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A 'Gold Medal' for Motricity? Durham Firm Up for an Award at Major Show

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has a chance to generate a great deal of world press this week.

While much of the sports world focuses on Torino, Italy for the Winter Olympic Games, cellular and mobile services providers will be gathering at the

3GSM World Congress

. The most highly anticipated mobile communications show in the world opens today in Barcelona, Spain.

More than 50,000 people are expected to turn out for the four-day event, and some 962 companies are exhibiting - up 40 percent from a year ago, organizers say.

And Motricity will be among the companies competing for the equivalent of a gold medal. Motricity's "Fuel" mobile content deliver platform has been nominated as a contender for the "Best Service Delivery Platform". Winners will be named on Tuesday.

"We're up against some pretty good competitors, Microsoft being one of them" said Les Hamashima, a spokesman for Motricity. Motricity received a "Platform of the Year" honor from analysts firm Frost & Sullivan last fall. To win in Spain, Hamashima said, "would be another piece of validation for us."

At the show on Monday, Motricity announced it was developing two "store fronts" for mobile application providers based in Europe. "We're showing that we are strengthening our footprint across the sea," Hamashima explained.

Motricity has an operation based in Europe and sent at least 10 people to man its booth at the Barcelona event.

"It's basically the largest show of its kind," Hamashima said. "The other big show for us is the CTIA show in Las Vegas in April." CTIA stands for the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association.

Motricity has developed a wide variety of mobile content as well as the means for its partners to deliver it.

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications, the set of standards used by some 77 percent of cellular customers worldwide. The 3G refers to the advent of increased bandwidth that enables multimedia over the cell networks.

Nortel Touts Mobile TV


, meanwhile, will use the 3GSM event to tout its new mobile TV solution. Citing developments in South Korea, the company says it has developed a technology that will enable 3G network operators to deliver mobile TV and digital broadcasts through their existing networks.

"Our strong presence in South Korea, where mobile TV is really taking off, has given us valuable insight into the revenue possibilities that it can bring to operators," said Peter MacKinnon, a Nortel exec working on GSM and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) technology. "Here, at the 3GSM World Congress, we are demonstrating a full choice of solutions designed to help operators to deliver a truly live, mobile, TV experience, while maximizing revenues per user."

SK Telecom will be demonstrating the digital mobile multimedia broadcasting service it now offers in South Korea.

There's More to 'Cell' Than Gaming

BusinessWeek offers an in-depth look at the new Cell chip from IBM that will power the new Sony PlayStation 3. Last week, IBM announced its other usage plans for the Cell, which BusinessWeek has branded as "essentially a supercomputer on a chip".

"Amid the ballyhoo, little attention has been paid to Cell's other selling point: its potential for transforming data-crunching in industries hungry for computing power -- and on the military battlefields of the future," writes Steve Hamm in

the Feb. 9 issue


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