MWC: Elop defends Nokia/Microsoft deal, while RIM says PlayBook is just weeks away

By Derek du Preez
14 Feb 2011 View Comments

Day one of the Mobile World Congress saw Nokia CEO Stephen Elop defend his firm's controversial alliance with Microsoft, and there was the usual plethora of product announcements. 

Elop explained that partnering with Android would have created a "duopoly" and that, by backing Windows Phone 7, the smartphone market will become a " three horse race" between Apple, Google and Microsoft.

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"Our number-one priority is to compete with Android. We will [be investing] to help developers move to the Windows Phone platform," he said.

Among the new devices on show was Samsung's follow-up to its successful Galaxy S smartphone, the Galaxy S II, as well as a new Android 3.0 tablet.

BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) also hopes to gain a foothold in the tablet market with its highly anticipated PlayBook device.

It had been rumoured that the RIM tablet would be delayed, but according to Co-CEO Jim Balsillie it is on track for release in March or April of this year.

Two models of the PlayBook will be released, so as to support both 4G and 3G networks.

It was anticipated that debates surrounding the development of 4G networks would dominate the event, and so far Swedish network manufacturer Ericsson has announced that it expects significant growth in sales of its 4G equipment after 2012.

It is hoped that the surge in data traffic that has been seen over the past 12 months will be eased by the rollout of 4G networks. However, the spectrum release to make these networks usable is only expected to be completed by the end of 2013 in the UK.

Cisco is looking to capitalise on this market growth with the announcement of Move, a new framework that aims to enable service providers to better manage and take financial advantage of growing video and data traffic.

Move includes Cisco Mobile Videoscape, which enables mobile operators to deliver an enhanced mobile video experience to customers through various Cisco platforms, and links the mobile network to the larger video distribution network.

In addition, 2ergo, an international mobile business and marketing solutions company, announced it would be the technology and platform development provider to Microsoft's Innovation Outreach Program (IOP) for 2011. The IOP is a community of senior innovation executives from 30 top global companies and functions as a forum for open innovation dialogue.

Computing will continue to post the top stories from Mobile World Congress throughout the week.



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