True mobility: the Internet 'to go'

15 Aug 2006

Padmasree Warrior, Motorola's executive vice president and CTO, directs the company's $3.5 billion R&D efforts and Motorola Labs, the global software group and emerging early-stage businesses. She tells Wireless Asia SEA bureau chief Raymond Tan about how she is driving innovation and technology commercialization for the company

Wireless Asia: What are the main drivers of Motorola's technology strategy‾

Padmasree Warrior: There are several trends driving change in the communications industry. The first is digitization. It is now easy to packetize information, be it data, music and video, and move them around. Second, convergence is bringing different experiences and communities together. Third, the delivery of content is changing. There are two types of content. One is perishable content such as news. The other type of content is less immediate, more 'cache and carry', such as movies, and you consume it only when you want, and there are multiple modes of delivery. Fourth, there is a lot more intelligence in devices. They're more capable and can do email, video and messages. They have more memory, storage, processing power and better resolution.

What are users asking for‾

They want to have the same experience they have on the Internet on the mobile device. This is especially so in the emerging markets such as India, where the number of people who use the Internet is 40 times more than those who own a PC. Putting the experience of the Internet onto the mobile device requires a different approach. The user's hands may not be free, if they're driving for example.

In the emerging markets, there are still 1.6 billion people who are not connected. Less than 1% of people in Africa and the sub-Sahara region have access to communications. Motorola feels that the first device to get them connected is the phone, and mobile is easier to deploy. We see a huge wireless opportunity in the emerging markets.

Wireless in India is growing three times faster than fixed lines. Over the next six years, the replacement rate in developed countries is four to five times smaller than emerging markets. In the developed countries, municipal Wi-Fi is beginning to happen. We're winning business in that area and have a number of projects in Philadelphia and San Francisco, providing broadband capability using Wi-Fi and deploying mesh solutions with Canopy access network equipment.

Where is Motorola now with your vision of seamless mobility‾

Seamless mobility is a disruption. It won't happen with one product. It will take years to get there. We start it, evolve it, strategize and describe where the market is going. To put it another way, seamless mobility is how we take the Internet and make it 'to go'. It's not following the Internet, but making the Internet follow you.

What's in the product pipeline during the next six to 12 months‾

We've made huge investments and significant progress in wireless broadband with our MotoWi4 solutions, a combination of the evolution of 2 and 2.5G cellular to 3G and beyond. Wi-Fi standards are now evolving from 802.11 to 802.16, specifically 802.16e, the standard for WiMAX and beyond.

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