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Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime
Mobile Market Adds Instant Internet Services
By Heather Johnson
(more articles from this author)
2001-03-27
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As a society, we want instant gratification. Fast food, Instant coffee and high-speed Internet service are just a few products that fuel our impatient, fast-paced lifestyle. In the new Millennium, we don't want to wait to hear our favorite music or access the Internet, either. Technology-driven companies have found a way to satisfy our immediate need to answer e-mails and download a song through multimedia and streaming services, made available through wireless telephones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

According to a survey conducted by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), PDA sales reached 6.1 million in 2000, representing a nearly 50 percent increase over 1999. Sales for 2001 are expected to reach 9.6 million.

Ericsson predicts that by 2004, there will be as many as 600 million users of mobile Internet services. This means that more people will use mobile Internet than fixed Internet, giving us more ways to access information and communicate with family, friends and business associates.

Other industry forecasts say that within three years, an estimated 300 million of 900 million wireless phones will be Internet-ready. Cell phone manufacturers, including Motorola, Nokia and NTT have announced digital audio chipset support in their next-generation products, and the wireless infrastructure to support quality digital audio streaming already exists in parts of Europe and Asia.

Some of the leaders in mobile communication are moving forward to introduce the technology into the marketplace. Microsoft Corp. and Ericsson recently unveiled their first step in integrating Windows Media Audio and Video support on Ericsson Handsets at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover, Germany. Ericsson demonstrated for the first time an Ericsson prototype, which when added to the R520 handset can playback personal music collections and streamed Internet radio using Windows Media Audio.

"Multimedia and streaming services are key mobile Internet applications that will further strengthen Ericsson's mobile Internet offering," said Anders Torstensson, Vice President and General Manager for the GSM and UMTS business unit at Ericsson. "This collaboration as well as our ongoing standardization efforts carried out in the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Program) around wireless multimedia, illustrates Ericsson's commitment to offering richer digital multimedia experiences for our mobile phone customers."

"Microsoft and Ericsson share a vision of delivering digital media to our customers anytime, any place and on any device," Will Poole, Vice President of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft said. "Ericsson's selection of the high-quality audio and integrated DRM of Windows Media will give our customers access to vast amounts of existing Internet digital media content already available from some of the leading content providers worldwide."

These New mobile Internet-based services, which will include the latest high-speed, two-way data, will enable consumers to send and receive personal digital audio and video, access downloaded and streamed digital music, Internet radio, and short-subject video clips such as movie trailers, news clips, financial information and even weather reports.

Windows Media hit Japan in December 2000 when NTT DoCoMo Inc. launched the first commercial service using Windows Media to deliver streamed audio and video to cellular phones via a high-speed Personal Handyphone System (PHS) network. The Internet-based service allows consumers to send and receive personal digital audio and video, and access downloaded and streamed digital music, Internet radio, short subject video, movie trailers, news clips, financial information and weather reports.

Another wireless device offered by NTT DoCoMo, The Eggy, allows cell phone users in Japan to watch short videos of news clips and ads, and capture video images to share with friends and family via the PHS network. The technology is expected to reach consumers worldwide in the coming years.

Nokia teamed up with RealNetworks® Inc. to unveil the Mobile RealPlayer® for the Nokia 9210 Communicator. The Mobile RealPlayer is the wireless version for the popular digital media player, and is designed specifically for communicators and for Symbian's EPOC platform, the open operating platform for the new generation of communicators and smart phones.

Nokia and RealNetworks began collaborating in June 2000 to develop the new player. The two companies shared a vision of allowing consumers access to Internet media from any device on any platform, according to Len Jordan, Senior Vice President, Consumer Appliances, RealNetworks Inc.

Mobile RealPlayer and the Nokia 9210 Communicator bring the power of mobility to the Internet media experience, giving mobile consumers and business professionals mobile access to news, information and entertainment. The Nokia 9210 Communicator will download and playback this information at any time and from any location.

Another collaboration is taking place between Royal Philips Electronics, one of the world's largest electronics companies and Sun Microsystems, a provider of Internet hardware, software and services. The two companies are developing streaming multimedia solutions for emerging broadband media, video on-demand and mobile wireless markets. Philips and Sun have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, enabling them to formally share technological know-how for developing an end-to-end reference solution for broadband media, based on the open ISO-standard MPEG-4 technology.

The memorandum builds on the MPEG-4 streaming solutions developed by Philips and Sun. Ahmad Ouri, Vice President and General Manager of Philips MP4Net, the business unit of Philips Digital Networks, believes the MPEG-4 will become the content delivery standard. The technology offers the opportunity to combine audio, video and graphics in a single streaming format.

Sun and Philips also recently joined forces with Apple, Cisco, IBM, Kasenna and others to create the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA), which promotes the development and use of open standards for IP-based media delivery to drive interoperability of rich media devices and solutions. The new alliance proves that major corporations are taking this new technology seriously.

In addition to the mobile telephone, the popular electronic organizers are growing and changing with the times to add Internet services. An agreement between LAUNCH.com and Palm, Inc. will allow MyPalm mobile portal users access to LAUNCH.com's music content. Because of the agreement, users will receive music news, concert information, album reviews and artist features updated daily.

These and other advances are helping broadband connections and converged media become more than just a trade show gimmick. We already know that many Americans have a cell phone glued to their ear on a daily basis, and according to the CEA study, consumers who already own a PDA are using it at least once a week, while 60 percent use it every day. With this high level of usage established, it seems that adding the power of the Internet to these devices is a natural next step.

Linkography

Apple - www.apple.com
CEA - www.ce.org
Cisco - www.cisco.com
Ericsson - www.ericsson.com
IBM - www.ibm.com
Kasenna - www.kesenna.com
Launch Media, Inc. - www.launch.com
Microsoft - www.microsoft.com
Motorola - www.motorola.com
Nokia - www.nokia.com
NTT DoCoMo - www.nttdocomo.com
Palm, Inc. - www.palm.net
Philips Consumer Electronics - www.philips.com
Philips MPEG-4 player - www.MPEG-4player.com
RealNetworks - www.realnetworks.com
Sun Microsystems - www.sun.com
Symbian - www.symbian.com

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» Wireless Music - BuzzHits, Mobilee and HitHive are Leading the Pack! (2000-12-20)
» It's coming - in 'bits & pieces'; MP3.com & fusionOne (2000-11-14)
» What do Dick Tracy's wrist radio & a BOOMBOX have in common? Sprint PCS! (2000-11-07)
» Vitaminic and Omnitel 2000 Partner to Entertain Omnitel Cellular Customers (2000-08-21)

Related News from Mi2N:
» Ericsson And Microsoft Demonstrate Windows Media Handset Support At CeBIT
» The Nokia 9210 Communicator And RealNetworks' Mobile RealPlayer Enable Broad New Class Of Rich Mobile Experiences
» Philips And Sun Microsystems Collaborate In Building MPEG-4 Solutions For Broadband Streaming, Video-on-Demand And Mobile Wireless Markets
» Packetvideo Partners With Symbian To Provide Mobile Video Software For Smartphones


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