Hello, hello, it’s the Nokia 3310 again!

nokia-3310With a slew of product introductions now on at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, what’s amazing is that an old icon has grabbed loads of attention. Nokia has resurrected its 3310 phone, albeit in an updated version that runs on Opera.

Nostalgia has won over the latest technologies as the 3310 looks to maintain its old form factor and offers the long battery life that it’s renowned for. It’s claimed to be able to last up to a month on standby or an incredible 22 hours of talk time. Many phones today can’t even last a day without needing to be recharged.

In an insane world where top-end mobile numbers cost more than notebook computers, the 3310 will be priced at just €49 in Europe. With dual SIM, it makes for a great travelling companion. Let’s see if this phone will come to Asia — and if yes, which parts.

ZTE pitches Blade S6 Plus on eBay

ZTE S6 PlusAnother S6 has made its debut. It’s not Samsung’s but the ZTE Blade S6 Plus — and the company’s making it available globally on eBay for US$299.99.

The Blade S6 Plus was first showcased at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, alongside the five-inch Blade S6, which was launched in January. Similar to the Blade S6, the Blade S6 Plus is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core chipset and Adreno 405 image processor, and runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZTE’s customisable MiFavor 3.0 user interface. It boasts a larger JDI Super Screen 5.5-inch HD display with In-Cell technology for better and more vibrant image quality, as well a higher-capacity 3000mAh battery.

Unique to the Blade S6 Plus is a function that allows the device to double as an infra-red remote control. Compatible with all major electronic and household appliance brands, the function allows Blade S6 Plus users to control televisions, set-top boxes, air conditioning units, DSLRs, and more. It is simple and easy to use, and saves users the hassle of switching between several different remote controls.

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Wearbles sale to triple in 2015

The HTC Grip is a newcomer to the wearable market.
The HTC Grip is a newcomer to the wearable market.

With vendors are rolling out new wearable devices at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it is not surprising that the market is set to boom.

In 2014, GfK noted that 13.5 million health and fitness trackers were sold globally compared to 4.1 million smartwatches. This year, that combined number is expected to jump 51.2 million units in 2015.

Last year, actual sales of health and fitness trackers (HFT) easily outstripped smartwatches. This was driven, in part, by the significantly lower average sales price of HFT, making these devices more affordable than full-feature smartwatches.

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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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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.

 

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to speak at MWC

GSMAMark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook is among the line-up of new speakers in the keynote programme at the upcoming 2014 GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC).

He will be headlining in the first of the week’s Mobile World Live keynote sessions on Monday, February 24 at 18:00-18:45. In this session, he and renowned technology journalist and writer David Kirkpatrick will explore the importance of extending the benefits of ubiquitous Internet access to the unconnected world. In addition to the live audience in the Conference Village in Fira Gran Via, the Mobile World Live keynotes will be streamed live across the venue and to hundreds of thousands of viewers globally via the Mobile World Live portal.

“Mobile World Congress 2014 is set to be our biggest, most ambitious and most diverse event yet, offering new experiences for attendees across the growing mobile ecosystem,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer of GSMA. “Over four days, attendees will have the opportunity to see just how broadly mobile is impacting our everyday lives, how we work, live and play. We’re looking forward to seeing the mobile world gather in Barcelona.”

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Mobile money deployment on the rise

GSMAThe adoption of mobile money is increasing with 208 live deployments for unbanked services in 83 countries, compared to 178 in 74 countries as of January, asccording to GSMA’s 2013 Mobile Money Adoption Survey. Another 117 deployments are planned over the coming months.

The report underscores the critical role of mobile and mobile network operators (MNOs) in driving the adoption of convenient and affordable financial services among unbanked and under-banked individuals around the world.

“The impressive and encouraging results of the study demonstrate that mobile money services are increasingly reaching scale and are becoming even more essential in providing convenient and affordable financial services to the underserved,” said Chris Locke, Managing Director, GSMA Mobile for Development.

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1m out-of-school Filipinos to get access to mEducation

GSMAGSMA is collaborating with the Philippines government agencies and all mobile network operators across the K-12 spectrum to provide up to one million Filipino out-of-school youths (OSYs) with additional opportunities to access education, including technical vocational (tech-voc) education, via mobile media.

The ground-breaking cooperation on mEducation involves government partners including the Philippines Department of Education (DepEd) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and mobile operators Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc. (DMPI), Globe Telecom and Smart Communications.

The operators are co-operating to complement the efforts of multiple government agencies by extending knowledge to OSYs, especially those in underserved areas and geographically isolated communities, with the support and reach of mobile technology. The National Statistics Office of the Philippines reports that in 2011, there were at least 6.24 million out-of-school youths in the country.

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GSMA to create Connected City experience at Mobile Asia Expo

GSMAVisitors to Mobile Asia Expo 2013 in Shanghai will get to delve in a new Connected City experience. They will be able to stroll down a city street of the future and experience the Connected Life powered by intelligent mobile connections.

The Connected City will build on the success of the Connected City at this year’s Mobile World Congress and draw on developments that have put Asia at the forefront of connected device and service uptake.

 

In partnership with China Mobile, Cisco, Ford Motor Company, Huawei, KT Corp. and SAP, the Connected City will be a life-like urban environment where attendees will experience how these companies are making homes smarter, motoring more intelligent, shopping easier and city living safer in the largest and most forward-thinking mobile market in the world. Each area will bring together the latest in cutting-edge products and services to demonstrate how a connected future, driven by mobile, will simplify and enhance people’s everyday lives.

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Asian mobile players and operators among Global Mobile award winners

The ASUS-made Google Nexus 7 clinched the Best Tablet Award.
The ASUS-made Google Nexus 7 clinched the Best Tablet Award.

Asia is becoming a leading force in the mobile communications space. Mobile product makers Samsung and Asus and mobile operators NTT Docomo, Bharti Airtel and SK Telecom were among the winners at the 18th Annual Global Mobile awards, held at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Government of New Zealand also nabbed the Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award.

More than 170 independent analysts, journalists, academics, and subject matter experts and 13 representatives from mobile operators throughout the world participated in the judging of the 2013 awards.

The full list of winners and finalist for the 2013 Global Mobile Awards is available at www.globalmobileawards.com/winners-2013

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ZTE debuts world’s first Firefox OS smartphone

ZTE OpenZTE has launched ZTE Open, the world’s first smartphone to run on Mozilla’s Firefox OS open mobile ecosystem. Together with global operator Telefónica, ZTE will first launch the ZTE Open in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia in mid-2013.

The ZTE Open is an entry-level smartphone ideal for young people who are keen to experience the very latest technology, and people on limited budgets looking to make the move from a feature phone to their first smartphone. It features a 3.5-inch, HVGA TFT touchscreen display and has 256MB RAM and 512MB ROM combined with a 3.2MP camera. It supports Bluetooth 2.1, WIFI 802.11b/g/n and AGPS and has a 1200mAH battery.

“ZTE continues to push the boundaries with the aim of bringing customers the very latest that mobile technology has to offer.” said He Shiyou, EVP and Head of ZTE’s Mobile Devices Division. 

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ZTE to increase smartphone revenues by 30% in 2013

ZTEZTE expects to increase smartphone revenues by 30 percent in 2013, and maintain its position as one of the top 4 global handset manufacturers.

ZTE’s handset business has seen steady development and profit growth during 2012. Industry analyst IDC reported that ZTE had shipped 65 million handsets in 2012, accounting for 3.8 percent of the global handset market and confirming ZTE as one of the top 4 handset producers.

“We know that our future success means we have to build the ZTE brand, and another target for us is to be a top 5 vendor in terms of brand awareness and reputation within the next three years,” said He Shiyou, EVP and Head of the Mobile Devices Division at ZTE. “2013 is the final year of our three-year transformation into a high-end smartphone brand, but we have a lot of building still to do.”

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ZTE launches 4G cloud radio solution

ZTEZTE has launched its 4G cloud radio solution at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.

Its cloud radio is a flexible solution that can adapt to existing transmissions for operators. This adaptability improves network performance. Cloud radio also enables dynamic coordination and guarantees a smooth user experience, especially on the cell edge.

Cloud radio is an emerging solution and aimed at helping operators solve a series of key problems during network evolution progress to 4G, such as unbalanced load in 2G, 3G and LTE networks, and uneven cell edge user experiences.