MWC reports record visitors

MWCMore than 85,000 visitors from 201 countries attended Mobile World Congress (MWC), which ended yesterday. This is a record for the mobile industry event, which saw many new product launches and announcements.

In addition to the more than 80,000 attendees at MWC at Fira Gran Via, more than 5,000 people participated in a range of partner programmes at Fira Montjuïc.

“By any measure, the 2014 Mobile World Congress was a stunning success and we thank our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and partners for their continued support,” said John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA. “Beyond the number of attendees and participating companies, the continued expansion of the event to address key adjacent industry sectors demonstrates just how pervasive mobile is in our everyday lives and how integrated it is becoming in everything that we do. It’s gratifying to be part of such a dynamic, exciting industry.”

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6 days later and Redmi is sold out again – in 6 minutes!

Redmi sold outLooks like interest in the Xiaomi Redmi smartphone is very high. Just six days after its debut sold out in Singapore, another batch of the smartphones was wiped out in just six minutes.

While irate netizens are upset that they missed out on the S$169 phone, those who successfully ordered last week received their new devices and the response has been good. Besides the good value (without contract too!), the China-made smartphone looks and feels great, and is packed with what most would expect, plus dual-SIM capability.

ZTE launches 4K p60 Ultra HD set top box

ZTE HD STBZTE has launched its 4K p60 Ultra HD set top box (STB), the ZXV10 B803, at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona.

Based on the Broadcom BCM 7252 chip, the device supports 4Kx2KP60 decoding capability, which can decode Ultra HD video with the maximum resolution of 3840×2160. In comparison to traditional HD Internet STBs, the 4K UHD STB can display more vivid and precise images to significantly enhance the user experience.

4K video technology (also named as 2160p) is a new type of resolution standard. Its UHDTV specification can deliver a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels, and the maximum Full Aperture 4K specification reaches 4096×3112. In comparison to the current mainstream 1080p resolution of 1920×1080, 4K can provide over four times the image definition quality. In the future, 4K HD TV sets will be very popular, and the 4K HD and HEVC decoding technologies will help raise the HD market tide.

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GSMA and Facebook to connect the unconnected

GSMAGSMA and Facebook have announced a joint initiative to connect billions of men and women globally who currently have no access to Internet-based communications services. The initiative will focus on reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of mobile, given that mobile will be the enabling technology for the vast majority of people in developing markets.

The activities undertaken by GSMA and Facebook will entail working with governments in developing markets to address key factors that have an impact on affordability and availability. The partnership will focus on creating a sustainable environment to incentivise mobile infrastructure investment and usage, as well as eliminating or reducing existing mobile-specific taxation or refraining from imposing new such tax regimes.

Together, GSMA and Facebook will address a range of other issues that will improve affordability and help to connect the world’s population to the Internet, such as maximising the availability of harmonised spectrum to drive mobile broadband adoption; evaluating the establishment of local Internet Exchange Points; fostering the development of local Internet content; and examining the effectiveness of Universal Service Funds.

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HTC unveils mid-range Desire 816 smartphone

HTC Desire 816HTC has unveiled the first model in its 2014 mid-range portfolio — the HTC Desire 816, which packs an advanced feature set that makes it one of the better value smartphones.

The first edition of the new-look HTC Desire family comes fully loaded with HTC’s iconic dual-frontal speakers and HTC BoomSound, while HTC BlinkFeed keeps users up-to-date with the latest news and social updates on the 5.5-inch screen. A 13MP rear-facing camera complete with HTC Zoe and automatic highlight videos, as well as a 5MP front-facing camera, make it ideal for capturing both selfie and landscapes.

The new smartphone is powered by a quad-core, 1.6 GHz processor and offers 4G LTE connectivity.

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NVIDIA adds LTE to Tegra Note 7

NVIDIA Tegra Note 7NVIDIA has boosted its Tegra Note 7 with the i500 LTE modem – and its 4G LTE cellular connection. The seven-inch tablet is available with LTE and HSPA+ mobile connectivity and can operate on popular carriers across the world. With better cellular connectivity, consumers can now access the web, check out maps and play videos anywhere they go by purchasing a minimum data plan from many carriers.

The Tegra NOTE 7 LTE’s worldwide connectivity is provided by the fifth-gen NVIDIA i500 processor, which leverages a unique software-defined radio technology – meaning it can deliver new capabilities via software without requiring an entirely new chipset. Another big plus is higher efficiency – it’s only 40 percent the size of conventional modems but has 4x the processing capability of its predecessor.

Starting at US$299, it is available from partners worldwide starting in the second quarter, including Zotac in Japan, Gigabyte and Zotac in Korea, and Gigabyte and Homecare in China.

Qualcomm CEO receives 2014 GSMA Chairman’s Award

Formal headshot of Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, CEO & Chairman of the Board.Dr Paul E Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, has been named the recipient of the 2014 GSMA Chairman’s Award. Established in 1995, the award recognises outstanding personal contribution to the growth and development of mobile communications around the world.

“This award recognises Paul’s long-term contribution, as well as that of Qualcomm, in delivering sustained innovation, ecosystem investment and a commitment to the convergence of technology standards for next-generation interoperability. The mobile industry has been a major beneficiary of his commitment to innovation and leadership, as have the billions of men and women around the world whose lives have been changed by mobile,” said Jon Fredrik, Chairman of GSMA.

Founded in 1985, Qualcomm has become one of the telecommunications industry’s greatest start-up success stories, pioneering some of the most significant innovations and technical developments and through its unique business model, heavily investing in R&D and broadly licensing its intellectual property to more than 250 companies across the industry.

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Xiaomi Redmi: Gone in 8 minutes!

xiaomi redmiXiaomi has done it again! In its initial foray into Singapore, all its Redmi phones were sold out online in eight minutes — after it went on sale at noon today.

At S$169, and without contract too, the phone is reasonably priced and a major draw. Needless to say, Facebook was filled with postings of those who were left disappointed. Some even questioned whether this was a marketing gimmick.

Let’s wait for the company for the official figures.

NVIDIA unleashes first Maxwell-based GPU

geforce gtx 750 tiNVIDIA has introduced the GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GTX 750, the first GPUs based on the new Maxwell graphics architecture.

A GeForce GTX 750 Ti running at 1080p resolution doubles the performance and uses half the power of the GTX 550 Ti, which was built with the Fermi architecture, and is one of the most used NVIDIA GPUs, according to the Steam Hardware Survey.

“We know that to advance performance, we must advance performance per watt, because every system we design for has a power limit — from supercomputers to PCs to smartphones,” said Scott Herkelman, General Manager of the GeForce business unit at NVIDIA. “That’s why we architected Maxwell to be the most efficient GPU architecture ever built.”

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ZTE introduces two new handsets at MWC

ZTEWith a focus on delivering a superior user experience, ZTE will launch the ultra slim Grand Memo II LTE with six-inch screen, one of the first Firefox OS 1.3 devices, the ZTE Open C and its brand new user interface MiFavor 2.3 at Mobile World Congress.

“This year, we are looking to work even more closely with our customers worldwide to develop the products they want and deliver a superior customer experience. They have told us that they want ever more innovative and high-performance products, so at MWC 2014 we are delivering this with the launch of two new high-profile devices, the ultra slim Grand Memo II LTE with six- inch screen and the ZTE Open C in partnership with Mozilla and Telefonica,” said Adam Zeng, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices and Executive Vice President of ZTE.

ZTE will also be showcasing its award-winning range of mobile devices throughout the show including the Grand S II flagship smartphone, the popular ZTE Blade series, and the Nubia series including the brand new Nubia 5S and Nubia 5S mini which in December outsold all other phones including those from Apple, Samsung and Nokia at trusted online store Jingdong.com.

More than just smartphones, it will also exhibit the award-winning ZTE Projector Hotspot (a mini projector and Wi-Fi hotspot in one) and the ZTE Grand Watch Smart Watch at Mobile World Congress. Alongside the new products, ZTE will also launch its brand new UI MiFavor 2.3 which will provide a superior experience for ZTE mobile users.

 

ZTE launches ultra broadband remote radio unit

ZTE's UBR (1800 MHz – 2100 MHz)As mobile data services are undergoing tremendous growth, mobile networks demand multi-frequency and multi-system fusion. This leads to many challenges including high network deployment costs, insufficient site resources, too many antenna sites, and high operation and maintenance (O&M) costs.

ZTE has launched the Ultra Broadband Remote Radio Unit (UBR) which includes the following innovative features: big pipe based on ultra broadband technology for 4G and beyond, flexible power allocation and multi-band pool, smart base transceiver station (BTS) site with intelligent operation and service mode.

By using a new type of amplifier and an advanced digital pre-distortion (DPD) architecture and algorithm, UBR currently achieves 365MHz (1850~2170MHZ) transmitting bandwidth through a single channel, a first in the industry. The UBR can work on two different bands: 1800MHz and 2100MHz. For each band it can support GSM, UMTS and LTE mode simultaneously. The 2 × 80W transmitting power can be flexibly adjusted on two frequency bands, and also adjusted on three different systems: GSM, UMTS, and LTE modes.

The embedded SiteWeb is an intelligent maintenance solution. It commissions and maintains a UBR in a tower using Wi-Fi together with a UBR commissioning and maintenance application installed on a smartphone. This greatly improves RRU commissioning and maintenance efficiency, and reduces O&M costs for operators. In addition, the SiteWeb solution provides ambience intelligence, video applications, and other functions which add more value for operators and reflect new trends in base station features.

By using a series of advanced cooling and innovative duplexer technologies, UBR is the smallest and lightest product in the industry, as compared with other manufacturers’ RRUs with the same transmit power.  UBR provides 2T2R (2 transmitter, 2 receiver) and 2 x 80W (transmitting power) and it is only 12 litres in size and 12 kg in weight requiring only one person to install it.

ZTE is focused on meeting operators’ requirements and is committed to providing high-performance, cost-effective products and services. ZTE’s UBR can help operators tackle critical multi-frequency, multi-system fusion challenges and roll out high-quality 4G networks in the 4G era.

Licensed spectrum for mobile offers best possible economic benefit

GSMAShared spectrum can complement but in no way replace the need for exclusive-access spectrum in the provision of mobile broadband, according to a Deloitte report.

Entitled “The Impacts of Licensed Shared Use of Spectrum”, the report highlights how strict limitations associated with Licensed Shared Access (LSA) spectrum agreements – such as shorter terms, build obligations, lack of certainty and small allocations – can significantly reduce the likelihood of a mobile operator to invest. This means that the potential economic benefits derived from spectrum sharing are ultimately lower than those achieved through exclusive-access spectrum.

“The GSMA commends efforts by regulators around the world to rapidly find a solution for the current spectrum crunch,” said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “While sharing schemes could provide a complementary approach to ease rapidly growing demand for spectrum, exclusive access to spectrum for mobile use is the optimal regulatory approach, providing the necessary market certainty to stimulate investments in networks and services.”

Samsung rolls out slimmer Tab

Galaxy Tab 3 LiteFancy a slimmer Samsung Galaxy Tab? Samsung has rolled out the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite (7.0”) WiFi, which  sports a slim, lightweight design with a more compact bezel that makes it comfortable to carry around in one hand. The device’s large 3,600mAh battery maximises portability so that users can enjoy up to eight hours of video playback without the need for an adapter.

Its enhanced features and services gives users a variety of ways to capture, view, listen, create, and share content with others without compromising value.

The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite (7.0”) WiFi’s 7-inch display comes with optimal resolution designed to bring users a better viewing experience. The menu bar is situated on the device’s bezel, rather than on the screen, in order to maximise the wide screen experience.

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Tablets account for half of PC shipment in Q4

CanalysTablet shipment grew 65.2 percent year-on-year to reach 76.3 million units in Q4, according to Canalys. This represents nearly half (48.3 percent) of the global PC market, which increased 17.9 percent during that period. Excluding tablets, shipment declined 6.9 percent year-on-year with falls in all regions. 

Apple remained the PC market leader in Q4, shipping 30.9 million units to take a 19.5 percent share of the market. It shipped 26.0 million iPads, which accounted for 84.3 percent of its total shipment in Q4. Apple’s share of the overall tablet market increased sequentially from 27.3 percent to 34.1 percent, with the launch of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display providing a much needed boost. The original iPad mini also fell in price, down to US$299 in the US, making it cheaper than ever to buy an iPad. But competition is mounting and Android tablets are falling in price, which will put pressure on Apple’s market share in 2014.

Lenovo secured an 11.8 percent share in Q4, narrowly holding onto second place. Lenovo’s PC shipments increased 25.5 percent year-on-year, driven by growth outside of its core Chinese market, where its shipment declined. Lenovo’s 11.7 percent decline in notebook shipments in China was offset by impressive growth in other regions, notably EMEA, where shipments grew 30.4 percent. Shipments in Latin America also grew strongly, following the acquisition of CCE in the first quarter of 2012.Lenovo was early to embrace Android as a tablet OS, while the likes of HP and Dell waited for Windows 8 and prioritized margin over volume. Lenovo’s strategy has paid off, not only in its home market but worldwide.

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