Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bridging the gap

CTIA kicks off today, and the folks at Bridgeport Networks have come out swinging at the bell, with a whole slew of interesting announcements. First, the company has given a name, MobileSTICK, to the USB SIM development announced last month. Secondly the tie-up with Boingo and Kyocera to launch a dual-mode WiFi/CDMA handset seems to be a pretty strong endorsement of the Bridgeport technology from both the vendor and services side (lent further credibility by the IMS Voice Call Continuity achievement they also highlight today), and makes me very curious to see how the Japan market shapes up, given Kyocera's position in the CDMA handset market there, and also its position as largest shareholder in KDDI (a search for "KDDI" in Bridgeport's website takes me to a list of NomadicOne versions, one of which is labelled Kddi [?]). (I am also somewhat intrigued as to what this could mean for the Sprint-Nextel/MSO unholy alliance, though I can't see any Kyocera handsets in the current Sprint portfolio.) I am similarly intrigued by the expanded relationship with Openwave, particularly as it relates to that company's position as an MVNO enabler, most recently in - wait for it - Japan. Maybe I've been working at a Japanese firm too long and am reading too much into all this, but I would swear the model pictured on Bridgeport's home page is also Japanese. I suppose I might have to start a Japan telecom disruption blog...

UPDATE: The link I posted to the list of downloadable NomadicOne versions has mysteriously vanished into 404 land one day later. I guess I inadvertently exposed something, but I'm not sure what.

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