Reaping the digital dividend
SAGGING CELLPHONE SALES and a diminishing brand presence in the market have recently characterised telecoms equipment and mobile phone maker Motorola. Its latest sales figures show rival Nokia has maintained the top spot, followed by Samsung, which overtook Motorola at the start of the year. The gap between Motorola and fourthplaced LG is also narrowing.
Darren McQueen, Motorola vice-president: wireless broadband access technologies, says not only Motorola is struggling. “Only 28m handsets were sold to consumers in the United States during the second quarter of this year, reflecting a 13% year-on-year decline. With the US economy said to be in recession it’s been difficult for most companies.”
McQueen is banking on Motorola’s planned launch of a slew of new data technologies early next year to get it out of the doldrums. The company has just completed data test sessions in the 700MHz spectrum. McQueen says the product’s launch will be a milestone, for a number of reasons – the first being that 700Mhz is part of the so-called “digital dividend”. The digital dividend is spectrum in the 470 to 862MHz bands freed by the switch from analogue to digital TV.
The second reason is that it shows Motorola’s progress in developing commercial LTE solutions, a GSM industry standard taking 3G technology into the future. “The digital dividend is viewed by mobile operators in the US, Europe and much of the rest of the world as a valuable resource as existing and new mobile broadband networks quickly consume current spectrum allocations.
McQueen says those offerings are sure to be a hit in emerging markets where broadband is scarce.