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Wireless Week in Review (Week of November 5)

November 10, 2006 in Wireless Industry News

Turkey Day, Black Friday, and the Sony PS3/Nintendo Wii launches are sure approaching fast. What a crazy month!

Let’s kick off the month of November with some new news.

A COMPANY called Blyk is rolling out a new service in Her Majesty’s Great Britain – a service that provides FREE CALLING to customers. There’s just some small fine print: you need to read ads. Now, normally this wouldn’t be as gigantic news as it seems except for the fact that there’s some serious backing for this company. The CEO of Blyk is the former president of Nokia (Pekka Ala-Pietilä), and the new company also managed to snag a couple Nokia higher-ups. In addition, some hardcore venture capitalist firms are providing lots and lots of cash.

The service is aimed mainly at the youth segment – 16 to 24 year olds and will probably debut in mid-2007.

Interestingly, several companies in the United States already have a similar gimmick – Virgin Mobile gives free minutes for watching ads, and a fairly new startup called Xero Mobile will be providing cheap service to college students in exchange for watching yet more ads.

Moving on…

ANYONE remember a (used to be little known) company called NTP that managed to sue Research in Motion (maker of the Blackberry) for patent infringement AND WON? They’re at it again, suing smartphone maker Palm for “improperly using NTP’s wireless e-mail technology.” So how much could this company expect to gain? If it’s anything like their first lawsuit, possibly something to the tune of $612.5 million.

EARLIER this week, cell phone giant Motorola agreed to buy Good Technology, a small startup that provides email services for smartphones. Motorola is really hustling after reporting a rather crappy quarter, and trying to break into the corporate handheld business which is a huge, lucrative market. Not to mention they have a “cool” looking Blackberry called a Q.

THERE may be a deal going down between Verizon Communications Inc., and ever-popular video-sharing, grape-falling web site YouTube. The deal, which has not been finalized, would give Verizon customers access to “top rated video shorts.” Please see the link above for a highly entertaining video short.

That’s all for now. Tune in next time for more entertaining news and video shorts. Long live the grape lady!

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