Opera to make big announcement at CTIA?

Opera to make big announcement at CTIA?
The battle for browser supremacy on cellphones is a heated fight. While iPhone owners will tell you that mobile Safari is the best, G1 users will swear by the Google "chrome light" browser on that handset. And then there is Opera Mobile 9.5, the browser that is featured on some of the high-end Windows Mobile smartphones like the HTC Diamond and Touch Pro and the Samsung Omnia to name a few. With good user reviews, Opera has had 20 million people download their software and has added millions more by signing contracts with European carriers to have their web browser placed on new phones. U.S. carriers have been slower to add Opera products onto new models. Devices like the aforementioned HTC phones and the Omnia were first offered in Europe and when they became carrier branded models in the States, the Opera software was kept on the unit. Now the U.S. carriers are trying to keep up. According to Forbes magazine, a spokesman from the software company blabbed a little too much and revealed that they are going to announce deals with some U.S. carriers at the upcoming CTIA show in Las Vegas next month. Citing the company's proclivity for working with only the top tier carriers, the magazine says that the U.S. carriers involved could be one or more of the big four in the States: Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint.

Originally, Opera dealt with cellphone makers starting back in 2002 when their browser was placed on some Nokia devices. Handset manufacturers with current deals include HTC, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung. Because U.S. carriers have a huge influence over the country's cellphone industry, the firm from Oslo feels they can capture more business in America by dealing with the carriers instead of the phone manufacturers. Dealing directly with the carriers might help Opera sell their new OperaTurbo service which allows up to 80% of traffic on a network to be compressed thanks to the use of special servers and optimization. Turbo was launched in beta last week and while it is in use for desktop browsing currently, it is expected to be made available for the company's mobile browsing products in the future. The service allows operators to suffer fewer traffic jams on their network while giving the user a faster and smoother web experience. It will also allow operators to collect ad revenues for themselves and Opera, but putting up with some ads might not be a bad trade-off if faster surfing is the result.

For those of you web junkies with feature phones, or with smartphones that have crummy browsers, the announcement that Opera makes in Vegas could have a great deal of influence on how your web browsing experience will fare in the not so distant future.

source: Forbes via BGR

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