The Chinese government today set off a mad scramble among equipment makers when it awarded 3G licenses for three standards: the government-backed TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and CDMA 2000, which were expected to go to China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, respectively. But close industry observers say some foreign equipment companies hungry for a piece of the estimated $41 billion market could wind up disappointed because the government will likely insist that carriers award much of their work to China's Huawei Technologies and ZTE.
Google is on track to add paid applications to its Android Market in the U.S. and U.K. early next year, according to a developer who said the company has begun sending e-mails to app writers aimed at reassuring them of its time frame. Apple's App Store has attracted about 10,000 developers whose software -- free and paid -- has sparked about 300 million downloads, but unlike the iPhone builder, Google will not retain any of the download revenue.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has withdrawn a provision in his proposed free wireless broadband plan that would have required license holders to block porn, a stipulation that had drawn the ire of some consumer and civil liberty groups. The FCC will likely hold off on considering the controversial proposal until after its Jan. 15 meeting to focus on the digital-TV transition.
Startup Rentobile says it believes there's a business in buying phones from carriers at full price and renting them to gadget-crazy users who can't wait for their contracts to expire to get their hands on the latest high-tech handset. "We want a new phone every month and one day we thought wait, maybe there are more people who want to rent instead of buy," said Seungcheol Lee, one of the New Jersey-based company's three partners.
Until Apple's iPhone debuted, about 20% of cell phone subscribers used their handsets to go online, but new research suggests mobile Internet access is coming of age. Mobile analyst M:Metrics reports that 86% of iPhone owners used their phones to go online in the three months after its introduction in the U.S., and another survey reports 44% would consider a phone upgrade to go online.