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Firms push mobile connectivity for CE, industrial apps

Posted: 21 Nov 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile connection? 3G? broadband? consumer electronics?

The GSMA and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd have joined forces to drive 3G mobile network connectivity to consumer and industrial goods.

Huawei has joined the GSMA's Embedded Mobile initiative, which will initially focus on bringing the benefits of continuous mobile connectivity to the consumer electronics, clean energy, healthcare, transport and utilities sectors.

Devices with embedded mobile connections can automatically exchange images, information and other data with mobile phones, computers or the Internet, enabling people, businesses and society as a whole to function more efficiently and effectively. The Embedded Mobile initiative is being led by KTF, Rogers Wireless, Smart, Softbank, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telstra and Vodafone. The GSMA will bring other operators, equipment suppliers and manufacturers of consumer and industrial goods into the Embedded Mobile initiative.

"Our ultimate goal is that every machine, device, object will have broadband mobile connectivity. Everything around us will be using mobile networks to exchange information with each other and with the Internet," said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA. "There are many possible applications: Connected cameras could automatically upload photos to Web sites, cars could regularly send detailed performance information to mechanics, while sensors could transmit emissions data direct to computer systems monitoring the environment."

The Embedded Mobile initiative aims to foster collaboration among consumer electronics and industrial product manufacturers to spur adoption, while developing common technical standards and platforms. The initiative endeavors to aid equipment suppliers to achieve greater economies of scale in order to bring down the prices of 3G modules that can be embedded in cars, cameras, health monitoring devices, environmental sensors, energy meters and many other machines. This work will complement and expand the existing market for embedding mobile connections into machines.

One of the first priorities will be to develop a common API that consumer goods manufacturers will be able to use to make their products compatible with many different 3G mobile networks.

"We are very glad to work with the GSMA to develop the new commercial applications for mobile broadband. Based on our great success with mobile broadband terminals, we have no doubt that this collaboration will drive further development of the industry," said Edward Chen, CEO of Huawei Communication Technologies.

"With a broad global coverage of mobile broadband connectivity, the embedded mobile market now can reap the benefit of greater economies of scale as mobile broadband can be used anywhere in the world," said Terry Ahn, executive VP and head of business development at KTF. "The value of networking will increase exponentially as human and machines, machine and machines can communicate. This market presents great growth opportunities not only to the mobile industry but also to other related industries."

"Mobile penetration can and should eventually rise to several hundred percent as everything from cars to cameras to health monitors to industrial sensors become connected to mobile networks, enabling them to automatically send images, information and other data to their owners," said Mike Short, VP of research and development at Telefonica Europe, the parent company of O2. "But realizing this vision depends on the industry taking a common approach that will enable manufacturers to achieve economies of scale. This GSMA program is an important step in that direction."

"Affordable devices that can connect faster and help deliver relevant services to subscribers have an important place in our strategy. These devices with embedded 3G mobile connectivity modules will play a crucial part in pushing the conventional boundaries of our business through services that can make a difference to the lives of people," said Napoleon Nazareno, President and CEO, Smart.

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