In July I was made redundant from my very short lived role of Brand Manager at Renaissance Brands. I don't consider myself a vicitim but more of a casualty of the current economic climate. I was employed to bring on the 'next big thing', an investment for the future; unfortunately I quickly became an expensive liability. The digital Freeview PVR was going to be the hero product but the TVNZ TiVo announcement gave Renaissance management cold feet so the project was dumped. We had actually signed an agreement with Magic TV which I thought was an excellent product regardless of TiVo. It is good see that freeviewshop has picked up the product.
Fortunately money has not been an issue for us, well not yet anyway. But we have had to change our lifestyle slightly. For the first 2 months of unemployment I worked on our house during what was apparently the worst Wellington Winter in 30 years and I managed to paint the house inside and out. Quite a feat when you consider that we hang off a hill and the scaffolding was 30 meters high! I even painted the roof which is probably one of the scariest things I have done. All the work paid off as we sold our house in 7 days and at a good price. In the next 4 weeks we are dramactically downsizing. Moving from our modern, 3 storey house in central Wellington with the hell harbour view to a little 2 bedroom old house in the Hutt hills. Fortunately we have this option, the house in the Hutt is our rental property which we have owned for a number of years but it will be a shock to the system none the less.
I have seriously lost count of how many jobs I have applied for; sometimes your application is acknowledged, sometimes not. Sometimes you get to meet with a recruitment consultant and sometimes you get an interview with the employer. All very frustrating and how the market has changed. Probably 2 years ago it was a job hunters market, loads of jobs and too few applicants and now it is exactly the opposite. It is a lengthy process as well; one position I applied for dragged on for 8 weeks from initial application to interview to not being successful and I really, really liked the role.
After 20 odd years working at the cutting edge of technology in a variety of roles I have started to consider other options and have been looking at purchasing an exisiting business. It is possible that to secure a financial future for my family I may have to buy myself a job. Not necessarily where I want to be but I know my wife has probably had enough of me being at home. On the positive side though I have been able to spend lots of time with my 4 year old son and we are good mates. I know he doesn't want me to go back to work.
In the spirit of sharing I have taken the time to compile the definitive list of most of the 3G, 850MHz phones currently available around the world.
There are a couple of things to be aware of:
1. Manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola and LG produce variants of major phone models. For example, the HTC Touch Diamond is available in two variants, one supports 900/2100MHZ (great for Vodafone) and the other 850/2100MHz (required for Telecom). If you are not sure check with the phone manufacturer.
2. Some phones were made specifically for a carrier such as AT&T or Telstra. This could mean that the phone software is heavily customised for that specific carrier and possibly not all services (eg WAP and MMS) will work on Telecom.
3. The frequency used by Telecom (850MHz) is also used by Telstra Australia and AT&T USA, if the phone works on either of these networks it will probably work here but again, check with the phone manufacturer
4. Remember this is a guideline only and I have not personally tested all these phones! All I have done is spend quite a bit of time looking at phone specs.
Acer Tempo DX900
Acer Tempo F900
Acer Tempo M900
Acer Tempo X960
Apple iPhone 3G
Asus Lamborghini ZX1
Asus ZX1 Lamborghini
Dopod 810 (variant of HTC Trinity
Dopod 838 Pro
Dopod C730 (HTC Cavalier variant)
E-TEN Glofiish M800
E-TEN Glofiish M810
E-TEN Glofiish V900
E-TEN Glofiish X800
E-TEN Glofiish X900
Garmin Asus nuvifone G60
Garmin Asus nuvifone M20 (USA version)
HP Compaq iPAQ 610
HP Compaq iPAQ 610c Business Navigator
HP Compaq iPAQ 612c Business Navigator
HP Compaq iPAQ 614 Phone
HP Compaq iPAQ 900 Phone
HP Compaq iPAQ 910 Business Navigator
HP Compaq iPAQ 910c Business Navigator
HP Compaq iPAQ 912c Business Navigator
HTC AT&T 8525 (Hermes variant)
HTC P6500 (O2 XDA Mantle)
HTC P3600 variant (Orange SPV M700)
HTC P3600 (Trinity)
HTC P3600i (D810x)
HTC P3650 Touch Cruise
HTC P4550 (TyTN II Kaiser)
HTC Qtek 9600
HTC Qtek S300
HTC S730 (Wings) (USA version)
HTC Softbank X02HT (Cavalier variant)
HTC Vario III (Kaiser variant)
HTC Touch Diamond
HTC Touch Dual (USA Variant)
HTC Touch Pro (Fuze) (AT&T)
HTC TyTN (Hermes 200)
I-Mate Ultimate 5150
I-Mate Ultimate 6150
I-Mate Ultimate 7150
I-Mate Ultimate 8150
I-Mate Ultimate 8502
I-Mate Ultimate 9150
I-Mate Ultimate 9502
LG CB630 Invision
LG CF750 (variant of KF750 Secret on AT&T)
LG CU515 (AT&T variant)
LG CU575 Trax (AT&T variant)
LG CU720 (AT&T variant)
LG GD900 Crystal
LG Globus TU330
LG Incite CF810 (AT&T Variant)
LG KC910 Renoir
LG Telstra TU500
LG Telstra TU550
LG Telstra TU575
LG TU720 (Shine)
LG Vu CU920/CU915
Motorola A3100 Surf
Motorola Maxx V6
Motorola MC75 EDA
Motorola RAZR2 V9
Motorola RAZR2 V9x
Motorola Tundra VA76r
MWg O2 XDA Orbit II
MWg Zinc II Phone
Nokia E66 (850/2100MHz)
Nokia E66 (850/1900MHz)
Palm Treo 750/750v
Palm Treo Pro
Pantech Matrix Blue (AT&T variant)
Pantech Matrix Green (AT&T variant)
Pantech Matrix Pro (AT&T variant)
Pantech Sky IM-U210/U210K
Pharos Traveler 117
Pharos Traveler 127
RIM Blackberry Bold
RIM Blackberry Storm 9530
Samsung Epix i907
Samsung Pixon M8800
Samsung Propel SGH-A767
Samsung Rugby A837
Samsung SLM SGH-A747
Samsung Telstra A412
Samsung Telstra A711
Samsung Telstra A801
Samsung Telstra A811
Samsung Telstra i601
Sony Ericsson C510a Cybershot
Sony Ericsson C702a
Sony Ericsson C903a
Sony Ericsson C905a
Sony Ericsson G705
Sony Ericsson G705u
Sony Ericsson K850i
Sony Ericsson W508a
Sony Ericsson W760i
Sony Ericsson W995a
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1
Sony Ericsson Z750a
Sony Ericsson Z750i
Sony Ericsson Z780/Z780i
Toshiba Portege G500
Toshiba Portege G810
ZTE Telstra Easy Touch Discovery
ZTE Telstra Easy Touch F858
ZTE Telstra F152
ZTE Telstra F153
ZTE Telstra F156
ZTE Telstra F158
ZTE Telstra F159
ZTE Telstra F165
ZTE Telstra F165i
ZTE Telstra F252/F256
ZTE Telstra F852
Telstra commissioned an independent Productivity Study which concludes that the benfit of faster mobile broadband could add .7% gains to the Aussie GDP.
To support the Telstra upgrade, Sierra Wireless has released a PCI Mini Express card and a USB Modem
This is actually good news for us in New Zealand as Telstra operate at the same frequency as Telecom. So hopefully we will see some 21Mbps product here soon.
This is the ultimate modem as it supports GSM/GPRS/EDGE, HSUPA/HSDPA/UMTS and CDMA 1xEVDO RevA. But what makes this modem really smart is that it is the first product to support Quad-band HSPA across the 850/900/1900/2100 MHz bands.
Now, if this product was available in New Zealand and had all the necessary approvals it could be used on the Vodafone 3G 900/2100MHz HSDPA network, the Telecom EVDO RevA network or the new Telecom 850MHz HSPA network.
Gobi 2000 is dubbed the 'WiFi killer' because of its true global potential but I can not help thinking that global roaming is not a technology problem. It is a pricing problem. Who really wants to pay $10-30 per Meg?
Gobi products have already been adopted by Sony, HP and Dell for embedding in notebook computers. Whether or not we see it down this way will depend entirely on the price premium for the modem and if the price is jutified by demand and usefulness.
The HSDPA mini PCI Express module used is an Option GTM380 which is capable of a maximum of 7.2Mbps down and 2Mbps up.
I am surprised that Vodafone didn't go with the Option GTM382 which is available as a 900/2100MHz variant.
You would think that selling an 850MHz product in this region opens it up for customers to easily migrate to Telecom in NZ and Telstra in Aus.
Nice looking product but quite a terrible price really. You have a choice of:
$949.00 outright purchase
$700.00 on 1GB, 24 month term
$649.00 on 3GB, 24 month term
Compare this to AT&T in the US who sell the same product for US$99.99 on a 24 month contract.
Looking at the specs the Aspire One supports tri-band UMTS/HSPA 850/1900/2100 MHz.
Ok NO support for 900MHz 3G which means coverage is limited to where Voda has 2100MHz 3G. I am going to say it -
You would be better off buying the Netbook outright and chucking in a Telecom SIM when their new 3G 850MHz network launches.
And from my 3 year old son 'iWant, iWant, iWant'.
According to the reports I have read this modem is manufactured by Franklin Wireless but a sift on the FCC website reveals that it is actually made by C-motech of Korea. C-motech is (was) actually the manufacturer who supplied all the initial products (USB modem, etc) for the Telstra NextG network under the Maxon brand.
It appears that the modem supports 800/1900MHz CDMA and 2500MHz WiMAX. What is not clear is how the modem handles hand-over. In other words does it automatically and seamlessly switch your data connection between CDMA and WiMAX (as in Mobile IP) or is it a manual disconnect/reconnect process to change networks? The user manual is a little bit light on information.
The construction is very much 'generation 1', the internal pictures reveal a dual radio module construction with the CDMA module on the topside and the WiMAX module on the underside. Also included is a small internal battery which must be used to boost power to the radio(s) for when a laptop is running on battery.
I vaguely recall a large chip maker saying at one stage that WiMAX would be built into everything. I guess the Sprint U300 proves we are not quite there yet.
Ralph is a one time country manager for Toshiba and has held a number of roles at Telecom including General Manager of New Media, General Manager of Ferrit and currently (I have heard) he is General Manager of Broadband.
Over the years Ralph would have been one of this countries greatest proponents of digital delivery for everything media related through his varied roles in Mobile, Xtra and Ferrit. On the other hand Real Groovy is one of the last of a dying bread of 'real' record shops. A place where you can still get vinyl!
Good on him for saving the Real Groovy icon but why did he do it? Was it a purchase based on some nostalgic whim or is Ralph about to expand the Real Groovy online store? Only time will tell.
For the non-Italians out there. Fonografo means gramophone or phonograph. Very appropriate.
Point number 2 (of 5) really stood out for me:
'2. Ultra Fast Broadband: think mobile as well as fixed
National has talked about investing up to NZD $1.5b to help achieve ultra fast broadband that seems primarily oriented toward fibre to the home/business. There may be benefits in considering mobile as well as fixed. Mobile broadband is the fastest growing service category in Telecommunications with costs falling significantly as a result of maturing 3G technology and devices. While fixed broadband services are expected to maintain a speed/capacity advantage, the productivity enhancing value of ubiquitous service at high speeds/capacity and reasonable cost may be compelling.
Whether it’s a TV camera streaming live footage, videoconferencing using you (sic) laptop or simple content download – mobile broadband is about to come of age in NZ.'
There is absolutely nothing wrong with including mobile in the grander broadband plan in fact it makes a lot of sense but it is not all about price. The coming of age for mobile broadband is not about 'a TV camera streaming live footage, videoconferencing using you (sic) laptop or simple content download' which unfortunately are all very poor service examples. It is in fact about great and innovative services that drive adoption and create customer loyalty. There are plenty of small, innovative company's in New Zealand developing very cool services and applications for mobile networks. The problem for these company's has always been getting a moment of time with or any recognition from people such as a GM of mobile.
At my last place of employment we spent 18 months developing a world leading and in fact a world first service for mobile. It is no longer my place to get into the details of what we had developed but the development was the easy part. The hard part was getting any recognition or support from a major Telco. All we wanted was a reasonable data ($$) plan so we could launch the service and write big cheques for network usage each month. We weren't asking for any money, all we wanted was to pay money based on a reasonable price for data consumed. After 6 months of trying it became very frustrating.
Telecom used to have a developer program called dzone. It wasn't perfect but it did help developers 'get in the door' to speak to the right people and in a very few instances there were some business partnerships formed. Unfortunately dzone seemed to have disappeared during Mr Butler's leadership.
I would welcome a coffee and chat with the new Telecom director of mobile, Mr Paul Hamburger. I am sure a bit of history could help broaden the perspective.