Canada’s Wireless Spectrum Auction

Similar to our friends down south, Canada recently just completed it’s wireless spectrum auction.  A major difference I found is that the Canadian Government restricted the big three players (Rogers, Telus and Bell Mobility) to only bid 40% of the spectrum block to allow new players in the field.  Now that it’s complete the Canadian government has raised $4.25billion and we now have a few more players in the field.  With more competition the state of the wireless industry in Canada can only get better. The recent data price drops are a good start!  Check out who has been covering the auction since it was announced and here for the final results.

Talking about Mobility

Mike Temporale a good friend and fellow Canadian MVP just launched a new site dedicated to talking about mobility called Mobile Jaw.  Here is an excerpt about what the site is about:

  Mobile Jaw is a site dedicated to talking about mobility.  We’re not trying to be another breaking news site – there’s plenty of those around.  Mobile Jaw is going to focus on articles, reviews, tips & tricks, and our random thoughts as they relate to mobility.  When we say mobility, we’re not just talking about phones – although, that will be a big part of our focus.  For us, Mobility is using technology to help keep you connected to the things that matter when you’re out and about.  We don’t want to restrict the conversation to any one area.


Check out the site and make sure to subscribe!

Mobile Search Site

A friend of mine Kirk Ballou has just launched a mobile search site called GOMO Info where you can find local businesses from your mobile phone.  For example type in pizza and you get a number for Dominos Pizza as seen here


Type in ‘car’ and you get a list of car rental companies.


All search results come back with a phone number you can click on and your device will call.

Try it out on your device (any device not just Windows Mobile) at

First Trojan for BlackBerry

First we had a “cross over” virus (using the Smart Device Framework 🙂 for Windows Mobile devices and now the first trojan for RIM‘s Blackberry devices.  Basically the user would download a ‘tic-tac-toe’ game and then that application would communicate with another program that would get into the corporate networks via the BES server.  If you properly configured your BES server you should not be affected. 

Flash Player for PPC $499?!?

Just saw that the Macromedia standalone Flash Player for Pocket PC is now $499US.  Strange move if you ask me.  Why would you charge for a player or viewer, it’s like Microsoft wanting to charge for their PowerPoint Viewer.  Users are just viewing the thing and nothing else.  Probably give developers compelling reasons to drop Flash.  Don’t know if it is included with Flash Professional 8 or what the license says in terms of re-distributing the player but it’s a really strange move if you ask me! 

Note the player for a Mobile IE (or Pocket IE) which is an ActiveX control is still available for free…it’s just the stand alone player that can go full screen that is not.

Sybase Acquires Extended Systems

Looks like Sybase is going to acquire Extended Systems  for $73million and rolling it into their iAnywhere subsidiary.  The main product OneBridge (see here for my involvement in the product) will be rolled into the iAnywhere group of products adding to the mobile products arsenal.  I think this is a big addition to the group of products and will help solidify iAnywhere‘s position in the mobile software market.


Q Smartphone – Motorola

Marcus Perryman writes about the new Motorola Q Smartphone.  Expected release is Q1 of 2006.  The device used to be called ‘RAZORberry’ which I think is obvious what market they are going after.  They also may be trying to grab some market share from the treo.  Below are some pictures of the Q, the BlackBerry 7100g and the Treo 650 (obviously not to scale).  Don’t forget with the Windows Mobile 5 Messaging and Security Feature Pack the Q can have push email with device management with no third-party servers.  With the recent BlackBerry outages why not look at having your email pushed straight from your corporate servers using Exchange SP2 instead of through a third-party proprietary server/network your enterprise has no control over.


Java Happenings

I really don’t do much work in Java (specifically J2ME) but like to keep up with new things happening.  Keeping up to date on the competition helps me answer some customer questions like “What about Java or J2ME instead of Microsoft“ or “Java is open source“ etc etc.   BTW (here is my company plug)…if your company is looking at deploying some mobile solutions check out Neoteric Software specializing in custom mobile software and mobile solutions.  Enough plugging my company…here’s what’s happened in the mobile space where J2ME is concerned.

At the JavaOne show there have been a few announcements.  First Nokia is set on Java and J2ME on mobile devices.  They estimate by December they will have 300mill Java enabled devices world wide.  They are looking at standardizing the platform on all mobile devices because currently there are Java implementations on devices causing developers to re-write code for different devices.  To address this Nokia and Vodafone team together to create Mobile Service Architecture which will focus on issues as remote manageability, upgrading software and a consistent framework across all devices. The group consists of BEA Systems, Cingular Wireless, Motorola, Nokia Corp., NTT DoCoMo, Orange France SA, Research in Motion, Ltd., Samsung Electronics, Siemens, Sony Ericsson Mobile, Sun Microsystems, T-Mobile, and Vodafone Group Services
(Side Note:  On the Microsoft side we have .NET Compact Framework, Systems Management Server and Exchange SP2 with MSFP for WM5.0 which address many of these items.)  All we need is a standardized way to “Push“ data to devices without the use of SMS or custom hacks for every project.  The Eclipse IDE will be a big part of the next mobile Java toolset.  IBM is even getting in on it by bringing Websphere to phones for field services employees and will most likely add to their Websphere Everyplace suite of products.  Some of the more interesting APIs available are the Location APIs and the 3D APIs.  I won’t get into much of this but check this article for J2ME Mobile 3D Graphics API (M3G).  Sun has also released a new version of Java System RFID software which will run on either J2SE or J2ME. For more information checkout this article.  Microsoft is also ramping up efforts on the RFID side and integrating with their server products.

I think this solidifies my views of mobility being the next big wave in both the enterprise and consumer markets. RFID is also bound to take off and seems that all major players are starting to take notice of this.  There are still a lot of obstacles and very over hyped, but  I see many uses not only in the enterprise side but also in the consumer side, but this can only happen once prices come down for tags. With the new highspeed cellular networks coming (and yes they are already in major Canadian cities) I believe there will be plenty of opportunities available to capitalize on….just look at how big ringtones have become!


Extended Systems adds Real-Time Push

Real-time push seems to be a big thing in the mobile space at TechEd this year.  First it was Microsoft with the new Messaging and Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5 and now Extended Systems has introduced real-time push capabilities to thier OneBridge Mobile Platform for legacy applications.  I helped build the Lotus Notes OneBridge connector back in 2001 when the company used to be called MobileQ .  Back then the product used to be called XMLEdge (Google Search).  First MobileQ got bought out by ViaFone in December 2001 and then Extended Systems aquired ViaFone and think this is when the platform was renamed to OneBridge but not 100% sure.  

The first thing that got me started int he mobile arena was a demo for Bombardier Areospace back in 2000.  They wanted a propsal for maintenance personnel to be dispatched new requests and to close requests remotely.  I built a WAP solution using Lotus Notes and Domino (since that was running their main dispatch system) but unfortunately the technology was not mature enough back least that is what the project sponsors said.  This is what got me started in the whole mobile/wireless space and haven’t stopped since.  OneBridge was my first paying gig in the mobile space.

So far it’s been a pretty good move to concentrate in this area and with all these announcments it looks like its going to get a lot better!!

Source: Windows For Devices