Howard in Cannes to talk 3G

There was speculation last week that TelstraClear has signed or is about to sign a 3G cellular network deal with Ericsson.

There was speculation last week that TelstraClear has signed or is about to sign a 3G cellular network deal with Ericsson.

It centred on the appearance of TelstraClear chief executive Rosemary Howard (pictured) at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes as a guest of Ericsson. The company’s lawyer was travelling with her.

However, a conversation with Howard in Cannes over a poor cellular phone connection failed to elicit confirmation of a deal with Ericsson. Company spokesman Mathew Bolland said from Auckland that no network decision had been made.

TelstraClear has signalled its intention to build a 3G network and Ericsson is a known bidder. But Bolland says “Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens are simultaneously helping us with the cell site location” and Howard’s trip to France was to familiarise herself with the latest 3G applications.

Howard wasn’t the only New Zealand telecommunications executive in Cannes. Woosh Wireless business development head Barry Hastings was in the city pitching the case for wireless portable broadband.

Hastings told a conference audience of about 200 that the future of mobile technology lies with TD-CDMA, the variation on 3G cellular technology supplied by IPWireless.

Hastings claims TD-CDMA far outstrips that of conventional 3G services like wideband CDMA and even the next generation of services, EV-DO and EV-DV. TD-CDMA offers the lowest cost per megabyte of all the mobile platforms with the greatest capacity, he says: up to 15Mbit/s peak sector capacity.

Expect Woosh to deliver voice capability to its expanding network by next month — if, as Hastings puts it, it gets enough time away from connecting up new users.

Hastings says the technology is ready but huge customer demand is keeping the company busy.

Hastings told Computerworld his mission in Cannes was to tell Woosh’s story as a customer of IPWireless technology.

“You go to these things and you hear a lot about how the new product or service is ‘coming soon’ and will be available ‘sometime next year’ or whatever. I got up and told them that we were offering the service today, that it wasn’t a trial or a pre-launch test bed but a fully commercial launch.”

Hastings happily showed conference attendees wireless internet access using a temporary IPWireless network set up for the show.

“I sat on the sea wall with a journalist from Portugal and he asked if I could surf the net, so I did.”

Hastings showed off streaming media footage of a surfing contest in the US. He says he’s spoken to journalists and interested parties from around the world — South Africa, Portugal, Britain, the US.

Hastings cites the surge in demand for broadband access, up 70% worldwide year on year, coupled with the increase in sales of mobile computing devices like laptops, as reason for the move to a portable solution.

  • Brislen travelled to Cannes courtesy of Ericsson.

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