Widespread wireless data use just around the corner: Telecom

Telecom opened its arms to mobile application developers at its d>zone presentations in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.

Telecom opened its arms to mobile application developers at its d>zone presentations in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.

D>zone, Telecom’s wireless data programme, is an alliance between the telco, Ericsson, Lucent Technologies and OpenWave.

Telecom’s recently launched CDMA mobile phone technology provides the platform for d>zone and opens up new possibilities for wireless data transmission, Telecom mobile general manager Mohan Jesudason told the audience at the Auckland launch on August 17.

Telecom wireless data group manager Nic Holdgate stressed Telecom’s keenness to work with developers. “We employ no developers and no code writers ourselves,” Holdgate told the audience, consisting mainly of developers interesting in using wireless data transmission technology. “All Telecom Mobile’s data services are developed by third parties.”

Developers understand the needs of customers better than Telecom, Holdgate says, “and we want to work with them to make wireless data a mainstream product in New Zealand”.

Widespread use of wireless mobile is not yet a reality, Holdgate acknowledges, but it soon could be. “Wireless data hasn’t been taken up widely in New Zealand, but if you look back to 1996, that’s when the fixed internet suddenly took off.”

What allowed the wired internet to take off was the emergence of several conditions, he says. Those were: easy access, common standards, low price equipment such as PCs and modems, easy-to-use browsers and applications that customers wanted to use, such as email, banking and retail buying.

It’s the last factor, applications that customers and potential customers want to use, that will bring about the widespread use of wireless internet, Holdgate says.

“The key opportunities are specialised wireless applications for corporates, mass-market SMS services and mass-market WAP services.

“The key question is ‘what applications are customers prepared to pay for?”

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