By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Kansas City, Mo. — Cable giant Time-Warner is trying its hand at cellular again.
The cable company has partnered with Sprint to launch its MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) service here on a trial basis. Sprint handsets are being used in conjunction with the launch.
It's not Time-Warner's first foray into cellular. In 1994 in Rochester, N.Y., the first Time-Warner Communications store opened on a trial basis. It was supposed to be the first in a chain of retail stores that sold paging and cellular service, wired phone service and cable-TV service under the Time-Warner brand name. It was operated by Time Warner Telecommunications, established in 1992 by majority owner Time Warner Entertainment and minority investors U.S. West, Toshiba and Hitochu.
San Francisco — Gemstar-TV Guide International is developing a Java application that would let consumers remotely program their DVR from a cellphone from anywhere within a cellular carrier's network. The application is expected to be available for deployment later this year.
The application will let cellular users remotely access Gemstar's television program listings, search listings, set program reminders and forward program reminders to friends' mobile devices. It will also let users schedule recordings on DVRs containing Gemstar's i-Guide IPG. Such DVRs include Motorola's DCT6412 HD-DVR.
The application also gives users access to TV-related ringtones, wallpaper and video content, including sneak peeks of select shows and content from TV Guide SPOT, an on-demand network expected to launch to digital subscribers of Comcast and Time Warner Cable in the second quarter. The on-demand Gemstar network will feature short-form video entertainment programs that guide consumers to the most compelling fare on TV each week.
Scottsdale, Ariz. — The number of Push-To-Talk (PTT) and Push-To-Talk Over Cellular (PoC) subscribers will grow at a slow but steady pace in the next five years, market research In-Stat contends. The U.S. subscriber base will grow from 16.8 million at the end of 2004 to 33.6 million at the end of 2009. Slightly faster growth is expected worldwide.
"The majority of growth will come from continued expansion in the business market and moderate uptake in the consumer market, especially youth," said analyst Becky Diercks. She pointed out that "many barriers to growth remain, particularly in the areas of technology and interoperability."
To purchase the report, call Tina Sheltra at (480) 609-4531 or e-mail Tina.Sheltra@reedbusiness.com.
London — Market researcher mobileYouth found that American children are sending around 1.6 billion text messages a month, but with the promotion of "text voting" by such TV networks as MTV and Fox, the company expects text message volume to increase to 2.5 billion messages a month in 2007, over 30 billion messages sent a year.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.