TR: What can people at the Atlanta stadium do or buy using their phones?
RM: They can carry their entrance ticket in their phone, and they can use the phone as a credit card as well. A signature is required in some cases, in others it’s not. The good thing is that when you need to modify the card information, you can do such things over the air. You can change the validity, you can add value. It’s a special arrangement at the moment; the full service is not yet finished. And of course we have only a few handsets out there at the moment. Our business groups will have the devices later this year.
TR: I’ve been looking forward to the day when I don’t have to carry a wallet – it sounds like we’re getting closer.
RM: We are getting closer. When we’re look at the forecast for the number of devices with these capabilities three to four years from now, it ranges from 100 million to maybe 400 million. I don’t think we believe the 400 million figure – but, still, when it’s beyond 100 million, it’s significant.
TR: You’ve mentioned delivering Voice-over-IP service to a mobile phone. Are you talking about regular cell phones?
RM: Devices that have VoIP and at the same time have a cellular capability are the biggest example of convergence going on right now, from our point of view, and that is where the interesting applications will be. All of the new enterprise phones from Nokia will exist with wireless LAN capability, so all of them can have the voice over IP capability. UMA is a specific form of that.
TR: Can you seamlessly switch from a wireless LAN, say, using UMA, to the cellular network and not lose a voice call or lose data?
RM: Yes, that’s the UMA approach. For example, on this device [a Nokia 9300 smartphone], I happen to have both GPRS and Bluetooth capability. When I move from the full coverage to the Bluetooth coverage – when I get to my desk, for example – it automatically switches and my e-mails are downloaded through that. I don’t have wireless LAN capability on this one, but the newer version has that capability. You can imagine the applications in business – e-mail, my task list, my calendar, my sales reports, my latest presentation, and anything else on my device could be updated or backed up automatically. When I get home it switches my calls automatically to voice mail, and it might download the latest music I gathered earlier from my DSL connection.
Home page image courtesy of Nokia. Nokia Head Office in Espoo, Finland