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Wireless carriers eye digital photo frames

Posted: 16 Feb 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital photo frames  3G data cards  Wi-Fi networks  cellular cards 

The tricky part
"The tricky part," said Wang, "is that we don't know whether consumers are interested in paying a Rs.497.19 ($10) monthly charge" for the sole purpose of downloading photos.

Some operators are also contemplating adding a VoIP service to the digital photo frame. That's right—talking pictures. Cue Al Jolson.

"It's still a novel concept and no carriers understand enough of its business model," said Wang. "Digital photo frames can be bundled with a variety of services via broadband connections."

Richard Miller, chief strategy officer at RMI Corp., said, "The big problem carriers solve is connectivity." Consumers would not need to type in the WEP password, as they would if a digital photo frame were connected to a Wi-Fi router at home.

"But the downside," Miller added, "is high cost and low bandwidth. I think with more and more iPhones, iTouches and other Wi-Fi devices, consumers are gradually getting a lot better at connecting to Wi-Fi."

RMI, which launched its own Home Media Player solution last year, has been already making inroads among the original design manufacturers of digital photo frames in Asia.

RMI's advanced high performance multimedia Alchemy Au1250 Processor offers a turnkey solution for connected digital photo frames with a variety of capabilities including video streaming, wireless connectivity, on-demand content and connectivity to content online.

Noting that RMI, too, is working with a couple of carriers, RMI's Miller said the advantage of moving into this market is that "carriers have good channel and billing relationships [with their customers] that they can leverage."

- Junko Yoshida
EE Times

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