3GSM Diary, day 3: Speed and a GSM wristwatch

And that's no horse crap...
Written by Jo Best, Contributor on

And that's no horse crap...

It's the second day of the show proper and the crowds at the Fira conference centre are just as large, packing in to listen to the great and the good of mobile speak - among today's keynotes were Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin and Sanjiv Ahuja, head of rival Orange.

I saw Ahuja last night in the lobby of my hotel, chatting into his mobile. Like any journalist, I listened hard to see if I could hear some secret snippet of information on the company's plans. Alas, while I was earwigging, he said nothing of interest. Much like in this morning's keynote.

Perhaps I'm being unfair to him - he did reveal the company has notched up 80,000 connections to its FMC service, currently beating BT's offering, so he says, despite only being on the market for a fraction of the time.

BT was also out at the show, with CEO Ben Verwaayen preaching convergence and unwrapping new mobile VoIP phones for its FMC customers.

Nokia also revealed today the only device that sells more than the phone is the wristwatch. You know what's coming next... 3GSM also today saw the launch of one device that is, according to its manufacturer, the world's first GSM wristwatch.

The watch does Bluetooth, MP3 playing and SMS alongside its GSM connectivity.

GSM connectivity? Haven't the watch manufacturers heard about 3G? Of course, the mobile industry is already jaded with plain old 3G as operators clamour for the next new tech to pump up their bandwidth.

Orange today announced its HSDPA network trials are complete, Qualcomm revealed yesterday HSPA+ with speeds of 28Mbps while the GSM Association predicted mobile speeds of 40Mbps by 2009. It's all go here.

But according to IDC research director Lars Vestergaard, it's not just telecoms suppliers after the next big thing - three out of four companies looking into deploying mobile email are also asking what else? Mobile SFA? Field force automation? Sod the MySpace generation - CIOs are the new trendsetters.

3GSM is crammed with vendors demoing their holistic-scaleable-end-to-end-platform-agnostic-consumer-driven-solutions. The newly merged Nokia Siemens Networks was also doing an interesting demonstration. I say demonstration - it could have been a protest or a RAG Week parade.

A group of acrobats, musicians, cheerleaders and assorted oddly dressed individuals were carrying placards with NSN branding and marching around the conference centre, deftly dodging the horse manure on the streets. If only all telecoms vendors were so adept at avoiding horseshit.

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