Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge take their usual look at the biggest mobile industry news stories - and this week they also predict what's likely to be hitting the headlines in 2010. In addition, they review their 2009 predictions... and discover they did pretty well.
The Ford Motor Company is letting owners turn their cars into mobile broadband hotspots from next year with the newest version of its SYNC in-car connectivity system. Sadly it's currently only available in the USA.
Customers will be able to plug a standard USB Broadband modem into the SYNC system's USB port. This creates a WiFi service within and around the vehicle, enabling passengers with WiFi-enabled laptops or mobile phones to connect. The SYNC WiFi system uses WPA2 security, requiring users to enter a password before they can connect to the internet. In addition, the driver must authorise each device when it first attempts to connect.
Three months ago Nokia launched its Calling All Innovators competition, which challenged developers to create applications and services that would enhance the use of Nokia mobile devices.
It's now announced its five prize winners. Top prize went to woZZon, which synchronises with Ovi mapping to offer a database of local events. The woZZon application will now be published on Nokia’s Ovi Store, with the developers also receiving £20,000 cash, paid travel to a Nokia developer event in 2010 and sponsorship to become an Ovi Store publisher.
The UK's mobile market is serving its customers well, according to a recent Ofcom report, although mobile coverage 'not-spots' are still a concern. Its Mobile Evolution document says the regulator should put more focus on the enforcement of rules promoting competition, continue its spectrum liberalisation programme and use competition law to assess future market changes.