of the new CDMA EVDO Wireless Routers, and Telecom New Zealand as expected is showing the CDMA EVDO Rev A USB modem - and surprise an ExpressCard version. The first should be coming in June, and the ExpressCard late in July.

Tomizone is here and I got to connect to their service using a day pass. Also got to look at the user interface when accessing the servce and managing your account. If you don't know Tomizone is a "broadband" sharing service, and recently announced a deal with ISP Orcon and D-Link which will see Tomizone-enabled routers getting to the streets. This is a huge step, because most ISPs had T&Cs that prevented the sharing of a service, but this seems to be changing here in New Zealand.

Other interesting thing I saw was the Neo Digital guys with their home media server and home control units.
Coffee is good, and as in last year's it is courtesy of Aangel (thanks Willian). Aangel is a mobile service that transcribe short notes, appointments and contact information over the phone and send this to your mobile as a SMS with the appropriate vcal, vnote and vcard formats so you can quickly have these entered into your handset.

Other displays were Citylink, Vantex, InternetNZ, Spirit Wireless, Nutshell (hello Ian) and more.

Talk about target shooting and be fired

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-May-2007 11:26

Paranoids of the world, unite! First, target a boy for writing an essay. Then suspend a boy for creating a Counter Strike map. Next fire an IT professional for talking about target shooting, just because, well, just because the co-workers are paranoid about anything and everything, thanks to the media and the current state of affairs.

Oh, and make sure the guy is also accused of terrorism for drawing a comic reporting the incident. And plenty of links on Slashdot.

When are these people coming to their sense? I mean, classifying people on hearsay? Are we going back to the Middle Ages?

Do Not Call Me!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-May-2007 20:30

When will New Zealand get a Do Not Call Register? There is a Do Not Call Register in the U.S. and now a Do Not Call Register in Australia. When are we going to have it here?

If you don't know, this is a list of numbers that are not to be called by telemarketers.

Do you think this is needed here in New Zealand? How many times a week do you have a call from someone trying to sell a phone share scam, or trying to make you change ISPs, or trying to sell you life insurance?

Sonopia: the virtual MVNO

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-May-2007 19:51

Around the world we read about Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), companies that provide a mobile service to its customers but does not have an allocation of spectrum.

One example of MVNO is Virgin Mobile UK, launched back in 1999 and with over 4 million customers in the UK alone.

We are now seeing a new approach coming out. Like those Affinity Credit Cards, an association, company or group can create a virtual MVNO through a new service called Sonopia.

Once you create your virtual MVNO you then proceed to create plans and select what mobile phones will be available from your "company".

You can then promote this through a web site, or any other means. And like the Affinity Credit Cards, your association, company or group will receive a percentage of the revenue.

The service is provided by Verizon Wireless in the U.S., and all handsets are CDMA (of course, since Verizon uses this standard).

It looks like an interesting idea - and I have registered myself to see how it worked, but being outside the U.S. I can't actually create the group, etc. I mean I can - but the forms all request State and ZIP Code, so obviously I am out.

Sonopia's CEO is Juha Christensen, ex-Symbian, ex-Microsoft, ex-Action Engine, ex-Macromedia. Juha co-founded the Symbian Ltd, the joint venture between Nokia, Ericsson, Sony-Ericsson, Matsushita, Samsung, Siemens, and Psion responsible by the Symbian OS now in use in million of mobile ghones. At Microsoft he was the VP for Mobile Devices Marketing Group.

Today I received an e-mail from Sonopia inviting some of the early Sonopians for dinner in San Francisco, to discuss the service and provide suggestions. It's a shame I won't be there though. I would be interested to find out more about this idea - and perhaps even suggest they allow us, aliens, to create our virtual MVNOs as well.

Do you think this would work here in New Zealand where we had two dominant players in the mobile market and knowing the mobile rates are ones of the highest in the OECD?

I am going to the Convergence Oceania 2007... Meet me there

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-May-2007 10:21

Next week (8 May) is the Convergence Oceania 2007, at Te Papa here in Wellington. I will be there the whole day (or better part of it), and I am also attending the Positively Wellington cocktail afterwards.

Running at the same time as the exhibition there's a series of discussions:

8.45 - 9.00am David Cunliffe - Conference Opening

9.00 - 9.45am Andrew Seybold
The big picture: Where the industry is today and where it is headed

10.00 - 11.00am MORNING PANEL (Sponsored by Kordia)
Content is King to drive broadband usage- so what is NZ doing?
Damien Toman (Gen-i),Jeremy Hope (Ericsson), Maurice Stilwell (NZTE), Hyperfactory, Susie Stone (Kordia), Mantosh Malhotra (Qualcomm)

11.15 - 12.00pm Mike Iandolo - Alcatel Lucent - International Speaker
Wireless Public Safety Today and in the future

12.15 - 12.45pm Damien Toman - Gen-i
Discussion around wireless, broadband and convergence for business - with Michael Gregg

1.00 - 1.20pm Darian Bird - IDC
Wimax around the world: Where do we fit in?

1.30 - 2.15pm Wireless & Broadband PANEL (Sponsored by Telecom)
Wimax and Wifi - what do these technologies mean to you?
Martyn Levy (RoamAD), Steve Simms (Tomizone), Mike Landolo (Alcatel-Lucent), Telecom, Darian Bird (IDC)

2.30 - 3.15pm Mantosh Malhotra - Qualcomm - International Speaker
Next Evolution of Wireless Applications

3.30 - 4.15pm Steve Roberts - Kordia
The Beauties of Datacasting

4.30 - 5.30pm FINAL PANEL (Sponsored by Citylink and Cafe Net)
Wellington Wireless Broadband Wonderland - Myth or Reality
Rod Drury, Jamie Baddeley (InternetNZ), David Cunliffe, Duncan Turnbull (Citylink), Andrew Seybold

I hear Telecom New Zealand will at last unveil their CDMA EV-DO Rev A USB modem device at that event.

Microsoft and mobile advertising: ScreenTonic

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-May-2007 22:47

I just saw this in my RSS feeds, but the page is not up at Microsoft PressPass yet:

Microsoft Acquires Mobile Advertising Pioneer ScreenTonic

ScreenTonic’s mobile ad serving and management expertise increase advertiser opportunity across Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions

Interesting to see more details when the press release actually comes out.

UPDATE: Some details emerged, but not much.

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

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

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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