By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
BOYNTON BEACH, FLA. — How stupid can you get? Doing business as Paging America, Digital Wireless Technologies of Pasadena, Calif., inundated e-mail users in recent months with unsolicited e-mail ads promising a free Motorola pager. Only thing was, consumers either got a Motorola pager that wasn't the model advertised, or they got another brand of pager, or they got no pager at all, Motorola alleges in a suit filed in a U.S. District Court in Illinois. Motorola got wind of the alleged scam because Digital's e-mail list included the corporate e-mail addresses of Motorola employees. The suit, alleging unfair competition and trademark infringement, was filed after Digital declined to abide by a verbal promise to cease and desist, Motorola said. Motorola wouldn't comment on whether it would take action against the e-mail marketer of Viagra.
OYSTER BAY, N.Y. — The 2.5G and 3G technologies will take time to pay off, but they will, according to Allied Business Intelligence. In 2006, there will be more than a half-billion 2.5G and 3G subscribers worldwide, and more than half of all handsets shipped worldwide that year will be 2.5G and 3G models.
SHALFORD, ENGLAND — An ARC Group survey of wireless industry professionals found that 38 percent of those polled believe North American TDMA-network operators will migrate to 3G via GSM and GPRS, while another 29 percent will migrate via TDMA and EDGE. The market research firm also determined that 72 percent believe CDMA network operators will migrate to 3G via cdma2000 1XRTT. In another finding, 33 percent believe North American network operators expect mobile virtual network operators (once called resellers) to capture 11 percent to 20 percent of wireless-service revenues in 2005. The survey was conducted anonymously via electronic terminals during the March CTIA Show. Respondents were asked a series of multiple choice questions. Seventy-nine percent of the 398 respondents were from the United States and Canada. Fifty-three percent defined themselves as senior management, director or CEO. For questions related to network operators, only replies from respondents defining themselves as operators were considered. A copy of the questionnaire and methodology is available at www.arcgroup.com/na.
DALLAS — Nokia has introduced its first Internet audio portable, but sales will be limited to Europe for now, a U.S. spokesman said. The portable is equipped with FM radio and plays back MP3 files as well as Intertrust-protected AAC files. It doesn't connect directly to a Nokia phone; instead, a supplied headset with hands-free microphone can be connected simultaneously to the portable and to a Nokia phone. The headset comes with a switch to select music playback or hold a conversation. When the switch is hit, the music player pauses, and the phone goes into hands-free mode. The device, which operates on an internal AAA battery, retails for 300 euros, or about $265.
DALLAS — WebLink Wireless gained more than 123,300 subscribers to its two-way wireless-data service in the first quarter even as it lost 251,000 one-way paging subscribers. The carrier has a total of 2 million subscribers. The company said it might continue restructuring on its own, or merge with a carrier other than Metrocall, after Metrocall decided to back out of a planned merger. Metrocall, the largest U.S. paging operator with 6.2 million subscribers, operates a one-way network and resells two-way services.
BOYNTON BEACH, FLA . — Motorola announced that Advantra and Standard Telecom have signed agreements to license the ReFLEX protocol in order to develop two-way messaging devices.
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.