Archive for November 9th, 2009

Open Mobile Summit growing despite the economy

The Open Mobile Summit may be atinyshow compared to its larger wireless counterparts CTIAWireless and Mobile World Congress, but unlike those shows the summit is actually growing. In its second year, the event in San Francisco drew almost 400 attendees and speakers, nearly double last year’s attendance,despite the economic downturn.Robin Batt, the summit founder and director of Open Mobile Media, said show registration reached 70% of capacity six weeks before it was scheduled,prompting her to scale back on marketing and search for a larger venue.

“Last year, the writing was on the wall for openness, though not everybody was reading it,” Batt said. “Now everyone realizes open mobility is the future.” One major difference between this year’s events and last year’swas interest from the operators. Batt said she always intended the invent to be a neutral ground for carriers and developers to meet, unlike more operator-centric showsCTIA Wireless and MWC, but last year the eventwound upbeinga forum fordevelopers, wireless vendors and Internet companies. This year, carriers were represented in force. John Donovan, chief technology officer for AT&T, and Cole Brodman, CTO for T-Mobile USA, delivered keynotes and carriers were well represented across the panels.

“Last year people thought it was going to be an anti-establishment show,” Batt said. “It would have been another thing if we had something called the OpenMobile Summit and stood around bitching about the carriers. Last year most carriers didn’t participate because that’s what they felt we were going to do. Carriers realized that that wasn’t the case.”

Not that there wasn’t any anti-operator sentiment at the show. Walt Mossberg, columnist for The Wall Street Journal, compared wireless operators to “Soviet ministries” during his introductionon the second day of the show, and he and the audience didn’t give Donovan much slack during a Q&A session after his keynote. But Donovan also drew applause when he suggested to the audience that openness shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of the operators, but also of the device, software and applications community.

Cisco sees telco hosted mail partners — just not yet

Shortly after the launch by Cisco of a slew of new unified communications and collaborative technologies earlier today, I was able to touch base with a company executive for some additional insights into the service provider impact of its moves.

Cisco emphasized its long-term focus of working closely with service providers and highlighted some new products likely to be delivered with the help of operators.

But perhaps the day’s most interesting new product, a hosted e-mail offering dubbed WebEx Mail that will not only compete but emulate some of the protocols within Microsoft Exchange, will be delivered solely as a cloud service directly by Cisco — at least for the time being. more

Did Google just buy its VoIP network?

TechCrunch is reporting that Google has just acquired VoIP provider Gizmo5, a move that would give it a voice-over-IP infrastructure to add to its Google Talk, Google Voice and Android telecom-oriented technologies.

Essentially, Gizmo5 would give Google a way to more directly integrate those IP-centric services with the PSTN, greatly upping their value.

We haven’t been able to confirm the deal yet, but the potential combo is very interesting and moves Google ever-deeper into the telecom world. more

Video: Is AT&T/iPhone combo a lump of Christmas coal?

Looks like a lawsuit won’t be enough to scare Verizon away from using its Droid launch to slam AT&T and Apple in particular what it claims is inferior 3G network coverage, an area emerging as a heated battlefield in the smartphone/mobile app wars.

After the jump, check out one of these Christmas-inspired advertisements featuring a visit by the iPhone to the “Land of Misfit Toys”: more

Carriers must be open to compete, analyst says

Road to Open: For Connected Planet’s December cover story, wireless editor Kevin Fitchard and I took an in-depth look at what open means — in theory and practice — in the wireless world. In our reporting, we spoke with a number of developers and industry experts with first-hand perspective on working in an open world. In the weeks leading up to the issue, we’ll share their thoughts and insights. As always, we welcome your comments below. more

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