Brazil is poised to move to the forefront of the next era of wireless growth and has a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of the convergence of computing and communications, said Ron Smith, Intel Corporation senior vice president and general manager, Wireless Communications and Computing Group. Smith made the comments at Futurecom 2002, the largest telecommunications industry show in Latin America.
"The wireless industry is on the verge of the next major advance - the convergence of voice and data - when all computers will communicate and all communication devices will compute," said Smith. "With its infrastructure, innovative designs and local software expertise, Brazil is well positioned to take advantage of an industry in transition and can emerge as a forerunner in the wireless arena."
Despite the current economic downturn, the data intensive wireless market segment (2.5G and 3G) is rapidly growing in Brazil and throughout Latin America. According to Pyramid Research, the customer base is expected to have a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 105 percent in Latin America over the next four years, from 1.2 million subscribers this year to around 22 million subscribers in 2006. It is expected to generate $5.8 billion in revenues by 2006, including 2G data subscribers, according to Pyramid Research.
The communications industry is in a state of transition from closed proprietary system designs to standards-based, open architectures, said Smith. This sets the stage for the next big growth surge for Brazilian carriers, handheld and phone makers, and independent software vendors looking to make a significant, global impact by bringing new applications and services to the wireless industry.
Gradiente Selects Intel
Separately, Intel announced that Gradiente has selected Intel technology to power its future PDA designs. One of the designs is a converged handheld device with PDA capabilities coupled with integrated communication capabilities for 2.5G GSM/GPRS. Gradiente, one of Brazil's largest consumer electronics manufacturers, joins a growing list of leading Brazilian PDA makers, including Itautec and Metron, and major multinational corporations, such as HP and Toshiba, to select Intel's high-performance, low-power processors.
"Consumers want to access the Internet, share information and stay connected wherever they go, and that puts significant processing demands on their PDAs and wireless devices," said Charles Hong, superintendent of new business at Gradiente. "These demands will only increase over time. The Intel PXA250 processor offers the right balance of power and performance to provide a compelling user experience."
New Intel Wireless Competence Network in Brazil
Intel also said it would be opening a network of research and development competence centers at key Brazilian universities and institutions in an effort to create a community of researchers specializing in wireless technology. The new Wireless Competence Network (WCN) further extends Intel's extensive involvement in Brazil and is designed to provide training and support for the development of products and services based on the Intel® Personal Internet Client Architecture.
The WCN will research areas such as mobile application environments, location-based services, streaming video, mobile commerce, heterogeneous roaming and 3G wireless networks. The first WCN members will be located at the University of Sao Paulo and Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) located in Bauru. The network will likely expand to more sites in the future.