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3GSM: The Vino & The Damage Done

11:30 AM -- It would be an interesting and novel exercise in cost-benefit analysis to figure out how many brain cells myself and my colleagues -- Gabriel Brown and Ray Le Maistre -- lost on Unstrung's behalf at this week's 3GSM show in Barcelona and if the stories we got and will get are worth the brain cells lost through the consumption of cheap red wine.

Make no mistake, despite the fact that the show was surprisingly light on big official announcements, it was still a grueling dusk-to-dawn decathlon of briefings, boozing, and really, really bad dancing. (The last I saw of an exhausted former colleague last night she was swaying gamely in an insanely huge conga line at the BlackBerry party.)

Nope, its been the rumors that have really made this show. There are some very juicy ones doing the rounds right now. A lot of these will get made into stories if we can make them stand up, but here's a selection of those that I have neither the time nor the inclination to check further but were definitely loose in the air on the show floor and in the bars of Barcelona.

  • Near-rivals are convinced that Beceem Communications Inc. is now the chip startup to beat in the mobile WiMax game and will get bought soon by a larger player, possibly Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) or Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT). My talkative sources point to the startup's latest $40 million round of funding as evidence of the value investors see in this company.

  • Wireless broadband pioneer IPWireless Inc. is up for sale, but nobody is quite sure who is buying. Signs point to Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) as a possible suitor since IPWireless's value -- such as it is -- is locked in its intellectual property rather than its product line. "Its definitely not a fire sale," one source said, which surprised the hell out of me. Oh, and a further hilarious detail on this: While I was checking this story out I called up Sky Light Research to see if they knew anything about a deal. They have signed an NDA with IPWireless that explicitly forbids them from talking to Unstrung about IPW. Even funnier? They continue to honor it!
  • Nokia will increase its mobile Linux efforts soon.

  • "Qualcomm needs to buy into WiMax soon -- they have to!"
  • (Old) Jersey's finest, former Unstrung editor Ray Le Maistre, may have closed out Tuesday night plaintively asking for -- and being refused -- just one more drink at anglophile music bar "Manchester" somewhere off the Ramblas in a vain attempt to recapture his college days. Sources say they knew they were in for a long night when the Unstrung wrecking crew decided to sample a pepto-bismol-pink, but lethal, local tipple that may -- or may not -- have been called "Jaguar Jism."

    I can't confirm this. Apparently, I was there, yet details remain hazy.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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