Regular readers will know that we are long time fans of the Nokia N Series Phones and the work done with their SIP Client on the Symbian Operating System.
We are now seeing a lot of press that Nokia may be starting to make a move away from Symbian it seems the good reviews and user response to Nokia’s new N900 has made the company look at whether the Symbian S60 OS is the right platform for future smart phones in its N series range.
Various reports indicate Nokia will move away from Symbian in 2012 and focus on the Maemo platform. All high-end N series multimedia devices will then be running the Linux OS by 2012, but X-series and E-series devices may continue to run Symbian. Before the launch of the N900, Maemo had been used exclusively in Nokia’s range of internet tablets but the processing power of the new N900 has been described as closer to a pocket PC than a mobile phone.
Some observers have pointed to some of Maemo’s present failings as offering Services and Applications that cannot compare to the mature Symbian S60 platform regardless of Maemo’s superior user experience.
We have recently seen that many mobile phone manufacturers are planning to move to a standard charger which will help with wastage of having a new charger for a new phone, but Nokia have announced they are working on technology that will enable a mobile phone to pick up charge from the ambient radio waves.
The technology collects energy from ambient radio waves emitted by TV masts, Radio Stations, WiFi transmitters, and the like. The technology is a derivative of that used by the RFID devices in stores that allows them to track inventory by the tags powered by radio waves.
Nokia’s aim is to get mobile phones to harness about 50 milliwatts of power, currently the prototypes are able to harness up to 5 milliwatts, but around 20 milliwatts is needed to keep phones running in standby mode indefinitely without the need for a recharge. The Nokia Research Centre has said the technology will take around three to five years to develop.
We like this sort of green technology and it is a good solution to help us use less power.
It seems that Nokia have caused a storm with some carriers over their plans to integrate Skype in all its new N series handsets. Some carriers are concerned about potential lost revenue from cheap calls made through Skype, as well as Nokia’s perceived attempt to own the customer.
According to Mobile Today, an ‘operator source’ said it was another example of Nokia trying to build an ecosystem that’s all about Nokia and reducing the operator to a ‘dumb pipe’.
Nokia’s Skype plans have split the operators – T-Mobile and 3 support it, while O2 and Orange have vented their anger at the plans in high-level group discussions. They’re pretty against it, basically
So much so that O2 and Orange may both refuse to carry the N97, due for a June launch
We always like to see how the carriers opinions change as T-Mobile was rumoured in the past to have blocked VoIP traffic on their network.
More information on the story here
We have previously discussed Tesco offering VoIP to the consumer – see our post here, well we see that Tesco are also offering a cheap VoIP service using WiFi on Nokia handsets. The offering makes use of a service by Australian company Freshtel, and requires an application download for the Nokia phone.
The service is currently only available for a limited number of handsets, all of which are Series 60 WiFi enabled Nokias – the E51, E65, E81 and N95. However, more handset support is slated to be available soon.
This move may not be significant for the VoIP business marketplace but when a big player like Tesco offers VoIP then it helps the acceptance of the technology in the overall marketplace.
Visit the Tesco Talkwifi website here.
We are fans of Nokia and the way they have introduced VoIP support on most of their WiFi enabled handsets but we see various reports that they will no longer offer VoIP capabilities on some of its new handset models, such as the N78. The N series phones previously included a VoIP client that enabled users to access a range of SIP based VoIP services. The move away from a pre loaded VoIP client is a culture change for the company, which has been quite open source and VoIP friendly.
The older N-series phones 80, 81, 82 and 95 all continue to offer VoIP capabilities, according to Nokia’s website.
Some analysts have speculated that the move away from VoIP on new N-Series phones could be a result of carrier influence, with mobile long distance calling revenues getting shredded by VoIP bypass schemes plus in the UK we saw some carriers releasing the current N Series phones with the VoIP section not loaded so users could not use it unless they defaulted their phones and reloaded the software with a generic setting.
We should mention that we understand only the generic VoIP client is removed and not the actual VoIP stack so users should be able to load specific VoIP clients from providers such as Fring, Truphone etc.
Many users who are looking at implementing on site wireless communications naturally look at VoIP over wireless, but it seems a lot of companies are concerned about the security and reliability implications on Wireless.
A survey from SAS Group of 100 IT and Telecoms Managers, revealed a lack of in house skills to support VoIP technology, this really is not surprising but 21 percent of firms mentioned reliability and 18 percent highlighted security concerns. The SAS Group believes that this lack of faith in wireless VoIP is to be expected, as the technology is outside the comfort zone of many IT departments, putting voice traffic over a wireless network requires specialist skill sets to implement and manage.
From our experience in the IP PBX market we see many users at a crossroads where they need on site wireless communication and they have to make a decision to either use the proven DECT technology or opt for Voice over WiFi. DECT is a technology designed in the early days of GSM and handles wireless voice very well with a wide range of handsets available, if a user wishes to implement WiFi then they have to set up an extension to their fixed data network and ensure that the network is optimised for voice as well as being secure – there is still a relatively small amount of handsets available (compared to DECT) but with manufacturers such as Nokia including WiFi SIP support in their new handsets then this will change.
So this blog entry does not actually answer the question posed but trys to give a balanced over view of the two technologies to help users choose.
We know that firms like Nokia have a difficult balancing act with their product capabilities, on one hand they have to please their large Network Provider customers who have to make profits from traffic on their expensive to run GSM and 3G networks and their are the end users who are demanding more flexibility from handsets to be able to run on multiple networks such as Wi-Fi.
Nokia have done a great job with their N and E series handsets that use the Symbian Operating system to provide a SIP client, we have documented in this blog how some Operators block this client to stop users making VoIP calls. The latest release of software for the Nokia handsets actually gives much more flexibility on the SIP client supporting features such as NAT, STUN, CODEC settings etc, however these settings are hidden and are only available to carriers when their version of software is installed on the handset. There is some good news as Nokia have released an application on one of their Forums that gives you access to all the features.
You can download it here
One of our team has upgraded to a Nokia N95 from Orange and they wanted to use the VoIP (Internet Telephony) but it was blocked. After some research we discovered that this has been done on N95 phones supplied by Orange (as well as some other Operators) so we looked at ways to overcome this, you have to change the code on the phone to a native one for the UK and then upgrade to the latest software.
Have a look here for a step by step guide how to do it, we have seen lots of warnings about warranty etc but you can put the code back and reload the software should you need to return it. Just make sure you follow the instructions step by step.
We know several people who have done this and there were no problems.
For the record we changed the phone code from 0551192 to 0534841 and then upgraded the software from 11.0.026 to 12.0.013