3GSM World Congress Asia

3GSM World Congress Asia, the sister event to the Europe-located 3GSM World Congress, has come to a finish. Delegates and visitors from more than 90 countries participated in this five-day event on the Asian mobile communications calendar, the last to be held in Singapore, as the show moves to Macau, China in 2007.

Inaugurating the event, Rob Conway, CEO of GSMA said, "Asia is a hot bed of innovation for the mobile world, there is an astonishing array of talent dedicated to developing new ideas for the market. However, it's a complex market and players with interesting or astonishing ideas have to fight hard to be heard. These awards provide the best platform in the mobile space for great ideas to get the recognition and attention they deserve."

On this occasion, the GSM Association (GSMA) announced a unique and prestigious addition to its established Global Mobile Awards! 'Asia Mobile Innovation Awards 2006', a brand new awards scheme for innovative products or services, judged and presented for the first time at Asia's premier mobile communications event, the GSMA's 3GSM World Congress Asia 2006.

Microimage won the award for most innovative mobile application or content and Open-Plug for most innovative technology development. The competition, sponsored by Ericsson, is exclusively for young, small and start-up companies across Asia, developing exciting, innovative technologies, applications and content for the fast moving mobile space. Microimage has developed the world's first patented local language messaging and content browsing application to provide customized, local language support for entry-level applications on mobile devices in emerging markets.

Open-Plug's ELIPS is the first open software framework designed for mobile phones, which enables ELIPS-based handsets to be tailored and configured far more quickly according to the requirements of operators.

Microimage and Open-Plug were judged winners by a prestigious judging panel comprising senior representatives from Bharti-Airtel, KTF, Smart Communications, SpinVox – winners of this year's global innovation award – and Ericsson after a round of 'elevator' pitches at the 3GSM World Congress Asia in Singapore.

Also in this occasion, Asian operators teamed up with the GSMA to rollout personal instant messaging. Talking in this context, Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA said, "By enabling a rapid-fire text-based dialogue, soon to be enriched with pictures, music and even video, IM is further extending the array of communications options open to mobile phone users". Highlighting India's stance on this Manoj Kohli, president of Bharti Airtel said, "India's mobile operators are aiming to have achieved interoperability at a technical level by February 2007 and we in Bharti Airtel are greatly excited about the potential for Mobile IM in India".

At the 3GSM World Congress, GSMA also come up with a proposal to make mobile broadband a standard feature in notebook computers. Earlier this year, the GSM Association and Intel announced an initiative to facilitate and drive the adoption of the GSM family of technologies in notebooks. This program has since become an industry-wide initiative. Participants in the initiative include leading mobile operators: Cingular Wireless, O2, Orange, TeliaSonera, TIM, T-Mobile and Vodafone as well as major manufacturers and suppliers of mobile, software and PC equipment; Check Point, Dell, Fujitsu, Gemalto, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Option Wireless, Novatel Wireless, Qualcomm, Sierra Wireless and Sony Ericsson.

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