Temptations and limitations of converged mobiles

16 February 2007
The recent 3GSM show in Barcelona showcased some of the dizzying possibilities offered by contemporary mobile telephone 'convergence' technology – which brings TV and music player functions to your mobile.

Phones with special features calculated to set the gadget geek into a whirl include the Nokia N73, which receives dozens of TV channels by connection to your home digital box.

Meanwhile, 'Orb' software enables users to access their home PC via their mobile.

The flat fee for such phones is low, BBC News reported – but there are drawbacks, with roaming charges inhibiting overseas TV/email access for the connected business traveller, and handsets still relatively pricey.

What's more, some of the technology isn't perfect – if you're on the move watching TV-to-mobile and you change the channel, the home viewer is forced to watch the programmes you choose.

The speed of connection can also be frustratingly slow, and all these converged functions consume battery power fast.

Clearly, the sector needs more work – but a group of providers including Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, and Sony Ericsson have just announced they're working on a common 'platform' for GSM-based mobiles which should make converged phones cheaper by 2008.

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