Archive for the ‘PROJECTS’ Category


Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Seoul seeks to build

mobile platform

By Christian Oliver in Seoul

South Korea’s government has called on Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics to join it in a consortium to develop a homegrown mobile phone operating system, a sign that Seoul fears Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility could pose a long-term threat to two of its biggest companies.

Samsung and LG are the world’s second- and third-biggest makers of mobile handsets but their software is much weaker than their hardware. Their most successful smartphones have relied on Google’s Android operating system.

South Korea admitted that it could be strategically dangerous to keep relying on Google for software as the US firm builds up its own ability to make hardware, which is Korea’s strength.

Since Google’s acquisition, there have been fears that a tighter integration of Android with Motorola’s mobile devices will make for a stronger competitor to third parties such as Samsung and LG. Google insists it will continue to work with independent handset makers on Android devices.

Seoul’s ministry of the knowledge economy said on Wednesday that it would announce details of its plan in October. The ministry said it had invited Samsung and LG to take part but that small and medium-sized IT enterprises should form some 50 per cent of the consortium.

While the ministry has not decided on the nature of the operating system, it said it wanted something that could ultimately compete with Google’s Chrome and is considering a cloud-based system to allow the sharing of data across smartphones, personal computers and laptops.

“In the long term, we cannot go on like this by solely relying on Google,” Kim Jae-hong, a deputy commerce minister, told reporters.

Samsung declined to comment on the government plan, saying the idea was in “initial stages”. LG said it was “willing to listen” to the government’s ideas.

Telecommunications analysts said the government’s plan was impractical or unlikely to succeed because South Korea had too much ground to make up in software, and argued that handset makers should look to buy a foreign operating system or diversify their OS suppliers.

Chang Sea-jin, a professor at Singapore National University, said the government initiative was a “long shot” and looked more like a programme to help struggling SMEs than to boost Samsung and LG. He argued that Samsung, the world’s biggest technology company by sales, should instead look to buy a foreign OS maker.

“In the short term, it is more reasonable to balance [Microsoft’s] Windows and Android and not rely on Google,” he said.

Samsung, whose Galaxy smartphones are the main challenger to Apple’s iPhone, already has a homegrown software system called Bada but it is aimed at low- to mid-end smartphones. Samsung’s blue-riband smartphones use Google’s Android. Samsung on Wednesday launched new Galaxy handsets aimed at increasing sales in emerging markets.

Although South Korea’s government regularly tries to steer companies, analysts said software design was a field in which Seoul was out of its depth.

“I understand the government’s desire to seek solutions with the threat of a rapidly changing market but this is the wrong direction,” said Greg Roh, analyst at HMC Investment Securities. “This should be left to the market.”

?Apple won an injunction in a Dutch court on Wednesday to stop Samsung from marketing three smartphone models in some European countries after alleging a breach of patents, Reuters reports from Amsterdam. Apple and Samsung are locked in a bruising patent fight in the US, Europe and Asia, as they jostle for the top spot in the smartphone market.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Nokia goes to bed

with Microsoft

Rupert Neate, London
February 13, 2011

NOKIA, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, has given up on creating its own smartphone software to challenge Apple and Google.

The Finnish mobile giant has instead adopted Microsoft’s Windows Phone as the basis for its next generation of phones in one of the biggest shake-ups in Nokia’s 145-year history.

Stephen Elop, Nokia’s new chief executive, said the companies had formed a ”broad strategic alliance” to take on Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system. Until now, Nokia’s phones have run on its own software platforms.

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The announcement of the deal in London came after Mr Elop warned that Nokia risked being consumed by ”burning flames” unless it embraced ”radical change”.

Nokia, which dominated the mobile phone industry in the ’90s and early 2000s, has failed to keep pace with Apple and Google in the smartphone market.

Mr Elop, who joined Nokia from Microsoft last year, said the partnership meant the mobile market was now a ”three-horse race”.

It will be about a year before the new phones hit the market. Other changes loom, with Mr Elop saying there would be a ”substantial reduction” to Nokia’s 60,000 employee headcount

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, November 26th, 2010

Brave new world of broadband?

The seeds of the new internet are being sown right here in Australia, but it’s all dependent on an NBN.

After five days of parliamentary debate, draft laws that separate Telstra’s retail and wholesale arms have finally passed the Senate.

The bill, which allows the telco giant to take part in the federal government’s $36 billion national broadband network (NBN), must now go back to the lower house, where it is expected to be approved next week in its newly amended form.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy described the NBN as the holy grail of micro-economic reform.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.Communications Minister Stephen Conroy. Photo: Nic Walker

Senator Conroy said an immediate benefit of the passage of the legislation was likely to be a reduction in access disputes.

He said the NBN was rolling out 6000 kilometres of cable across regional Australia, opening access to 400,000 Australians and allowing real retail competition in more than 100 towns and cities.

“These new changes will absolutely end the gaming that has gone on – 152 access disputes in this sector alone,” he said.

Senator Conroy said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) could now act immediately to end rip-offs.

“You will see an almost immediate change in behaviour by companies as they realise they can’t use the legal system, the competition system, to behave in the way we have seen in the past,” he said.


Spontaneous applause led by Labor staffers broke out when the legislation was passed by 30 votes to 28 today.

The Coalition made a number of last-ditch attempts at delaying the vote but were ultimately unsuccessful.

Following the vote, Senator Conroy said reform of the telecommunications sector was overdue.

“This legislation is the holy grail of micro-economic reform in this sector,” he told reporters.

“For Australian consumers, this reform has been a long time coming.”

The government secured the bill’s passage with the support of all seven crossbench senators: five Australian Greens, Family First’s Steve Fielding and independent Nick Xenophon.

Senator Fielding declared the draft laws’ imminent passage through Parliament a historic moment.

“History will show that the Liberal and National parties were on the wrong side of the debate,” he said.

However, Liberal senator Simon Birmingham criticised the government and crossbench for not scrutinising the NBN more.

“It is a … phenomenally huge amount of the money the government is committing to the NBN,” he said.

“And it is committing it with no knowledge whatsoever as to whether it is the best way to deliver fast, affordable broadband services to all Australians, at the lowest cost to taxpayers in a manner that promotes competition in the Australian telecommunications sector.”

To get the bill passed before Parliament rose for the long summer break, the Senate was forced to sit into the night yesterday, and return again this morning to deal with more than 100 proposed amendments to it.

No opposition amendments were supported, but a number of changes proposed by the Greens and Senator Xenophon, regarding increased transparency, were accepted.

They must now be formally approved by the lower house on Monday before the Telecommunication Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 can become law.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha