When P. Diddy, the chairman of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, kicks off the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association's...
When P.Diddy, the chairman of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, kicks off the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association’s Wireless conference in New Orleans today, he’ll set a tone for the three-day event.
This year, mobile music, mobile TV and the high-speed networks driving the new services are the highlights everyone is expected to watch closely at the 20th annual show.
Conference attendees run the gamut, from wireless carriers to content providers and equipment manufacturers, including a strong contingent from across the Northwest.
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Today, Mforma, InfoSpace, Blue Frog Mobile, Cingular Wireless and Action Engine — all with a local presence — plan to make announcements touching on some of these hot areas.
Mforma and InfoSpace, both of Bellevue, and Blue Frog Mobile of Seattle plan to announce products involving ring tones, a phenomenon that has picked up rapidly in the United States and totals about $11 billion in sales worldwide.
That success has drawn a herd of competitors, and content providers are having to differentiate their products, said Mforma Executive Vice President Robert Tercek.
For its part, Mforma, a publisher of mobile content, is launching a new service with the Billboard music charts.
Unlike some ring-tone services that list offerings by genre, such as country, hip-hop or jazz, Tercek said, Mforma has created software that users would download and for a flashier experience.
For example, if you pick a Snoop Dogg title, his picture will appear, and the ring tone will start playing. “We want people to get in the habit of browsing and keep them coming back for more,” Tercek said.
Bellevue’s InfoSpace said it is planning a different type of ring tone through a partnership with LaffLink, which has the digital rights to material from thousands of comedians, including Roseanne Barr, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock.
Together, the two companies are providing comedy ring tones called LaffTones.
Hank Skorny, vice president of InfoSpace Mobile, gave an example of a ring tone from a scene of the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in which the teacher is taking attendance and says the classic line; “Bueller, Bueller, Bueller.”
Blue Frog Mobile’s twist on it is through Own Tones, which lets a user record his or her own voice to create a ring.
Cingular, which acquired Redmond-based AT&T Wireless late last year, plans to announce ring tones from previous “Star Wars” episodes ahead of the May 19 release of “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.”
Users can download ring tones such as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s line, “The force will be with you, always.”
Cingular is offering the ring tones through a partnership with Lucasfilm. Other content to be rolled out include games, animated screensavers, greeting cards, other ring tones and wallpaper graphics. Prices range from $1.99 to $5.99. Content based on the newest “Star Wars” episode will be out April 4, the company said.
Action Engine, a Redmond company that is developing a wireless platform, plans to announce a partnership with Microsoft to help companies customize legacy software, including Microsoft BizTalk Server Communications hub, for the mobile phone.
The software will be offered first to universities, medical facilities and government agencies.
Tricia Duryee: 206-464-3283 or firstname.lastname@example.org