Qi Wireless Charging Extends Range and Power

Qi a wireless charging standard created by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) says later this year its standard, adopted by over 200 manufacturers and carriers, will allow you to charge your device from nearly two inches away.

Mobile device manufacturers using the Qi standard include Asus, HTC, Huawei, LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility, Nokia, Samsung, BlackBerry, and Sony.

Inductive charging does not require you to plug your device in to charge. A charging pad under your device provides charging current wirelessly.

Now Qi is adding new functionality that will allow you to charge your device from nearly two inches away through “resonance charging“.

With version 1.2, the receiver and the transmitter now won’t need to physically touch each other. They can be up to 45mm (1.77 inches) apart. The new standard is backwards-compatible, so if you already have a smartphone or tablet with Qi built-in, you’ll be able to charge them up from as much as 35mm away.

The standard also allows multiple devices to charge up at the same time, provided they’re both within range, and it will be capable of pushing as much as 2,000 watts to larger products like kitchen appliances.

Two competing wireless charging standards, Rezence (WiPower) and the Power Matters Alliance, already have adopted resonance charging, but the WPC claims that Qi is more power efficient and has a larger group of partners and products.

Mobile device manufacturers using the Qi standard include Asus, HTC, Huawei, LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility, Nokia, Samsung, BlackBerry, and Sony.

French Operator Iliad Bids for T-Mobile US

French upstart telecommunications company Iliad, which is known as “Free Mobile” in France, has made an offer for T-Mobile US, reports the Wall Street Journal. The bid would counter one by Sprint for the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S.

Iliad, in a news release, said it offered $15 billion in cash for 56.6% of T-Mobile US at $33 a share. Iliad added that the remaining 43.4% of T-Mobile US would be worth $40.50 a share, based on expected cost savings, giving the deal an overall per-share value of $36.20, or 17% higher than T-Mobile’s closing price Wednesday.

T-Mobile’s response was not immediately available.

In many ways Iliad founder Xavier Niel is similar to Masayoshi Son, the head of Softbank and now his rival suitor for T-Mobile US, notes Reuters. Both have operated their companies as challengers who cut prices and take on larger rivals with bigger resources.

The difference between a T-Mobile/Sprint merger and a Iliad/T-Mobile merger is that Iliad would leave four major carriers in the United States.

Iliad has sparked a fierce price war in France’s mobile-telephone market via its cutthroat rates, and sees the offer as a “one-time opportunity to enter the world’s-largest telecoms market,” quotes the WSJ.

Iliad’s French operator Free Mobile, launched in 2012, built their own 2.6 GHz network to cover at least 25% of the French population. Free is now the second largest ISP in the country.

The French public is the beneficiary of this competition, notes Engadget. Rates are now lower across the board, with Orange, SFR and Bouygues all launching discount brands.

More than 8 million consumers flocked to Free Mobile as Orange and France’s two other wireless operators, Vivendi’s SFR and Bouygues suffered steep declines in sales. In April, Vivendi vacated the market altogether by selling SFR to Luxembourg-based Altice in a deal valued at 17 billion euros, reports Bloomberg.

Free offers 20 GB/mo 4G service along with unlimited voice and messaging for $US27/month. The Freebox Revolution router, which delivers a triple play of broadband, TV and landline telephone calls to Iliad’s 6 million subscribers, is a big reason Iliad’s stock returned 151 percent in the three years ended on June 24.

France owns 28.4 percent of Orange, previously France Telecom, which is Europe’s fourth-biggest telecom operator. Some in the government were concerned that Iliad did NOT charge higher prices. Orange has decided not to pursue a merger within the marketplace despite encouragement from the French government.

Orange and Bouygues Telecom, France’s third-largest mobile provider, had discussed partnership to buy SFR, but now Altice will merge SFR, France’s second-largest mobile provider, with its French cable unit Numericable.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Unlimited Voice Not Data, New Normal, Viva la Free Network!, Sprint and T-Mobile: Joint Bidding on 600MHz?, T-Mobile/Sprint Agreement?

Facebook Launches Free Internet Access in Zambia

Facebook is moving along with its goal to bring Web access to everyone in the world with the launch of a new app that provides people in Zambia with free basic Internet services.

The new Internet.org app lets mobile users in the African country access a set of health, employment, and local information services without data charges. It includes AccuWeather, Google Search, Wikipedia, women’s rights app WRAPP, and, of course, Facebook, among others.

The app will first be available to Airtel subscribers in Zambia, and Facebook plans to roll it out to other parts of the world in the future.

“We believe that every person should have access to free basic Internet services — tools for health, education, jobs and basic communication,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Thursday post on his Facebook page announcing the new app.

The move comes a year after Facebook launched its Internet.org effort to increase access to the Web, and bring the Internet “to the next 5 billion people.”

Today there are a billion smartphones used worldwide. By 2017 there will be close to 2 billion smartphones and half a billion tablets in use.

IEEE Spectrum has Five Ways to Bring Broadband to the Backwoods, including solar-powered drones, MEO and LEO satellites, balloons, blimps, and White Spaces.

Related DailyWireless Space and Satellite News includes; Google Buying Drone Company Titan, Facebook Announces Connectivity Lab, Free Mobile Service from Google, Facebook & Opera, Satellite Swarms Revolutionize Earth Imaging , Planet Labs’ Photo CubeSats Released, Arctic Technology, Sea Launch: 15 Years Later, Facebook Buying Drone Company, Inside Google’s Loon Project, Project Loon Field Trip Hangout, First Four O3B Satellites Launched, Google Backhaul: Balloons & Satellites, Kymeta’s Flat Beamforming Antenna Links to Satellite, Blimp In A Box

Ubiquiti Announces VoIP Android Phones for Enterprises

Ubiquiti Networks, today announced that it has launched UniFi VoIP, a new line of Enterprise smart phone technology using Android phones. The system will be managed by a PBX integrated within the UniFi Software Defined Networking (SDN) Control Plane to provide seamless, scalable telephony.

UniFi VoIP, according to Ubiquiti, will offer a superior user-experience at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. UniFi VoIP phones will feature:

  • Hi-resolution touch screens
  • Android KitKat 4.4.2 with Google Apps and Google Play support
  • Advanced call manager application with powerful conferencing and group calling features
  • WiFi and Bluetooth wireless capabilities
  • Integrated hi-res video camera for video conferencing
  • Plug and Play SIP Setup (no analog phone lines needed)
  • Advanced call groups and conference call capabilities

The UniFi Controller software is bundled with the UniFi VoIP Phone at no extra charge.

Ben Moore, vice president of business development at Ubiquiti Networks, said “the UniFi platform will become much more than just wireless. It will shape into a massive Software Defined Networking platform encompassing routing, switching, video security, VoIP, wireless and much more.”

UniFi VoIP is now sampling with shipments expected this quarter.

Cambium Networks: 5150 to 5250 MHz for WISPs

Cambium Networks, a leader in Wireless ISP solutions, today announced the release of their Multipoint Force 100 and their Point-to-Point 650 wireless backhaul for high-gain 5 GHz subscribers. Their Point to Multipoint platform includes the PTP 650, 650S, and 650L.

Both the PTP and PMP platforms operate at 5150 to 5250 MHz. This new unlicensed spectrum was not previously available for outdoor use, and has higher power limits for longer range. It is not subject to dynamic frequency selection or radar detection.

Cambium’s PTP 650 platform received FCC authorization to operate in the U-NII-1 band covering 5150 to 5250 MHz. Cambium says their Point-to-Point (PTP) 650 wireless backhaul can deliver up to 450 Mbps aggregate throughput in a 45 MHz channel, operating from 4.9 to 6.05 GHz.

The ePMP Force 100 contains Cambium Networks’ latest ePMP software, which expands the operating range of their 5 GHz multi-point radios. Cambium Networks received FCC authorization to operate fixed outdoor wireless in the 5150 and 5250MHz band. The additional 100 MHz spectrum is available via download of software release 2.1.

The ePMP Force 100 also adds enhancements to eCommand, which provides a suite of management tools to plan, provision and monitor the network, and to eFortify, which allows the platform to recognize and react to external interference. The ePMP Force 100 can be deployed as a subscriber module that can connect to any ePMP access point, as well as peer nodes in point-to-point deployment.

Cambium Networks is the heir of Motorola’s Canopy products for WISPs and enterprises.

Wireless ISPs can’t use standard WiFi protocols reliabily since it results in conflicts and interference when more than 5 or 6 subscribers try to connect simultaneously. Instead most WISPs use polling architecture to synchronize users and devices.

App Development: Doubtful Return on Investment

The App businesses is not making enough to survive, according to VisionMobile’s latest Developer Economics report.

The report says that half of iOS developers, and 64% of Android developers are operating below the app poverty line (identified as making $500 per app per month).

While it may seem like a reasonable profit for work that is already completed (once an app is released), one needs to see a return on their invested development time –but there is also a need to see revenue to compensate for Apple licensing, hardware, and ongoing support as required.

Some 24% of all app developers are making nothing at all (and 23% are bringing in under $100 per month).

Only 1.6% generate the most app store revenue (many making more than $500,000 for each app per month).

Other factoids from the VisionMobile report:

  • HTML5 is the most widely used at 42% of developers with Java, the native language on Android, the next most popular at 38%.
  • A surprisingly high 47% of iOS developers and 42% of Android developers are using something other than the native language on their platforms.
  • 67% of mobile app developers primarily target consumers and 11% target professionals directly. The 16% of developers who target enterprises are twice as likely to be earning over $5k per app per month and almost 3 times as likely to earn more than $25k per app per month.
  • Games dominate app store revenues, yet most games developers struggle. 33% of developers make games but 57% of those games make less than $500 per month.

Jared Sinclair reveals the hard facts about app development — it is very unlikely your hard work will be compensated, compared to a “real” job. He profiles the particulars around developing his RSS reader, the Unread app (iPhone and iPad).

Unread for iPhone has earned a total of $32K in App Store sales. Unread for iPad has earned $10K. After subtracting 40 percent in self-employment taxes and $350/month for health care premiums (times 12 months), the actual take-home pay from the combined sales of both apps is:

$21,000, or $1,750/month

Considering the enormous amount of effort I have put into these apps over the past year, that’s a depressing figure. I try not to think about the salary I could earn if I worked for another company, with my skills and qualifications. It’s also a solid piece of evidence that shows that paid-up-front app sales are not a sustainable way to make money on the App Store.