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Through the Keynotes at the 3GSM World Congress
Posted: 22-Feb-2001 [Source:]

[Close your eyes and count to 10--that's 2G--now open them--that's 3G. This comparison offered by Jim Healy as he opened 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France today.]

by Mike Hibberd -- "The main auditorium was at capacity yesterday morning for the keynotes; delegates who arrived more than a moment late had to be content with watching the presentations piped through to big screens in the seminar rooms. Obviously people were keen to catch the words of business wisdom they were expecting to drip from the mouth of Virgin frontman Richard Branson. Those in search of the Bransons roadshow weren't disappointed, but for once the big man had his thunder stolen- by science fiction author Douglas Adams. Adams' turn was as close to stand-up comedy as it was to traditional conference presentation and you wouldn't have wanted to be Worldzap CEO Brad Kwong, who had the dubious task of following the author.

"Before any of these took to the podium, though, GSM Association chairman Jim Healy did his piece, singing the praises of the standard. One in ten of the world's population will be a GSM user by the end of the year, he said, following on from the reassurance from that GSM is very much thriving in the US. Voicestream, he reported, now has licences covering 97 percent of the US population. Healy then fulfilled what appears to be a contractual obligation for GSMA keynotes and made a half-hearted stab at baiting the handset manufacturers. Recalling George Schmidt's famous performance(s) he told them they should be ashamed of themselves. But it's doubtful they were quaking; it was a tepid reprimand delivered with none of the schoolmaster's thunder that characterised Schmidt's rants.


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