Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Nokia launches first handset on China Mobile 3G standard

nokia logoHere at Emerging Voice, we have been following the the whole Nokia / China Mobile / 3G story for a good while, you can pick up on some of those previous posts here : Nokia in China

Today, Nokia has finally launched it’s first TD-SCDMA compliant handsets the Nokia 6788, which was built from the ground up for China Mobile.


Nokia (NYSE: NOK) today announced the Nokia 6788, its first device for TD-SCDMA – China’s domestic 3G standard, at an event in Beijing. The Nokia 6788 is the result of close collaboration between Nokia and the world’s largest mobile phone operator, China Mobile.

Speaking at the event, said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia: “Nokia sees TD-SCDMA as being central to the successful evolution of 3G in China, and so is fully committed to this 3G standard. With a wide range of integrated China Mobile applications, the Nokia 6788 marks a new level of collaboration with China Mobile and offers enriched experiences to China’s 3G users. Nokia plans to introduce more TD-SCDMA phones in the near future, further boosting the development of this 3G standard in China.”

“We are excited to see the launch of Nokia 6788,” said Mr. Lu Xiangdong, Vice President of China Mobile Communications Corporation. “With extensive experience in the China market, Nokia will provide Chinese consumers with TD-SCDMA solutions that are perfectly catered to their needs. Such cooperation between the world’s largest operator and the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer will provide an important boost to the development of TD-SCDMA in China.”

The Nokia 6788 is specifically designed for China Mobile’s (NYSE: CHL) network and offers rich data services. It is an all-in-one device that provides its users with faster Internet speeds and download times. Featuring a 5-megapixel (2592 x1944) camera with a dual-LED flash, a 2.8″ QVGA display, and the hugely-successful Symbian S60 platform, the Nokia 6788 allows people to instantly share the things that matter to them most.

& here’s some pics

Nokia 6788

we apologise for the Engadget style of this post, but it’s been a long time coming !!

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HP expands ProCurveOne operations into LatAm

ProCurve-logo-Hewlett-Packard has announced that it will be expanding it’s sales operations for networking division ProCurve from Mexico into the rest of Latin America of its networking division, ProCurve, beyond Mexico. ProCurve products & services will now be available in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela & Costa Rica.

“We know we will be using a direct and indirect sales strategy as the ProCurve product line is extensive, and in some cases allows for both sales models,” said Alfredo Yepez, who manages HP’s Lat-Am Enterprise Storage & Servers operations. “Many of our channels today have some type of specialization in the networking area as they have previously distributed solutions from our competitors and are interested in representing ProCurve. So we will leverage the relationship with our current partners that have experience in the networking business as a first step, and then develop other partners in a second stage”

The company has recently lunched HP ProCurveOne, which is a flexible suite of applications from leading ISV’s, including Microsoft,Avaya, McAfee, F5 and Riverbed, that can be integrated into the existing architecture of Enterprises, with management being provided by a central platform.

The new approach from HP (Nasdaq:HPQ) seems likely to pay off, as Felipe Ortega, Manager ProCurve of the recently opened R&D centre in Costa Rica reported, even without selling solutions across Latin America, the company has managed to become the second largest provider of networking products globally, after Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), in terms of both revenue & market share.

“We are also developing high-speed chips for networks, software solutions for management and connectivity monitoring of large datacenters. The fourth area is networking security for both wired and wireless networks,” he added.

Original article at MyStockVoice

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Infosys ups full year forecast, points to US recovery

infosys logoIndian software & services giant Infosys has announced its results for Q2 2009 & has correspondingly raised its forecast for 2010 due to improved business from customers in the U.S.

Revenues for the period were $1.15Bn, down 5.1% on the same period in 2008 but a solid 2.9% increase on the first quarter. Infosys now anticipates revenues for this fiscal year to be $4.6 billion to $4.62 billion,  a  much more optimistic forecast than made in July.

Earlier this year, Infoysys (Nasdaq:INFY) had stated that it would look to retrench in it’s domestic market & Asia, as business conditions in Europe & the US continued to deterioate. So the upbeat quarter & CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan‘s bullishness have come as quite a surprise.

“In the second quarter, the overall business climate has improved. Clients are now looking to invest in a few strategic initiatives and relationships to maximize value from opportunities when the economic downturn ends”

Earnings for the ADS of the company are now expected to be in the region of $2.10, a 7% drop on 2008, however a much improved benchmark from July this year, when Infosys stated a potential overall decline in EPS by up to 12.5%.

Normally, companies that make U-turns on forecasts in the middle of the year tend to be broadcasting warning signals, however after a slew of negative messages, it is good to see Infosys are taking a positive track. Infosys is well known for being cautious on it’s financial announcements, so any bullishness from Gopalkrishnan, should be taken at face value. As more than 60% of Infosys revenues are generated in the US, could this be a signal that the recovery is actually starting ?

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Vodafone unveils handset strategy for 360 platform

Vodafone360Vodafone is now releasing two of its own handsets designed by Samsung with the new Vodafone 360 application pre-installed. Nokia will offer another four handsets with the application, and another 100 will be able to use the service at launch. Vodafone aims to make the download suitable for all operators and as many handsets and operating systems as possible.

The announcement from Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) brings to mind a number of similar services, such as Ovi from Nokia, MobileMe from Apple and indepedent providers such as Nimbuzz and Fring, not to mention the Rich Communications Suite currently in development by the GSMA. Vodafone 360 aims to distinguish itself in this field with its reach (315 million Vodafone susbcribers in 30 countries plus partner networks in 40 countries), the fact that 360 is also available to non-Vodafone mobile users, the range of the service (access to all possible communication and social networking applications, so no ‘walled garden’), and its open character (open to numerous handsets and operating systems), and, we can ussume, its user interface. This last issue is essential if the service is to be successful. Demonstrations are not yet available, but according to sources, Vodafone had 1,000 developers working on the service for months. Vodafone 360 has to offer access to all the contacts and content around the subscriber, hence the name ‘360’.

Vodafone has deployed its significant development power, based on the enormous scale of the company, to explicitly create a distinctive asset. Under the leadership of former Microsoft man Pieter Knook, Vodafone is looking to compete head on with other international giants, such as Nokia, Google, Apple and Microsoft. In this field, Vodafone is the only operator active, which raises the qeustion if Vodafone 360 can be a success. Ovi has so far disappointed, in a world where the user demands maximum freedom to choose. However, Vodafone has a clear advantage over competitors: the mobile operator has a billing relationship with its customers.

While it’s questionable whether the service will take off outside its own customer base, it should only bring benefits to Vodafone’s own subscribers. Vodafone will profit indirectly from this: satisfied customers, higher usage and lower churn. And there is also something to be earned directly, namely from that bit of sales from revenue-sharing deals or through placing advertisements among the content.

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Busy tones in Qatar, as Vodafone & QTel battle for hearts & minds

Vodafone QatarQatar‘s telecommunications sector is becoming increasingly competitive, both domestically and on the international stage.

The recently released Global Competitiveness Report 2009-10, prepared by the World Economic Forum (WEF), ranked Qatar as the most competitive economy in the Middle East and North Africa region, and 22nd overall out of the 133 countries assessed.

The country scored highly in the category of technological readiness, the ability of an economy to adopt existing technologies to enhance productivity. In particular, the WEF cited Qatar’s embrace of new communications technology as a factor that enhanced its competitiveness, saying, “The country has made great strides in harnessing the latest technologies, such as mobile telephony and broadband.”

Those great strides have seen Qatar ranked second in the world for per-capita mobile phone ownership, 37th for broadband internet subscriptions and 33rd for the total number of internet users.

While the willingness of Qataris to make use of the latest technological advances has helped to improve the country’s economic competitiveness at the international level, it is on the domestic stage where things are really heating up.

On March 1, a new era dawned, with Vodafone Qatar launching a limited mobile phone service, thus marking the end of Qtel‘s monopoly on the market. Full services covering around 99% of the country were launched in July.

Not surprisingly, Vodafone Qatar has experienced some teething problems, partly due to having to share some of Qtel’s infrastructure and in part as a result of the unexpectedly high levels of client pick up. In mid-September, Vodafone Qatar announced it passed the 100,000 subscriber mark. Though well ahead of the company’s own projections, and a good start towards its target of taking a 40 to 60% market share within 10 years, Vodafone Qatar still has a long way to go before it can truly rival Qtel, which has 1.9m subscribers on its books.

Despite having just a fraction of Qtel’s subscriber numbers, Vodafone has set out its stall, seeking to challenge the incumbent with different products and pricing packages. And it is the appeal of the new that is attracting at least some of Qtel’s existing customers to its rival, with the two companies basically providing similar services on mobile and internet platforms. Both companies have reduced costs for some mobile phone services and stepped up special offers, including cut-price internet downloads and cheap international calls.

One area that Qtel still retains an advantage in is the fixed-line segment. Though Vodafone is also supposed to provide fixed-line services, a launch date for such an operation has yet to be set, with the company saying in early September it had not as yet been issued the required licence by the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology.

Though Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) may have to wait before it can mount its challenge to Qtel’s landline monopoly, the company has racked up a few impressive achievements in the past few months. The entrant’s initial public offering, which was concluded in April, raised $930m, with some 82,000 individual Qatari investors and 273 institutional investors taking a stake in the firm.

While Qtel is responding to the challenge offered by Vodafone, its domestic operations are just part of a much bigger corporate profile, with the company active in 17 separate countries across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, maintaining a subscriber base of around 52m. The company has declared its objective of becoming one of the world’s top-20 telecommunications firms by 2020, an aim it seems on track to achieve.

Despite having raised its debt levels in recent years to fund an ambitious acquisitions programme, Qtel has had little difficulty in rolling this debt over, despite the generally tight liquidity situation. In mid September, it renegotiated a loan of $2bn, arranging a forward start agreement on a revolving credit facility maturing in November, extending the credit by two years.

According to Qtel’s chief executive officer, Nasser Marafih, the company is focusing on consolidating three years’ worth of growth, though it would always keep watch for any opportunities that would augment its portfolio.

Qtel may be an international firm, but much of its recent expansion has yet to be translated into revenue streams. Till they do, Qtel will rely on its original core market to underpin its operations, though now it will have to contend with a competitive Vodafone on the other end of the line.

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MyStockVoice.com is now alive & kicking

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It’s taken a while & it’s been an interesting experience, but am pleased to say that we released MyStockVoice.com into public beta. For me personally, there have been a few challenges, “assisted” along the way by re-locating with my family from Switzerland to Slovakia.

The team at Connection Services who have designed & support the MSV platform have been excellent, especially when responding to an ever changing set of requirements. MyStockVoice started as this WordPress blog, where I could muse on my views on Emerging Markets & BRIC economies. A conversation with a friend who works in the City (London) encouraged me to look at doing something a little more. The original format, was a forum, then a newswire service & now it’s a fully fledged blog publication platform. So you can imagine how happy my colleagues at CSL were, when I tripped back every few months & said “right, this is what we are doing now”

Our aim at MSV is to provide an ever widening audience with value insights into what is rapidly becoming a major topic for hedge funds, investment managers & retail investors alike : BRIC & Emerging Markets. International stocks traded on US exchanges are becoming ever more popular, especially via Depositary Receipts (ADR,ADS,ADN) , for the more cautious or long minded, a number of ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) have sprung up to service the appetite to take part in these growing economies.

Covering all the major regions, MSV provides focussed channels into a variety of sectors & also specific categories for Macro Econmics, ADR & ETF investing. We are pleased to be working with some well established names from the investment community, along with faculties such as Knowledge at Wharton, the Economics Faculty at Beijing University, Skolkovo Business School in Moscow & Cranfiedl University in the UK.

Our strapline is “your community … your voice”  & to reflect this, we will be bringing our readers plenty of new unique content. Much of my time in the last two to three months has been spent contacting individual bloggers & also online media services that are based in the regions covered. In this way, we can present a “blend of thought”, that will allow our subscribers to formulate informed opinions on their own particular areas of interest.

So, enough jawing from me, but to close, Alex, Chris & myself would like to thank the team at CS & all the people that have had input into the project. We sincerely hope that you enjoy the MSV experience & are always open to new ideas, partnership opportunities & most of all feedback.

Many thanks

Paul

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Apple & China Unicom receive regulatory approval for iPhone launch

china unicom iphoneGasp … shock … applause, yes, according to tech website Engadget this morning, China Unicom & Apple have managed to get regulatory approval fromChina’s State Radio Regulatory Commission.  As Engadget states :

According to the listing, we’re looking at a GSM / WCDMA cellphone complete with Bluetooth, an internal model number A1324, a little-known manufacturer called “Apple Inc.” and an approval date of May 7th, 2009. We’re also told that the certificate expires in five years, which should give China Unicom plenty of time to capitalize on its reported three-year deal to offer the phone in mainland China.

A copy of that filing can be viewed here : Approvals (luckily for us, Google translate is working well) & here is an image of the actual filing itself :

china-iphone-approval

Engadget goes on to play this down, as there have been a plethora of iPhone / China stories ever since the first iPhone came on the scene two years ago. However, scooting around some telecom pit stops & also some Apple watchers, it would seem that there is real credence in this story. Over at iPhon Asia, Dan Butterfield, a veteran Asian mobile commentator, has been doing our job for us, with a regular stream of articles on the iPhone, here are a couple of lifts from him in the last week in reverse order :

Press reports along with some documentary evidence, suggests that a new model iPhone was submitted to China’s authorities for mandatory “testing” sometime in late Spring. The MIIT’s testing process can take several months to complete. Foot-dragging by the MIIT might help China’s carriers to deploy their own Android-based phones + new WVAS + new mobile operating systemsbefore iPhone is launched.

Multiple reports that Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision) will soon begin full production of a custom iPhone for China. This model will not have WiFi (due to WAPI/WiFi issues) but will likely come preloaded with several “for China” apps. Foxconn has given this iPhone a code name – “Model 90.” There is a very high probability that Model 90 is the same “yet to be unveiled” iPhone model (A1324) that China granted (in early June) a Radio Transmission Equipment Type Approval Certificate (RTETAC). China website Tech.QQ has posted a story today about China Unicom’s plans to bring iPhone to China. The report quotes anonymous “informed sources” who claim that Apple and China Unicom have finalized their deal to officially launch iPhone in China. The report does not mention when China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) might grant Apple’s iPhone the required Network Access License (NAL).

China’s Oriental Morning Post is jumping into the iPhone rumor mill. In a report today the Post reveals that China Unicom is in the midst of intense iPhone promotion/distribution planning. The Post reports that the new iPhone model for China will retail for 2,000 CNY ($293 USD) for subscribers who choose a data-plan + multi-year contract. This subsidized price would be 1,000 CNY below the reported (yesterday’s unverified rumor) 3,000 CNY ($440 USD) that China Unicom will pay to Apple for each unit. The Post notes that there will be other plan options that further reduce iPhone’s retail price. The Post sites “Shanghai Unicom*insiders” who provided information on condition of anonymity.

Now, lets go all the way back to the first quote & concentrate on the highlighted text (my addition), Dan reported this regulatory topic back on the 25th July in his post : iPhone in China – “Are we there yet?”

So thanks Engadget for “breaking” some news that was already out there & Big Kudos for Dan for sticking at it & being objective.

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