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					Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal - February 19, 2007
http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2007/02/19/focus3.html




                                                BUSINESS PULSE SURVEY: After price, what do you value most when flying on b



Mobile phones continue to add more
functions
Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal - February 16, 2007 by Caryoln Schuk
Mobile phones have become more than simply a way to stay in touch while on the go. Today, the
ubiquitous device is competing to become tomorrow's all-purpose personal "appliance," supplying
everything from cheaper calls to unified communications to driving directions and entertainment.

Here's a quick look at what's going on in the mobile phone world:

VoIP over cell: cheaper, more flexible
An increasing number of services offer VoIP (Voice over IP, also called broadband phone service)
calling on cell phones. The savings can be dramatic, especially for overseas calls. In addition, VoIP
also opens up the cell phone for enhanced services.

Mountain View-based PeerMe offers a service that provides VoIP calling over cellular data
networks. Another Mountain View VoIP company, JAJAH, offers VoIP calls from cell phones that
are initiated through the JAJAH Web site and use the conventional cellular network.

Users of services like Skype, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger can use Cambridge, MA-based
iSkoot's service to make VoIP calls from a select group of smart phones.

Want to have your calls ring on multiple phones or have calls to multiple numbers ring on a single
phone? VoIP over cell calling services can handle that as well. Further, VoIP over cell leverages the
IP platform to offer many sophisticated features like voicemail to e-mail and customized call
handling for individuals and groups.

Fremont-based Grand Central will give you a single number that forwards calls simultaneously to
any numbers you want, including your cell phone, and lets you pick up email on any phone or Web
browser.

If you have multiple phone numbers that you'd like to have ring on a single phone, San Mateo-
based TalkPlus has your number. Not only does the service bring incoming calls to a single
number, the number that callers see when you call them back is the local number.

Cell/WiFi combo phones growing
Dual-mode phones that combine cell and wireless (WiFi) VoIP calling capabilities on a single
handset are also coming to market. While none of these handsets has been deployed on a large
scale in the U.S., Neuf Telecom in France began offering a dual-mode handset based on technology
from San Jose-based HelloSoft last fall.

HelloSoft's efficient technology is poised to drive the cost of these devices down to mass market
prices, according to company founder and CEO Krishna Yarlagadda. In the past WiFi handsets
were in the $300-plus range and dual-mode smart phones like the Samsung i730 and Nokia N80
retail for $500 or more.

Yarlagadda anticipates that prices will drop below $200 and possibly as low as $50 in three to four
years.
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Cell phone as communications central
Unified communications are a natural for mobile phones.

Toronto, Ontario-based Talkster's service connects mobile phones to landlines, VoIP networks,
corporate PBXs -- in short, anything that can carry voice communications even if it doesn't have a
phone number.

Expect to begin seeing some of these converged communications showing up in corporate
networks, says Peter Thornycroft, Vo-Fi Solutions product manager at Sunnyvale-based Aruba
Networks.

It's not just talk
Talking on the phone is just the beginning of the new possibilities. A growing number of services
are bringing other applications to the cell phone as well.

Santa Clara-based Remoba and Taiwan-based Mobile Action bring PDA capabilities like
calendaring and e-mail to plain vanilla cell phones. They also synchronize your cell phone with
desktop applications. Mobile Action's software is widely bundled with mobile phones in Europe,
and the company has just partnered with Radio Shack to sell independently in the U.S.

Surfing the Web by phone is also becoming increasingly common. Nearly 30 percent of adults
browsed the Internet using a cell phone in 2005, according to a report by online media company
CNET. As you might expect, Internet brands like Yahoo and Google offer phone browser
capabilities. Many handset manufacturers including Motorola and Ericsson offer their own Web
browsers. And the best-known independent browser for the phone is Opera Mobile.

If you're ready to reach beyond a simple browser, Cupertino-based Mobio offers what it calls a
"mobile lifestyle portal" that allows users to create their own "mash ups" of Web services like news
feeds and stock tracking.

Another frontier for the cell phone is social networking. Vancouver B.C.-based EQO lets customers
use their mobile phones to stay connected to instant messaging services and online communities
like MySpace, as well as supporting voice services like Skype and Google Voice.

An interesting twist on the IM-over-the-phone idea is voice instant messaging. It's a cross between
voicemail and text messaging and is offered by San Jose-based Pinger and Holmdel, NJ-based
uReach.

Voice IM might sound like voicemail to you, but "talk and send" gives you a way to send quick
messages -- for example, when you're driving -- that would be impossible if you had to key it in. It
also avoids the multiple steps of making a phone call when the answer may simply be, "Got it."

Group announcements are a natural application for voice IM. This year Pinger will announce the
date of the upcoming Maverick's surfing competition, which is scheduled on 24 hours notice
between Feb.1 and Mar. 30, depending on surf conditions.

Another natural for cell phones is onboard navigation, offered by Santa Clara-based TeleNav and
Redwood Shores-based Wherify. Phone-based navigation services have an edge on systems like
OnStar because they can provide realtime directions and road information. TeleNav also offers a
fleet management system based on cell phones.

That's entertainment
A world of music and video entertainment is coming to the cell phone courtesy of mobile phone
carriers, content producers like Disney, and Internet brands like Google and Yahoo.

Independent services are emerging to deliver on-demand content to customers based on user
interests rather than mirroring traditional broadcasting models.

One of these is Sunnyvale-based Mywaves, which delivers Web-based video to most video-capable
phones. Mywaves describes itself as "the first viral mobile application," and lets users share
content and create their own as well. The company doesn't advertise, but instead relies on users to
supply videos and tell their friends about the service.

Links
To stay on top of what's happening on the phone, some helpful websites are FierceVoIP.com

				
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