#TBT: Carrier navigate content access, sharing; Virgin Mobile eyes mobile TV; New MVNOs join the fray … this week in 2006

Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on those sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

Sprint allows picture, video sharing in groups

ORLANDO, Fla.—This spring, Sprint Nextel Corp. will begin offering its PCS users the ability to share pictures and videos recorded by their cellular phones on an invitation-only basis in Sprint PCS Picture Mail Groups. The service allows subscribers to create an online group related to any subject—hobbies, family or common interests, for example—and then invite other people with an e-mail address or Sprint phone to add content to the group at no additional cost. Users can be instantly notified when new content is added. “As camera phones have become mainstream, wireless phone users are looking for new, creative ways to communicate with pictures,” said Pierra Barbeau, general manager of visual communications for Sprint. … Read more

Cingular allows Yahoo account access

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Cingular Wireless L.L.C. subscribers can use their phones to access photos, e-mail, instant messaging and address books from their Yahoo Inc. accounts. Yahoo’s latest effort to expand into wireless uses a Nokia 6682 handset that can also receive custom news, weather and sports. The AT&T Yahoo Go Mobile service will be available in AT&T’s 13-state service area as well as through Cingular stores in Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Los Angeles. Cingular is jointly owned by AT&T and BellSouth Corp. The offering, initially announced last month at the Consumer Electronics Show, marks yet another way for Cingular users to receive custom Internet information on their phones. Last fall, the carrier overhauled its MediaNet service, expanding the offering to include personalized news, sports, weather and financial information as well as a local search engine. InfoSpace Inc. powers the MediaNet service. … Read more

Vodafone works with Google on search

LONDON-Vodafone Group plc announced that it is working with Google Inc. to develop mobile search services, which Vodafone plans to integrate into its Vodafone Live portal. The Google search results would be delivered via Vodafone’s high speed data networks and the product is designed to search simultaneously on both Vodafone Live and the full Web. “Innovative mobile search will become increasingly important as fast and easy access to information and services are increasingly demanded by customer on the move,” said Alan Harper, group strategy director for Vodafone. “Our intention is to develop our relationship with Google to ensure Vodafone customers continue to have the very best in mobile services.” … Read more

Virgin Mobile plans to launch mobile TV

Virgin Mobile Holdings plc is set to be one of the first European operators to launch mobile TV services using a dedicated mobile TV network. The company, which operates a number of mobile virtual operator services around the world, laid out plans to launch mobile TV later this year using BT Movio, the mobile TV network built by BT Group plc. Virgin Mobile said it plans to use Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Media technology and Windows Mobile-based smart phones. Virgin Mobile said the service would use HTC Corp.’s Trilogy handset for the service, which supports Digital Audio Broadcasting technology. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group of companies, joined Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer via a video message broadcast on stage at the 3GSM conference to introduce the Trilogy smart phone. “Mobile TV marks the beginning of a new epoch for our industry and the Virgin Mobile telephone is something I know consumers are really excited about,” said Branson. “Everyone watches TV these days, and being able to watch your favorite programs on your mobile while on the go will soon be as natural as watching TV in your living room today.” … Read more

Earthlink, Google partner to pursue muni Wi-Fi project

ATLANTA—San Franciscans may have Wi-Fi both ways—free and paid for—now that EarthLink Inc. announced that it’s teaming with Google Inc. to submit a proposal for San Francisco’s Wi-Fi network contract. In August and September, the companies submitted separate proposals during the city’s RFP period. Google offered to install an advertising-funded Wi-Fi network at no charge to the city and to provide free Internet access to all city residents. EarthLink proposed a paid service similar to its plans for Philadelphia and Anaheim, Calif., where the company won contracts to provide citywide Wi-Fi. “Yesterday, EarthLink and Google jointly submitted a ‘Request For Proposal’ to the City of San Francisco to build a citywide wireless municipal network,” stated Donald Berryman, executive vice president of EarthLink and president of the ISP’s municipal networks unit. “This proposal presents a unique opportunity for both companies. By coming together to leverage the strengths of both companies, we will be able to offer services to different customers on the network that fit with their own individual needs and wants. … Read more

Lucent assesses risks to Europe’s telecom networks

MURRAY HILL, N.J-Lucent Technologies Inc. said it won a contract to conduct a threat assessment of Europe’s wireless, wireline and Internet networks. The contract, which was awarded by the 25-member state European Commission, calls on Lucent to perform a comprehensive analysis of the factors influencing Europe’s communications infrastructure and propose recommendations to ensure reliability and security of the infrastructure. The results of Lucent’s study are expected to provide a foundation for action by European policymakers and telecom companies in order to improve robustness of communications and Internet backbones. “Electronic communications infrastructures support core tenets of a stable thriving society, such as national security, governance, public health and safety, economy, and essential services, such as transportation and power,” said Luis Eguiagaray, managing director of Lucent Worldwide Services for Europe. “In this contract, we will leverage the network reliability and security expertise of Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies, and the multi-vendor network transformation expertise of Lucent Worldwide Services.” … Read more

Helio, Disney Mobile gear up for launch

A pair of highly anticipated mobile virtual network operators began shedding light on their planned service offerings last week as they gear up for their respective launches in the coming months. The MVNOs will join a market already crowded with the likes of Mobile ESPN L.L.C., Virgin Mobile USA L.L.C. and others. Helio L.L.C. offered the clearest look into its MVNO plans. The carrier revealed two components of its upcoming service launch: a partnership with popular social networking Web site MySpace.com and two high-end handsets based on phone models from South Korea. Helio is a joint venture of Internet service provider EarthLink Inc. and Korean operator SK Telecom. Helio said it plans to offer MySpace Mobile, which will allow MySpace users to access their mail, send messages, read and write blogs, view MySpace profile photos, post photos directly from their handsets, and view and add friends on their MySpace network. “MySpace Mobile On Helio will allow our members to share their lives as they happen and evolve the MySpace experience from being about what you did last night to about what you are doing right now,” said Rob Gelick, head of Media and community services for Helio. … Read more

Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.

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