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Telcos Enabling the Transparent Experience

Wireless subscribers want to access advanced services and download content. It started with texting and ringtones, then songs. Now video is beginning to arrive. Where it will end, nobody knows, but one thing is certain: most consumers � except hardcore techies and early-adopters � don't know or care how it's done. They want a transparent experience, from request to fulfillment.

The demand for services and content is there: it is up to handset vendors and wireless service providers to provide the means. The result is the proliferation of wireless connectivity technologies in the handset. At the very local level, that means Bluetooth and near-field communications (NFC), and � eventually � Zigbee. For medium distances, it means Wi-Fi. And WiBro, WiMAX, and handsets with DBVH and MediaFLO will connect to the wider world. Each of these technologies has a role to play in offering the most varied services to the consumer with the greatest efficiency and the highest profits for operators over the next few years.

According to senior ABI Research analyst Philip Solis, "Access to a wide variety of content on various platforms will never be totally transparent to the end-user, but the desire for it is driving handset vendors to include new connectivity technologies in order to create more competitive devices. At the same time service providers, who previously felt threatened by these IP-based technologies, are warming to the idea that they can enable higher profits and new revenue streams."

The wide variety of connectivity approaches now available means fresh opportunities for both IC vendors and content-owners, since they are complementary rather than mutually-exclusive. Some may provide better indoor coverage. Others may reduce latency for video streaming. Others still allow operators to provide services at greatly reduced cost. It is up to handset IC vendors and wireless service providers to assemble the best solutions for each set of applications.

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