MobileLearning 09 Conference, Day 2, Morning Keynote


Day 2 was really the main day of the conference, with a program chock-full of panels, break outs, and other stuff. This post covers the morning keynote as culled from my notes and brain!


Keynote: Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs, co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Qualcomm

My rough notes from the keynote in which Dr. Jacobs gave a historical overview of sort of Qualcomm’s role in the grand scheme of the wireless communications world.

Qualcomm was founded in 1985. Strategy was innovation, digital/wireless comm and applications (seven co-founders from Linkabit, no products or decisions about business model at the beginning).

Spread Spectrum: frequency hopping patented by Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil in June 1941. Idea was immediately classified not much done with it.

  • 1988 CDMA for 2G cellular researched
  • 1989 first CDMA demo in San Diego (two base stations and van sized “mobile” phone)
  • 1991 CDMA demo with commercial-sized phones
  • 1995 first commercial 2G CDMA network in Hong Kong.

Moore’s Law enabled mobile and smartphones and pocketable computers.

  • 1991 3 separate chips needed to provide 2G CDMA modem
  • 2009 1 chip supports multimode 2G and 3G modems, GPS and more.

Worldwide mobile phone penetration

  • 4 billion current subscribers, 100 billion are mobile broadband, 6 billion projected by 2013.
  • US has more than 268 million mobile subscribers.
  • Approx 92% of Americans live in a census block with at least one mobile broadband provider (2009 FCC report).

Telstra, Australia, has 3G network at 14mbps download speed (to be upgraded to 21mbps by 2010). You don’t need these kinds of speed, but you need to make very efficient use of the spectrum (spectrum is limited).

Cell phones exceed other devices by far. Operators worldwide show strong data growth.

Smartphone devices projected to be >32% of total shipments by 2012.

All cell phones are becoming smarter, no need to have the best of the best model!

Notebooks with internal 3G modems. Gobi powered for worldwide use. Laptops will continue but will also have netbooks and MIDs etc. Other possibilities are things like Kayak, cell phone capabilities that can be hooked into a TV or display

Kindle (“not a device but a service” according to J. Bezos from Amazon) with fully reflexive screens.

Growing convergence of consumer electronics and cell phones => mobile learning (pushing for a sub-$150 type smartphone)!!!

Many uses of mobile technologies in various aspects of life:

  • LifeCOMM Diabetes Management Solution
  • Remote diagnostics using cellular technology (CardioNet)
  • Position Location: GPS -> personal security, commerce, search, etc.
  • Mobile commerce via phone.
  • Mobile TV using UHF Channel 55 and 3G Cellular
  • Wireless Reach, a global initiative; 37 projects in 22 countries (strengthens social and economic development; see also this video)
    • Indonesia Microfinance: village phone replication program giving entrepreneurs new tools for success. For areas far away from cell phone coverage. Buyer of mobile phone kit keeps half of revenue.
    • India: Fisher Friend: bringing helpful information to rural fishermen. Info about market, weather, emergency info.
    • Kenya: Timely medicine helping people with HIV/AIDS. Helps manage supply for antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS more effectively
    • Peru: Kausay Wasi Health Clinic. Connecting a rural clinic for doctors
    • Spain: 3G for all generations, providing social inclusion for elderly people.
    • China PK Unity, bringing internet connectivity to rural schools.
    • Guatemala: Schools of the future, connectivity
  • North Carolina: 2000 with President Clinton in Whiteville, NC. Demonstrating the advantage of the EV-DO wireless broadband access to small business as part of bridging the digital divide.
    • Project K-Nect, wireless teaching support and social networking support student math learning.


Image Credit: “Capitol Butter”, my camera phone 🙂


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