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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 6772 22-Feb-2006 11:22
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For years we heard how American mobile operators (they call them "carriers") were behind the mobile uptake sweeping the world.

Everyone talked about how Europe was great in mobility, thanks to the GSM standard being the glue that put all nations together, with easy roaming everywhere, and GPRS being a a great idea.

Then Asia Pacific, with the incredible use of mobile technologies in South Korea.

These days, what do I see? GPRS is still on, but main centres in Europe are fast to adopt UMTS. GPRS is really such a bad experience! As an alternative, smart operators started offering EDGE instead, which is a great improvement over the original packet based service.

You look in good old New Zealand and we have two mobile operators, offering mobile song downloads, video clip downloads (sorry, Vodafone, it's not mobile TV), wallpapers and ringtones, plus SMS services.

Some users complain of the quality of 3G services from Vodafone in certain areas, mainly in Auckland, where 1/4 or more of our population lives. The other side complains about lack of compeling mobile phones connected to the Telecom network.

And why Vodafone decided that GPRS was an ideal fallback from UMTS is beyond understanding.

In Europe some operators (ePlus in Germany for example) are moving to offer 3G services with Skype plans. And Hutchison have announced their plan to provide Skype on 3G smartphones (most likely powered by Symbian, although I used Skype on my HTC Apache a few times with great success).

T-Mobile in Germany is now offering an unlimited plan with a base cost, plus a daily usage fee - this way users know how much is the max they will pay at the end of month.

Meanwhile, in the USA, we hear about Cingular launching a commercial HSDPA network, first in the world to go live. I remember Vodafone NZ talking to clients about how they were going to run the first Nokia-enabled HSDPA trial for the group. Novelty goes fast, right?

Now I read AT&T/Cingular are launching a mobile service powered by Yahoo! Go Mobile. Still a portal, but it integrates the mobile phone with the users preferences and contents from the desktop.

And on the CDMA side we see how Sprint is pushing their location based service products, in partnership with Microsoft using Microsoft MapPoint.

Of course these kind of services are taking off in America: they have unlimited data plans! US$49.95 for all you can eat mobile broadband. Some mobile operators in Europe are even doing this now too.

I am really looking forward to the times we see services outside of the "walled garden" available to users savvy enough to know better (Vodafone live! anyone?), services that involve smart clients on interesting mobile phones (preferably smartphones, both Symbian or Windows Mobile), location based services available to the masses, not only to corporations, IM solutions involving the big ones (Yahoo!, MSN, AIM), and why not, satellite TV on mobile devices (like the HTC Trilogy announced by Virgin). Ah, and unlimited data, thanks.

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Reply # 29078 22-Feb-2006 11:46
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If there was an all you can eat data plan I wonder how many users would use it as thier main broadband connection? i.e. ditch Whoosh and just plug your 3G handset into your PC or a data card for your laptop.

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BDFL - Memuneh
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Reply # 29080 22-Feb-2006 11:49
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Not many I believe, unless you have a laptop, and are a bit savvy. Mom and pop would still use landline I'd think. Remember this is a mobile solution, and latency and other factors will not give the same throughput you can achieve on a cable or DSL solution.

You would have to purchase a handset to use as a modem for you dekstop and for convenience it would have to be always connected... Of course operators would have better chance to ofer fixed line solutions once they drop their hardware charges and silly requirements as TCL imposes now (broadband only available if a phone line is in the package too)...


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Reply # 29081 22-Feb-2006 12:05
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Morbid1: If there was an all you can eat data plan I wonder how many users would use it as thier main broadband connection? i.e. ditch Whoosh and just plug your 3G handset into your PC or a data card for your laptop.

I spotted this story last week - looks like we are still some time off decent data rates from the Vodafone Group despite many other carriers already waking up to the concept.

Vodafone To Confront VoIP Threat With Data Bundles - CEO

BARCELONA -(Dow Jones)- Vodafone Group Chief Executive Arun Sarin Tuesday said the mobile phone operator will look to offer large mobile data bundles in the future to counter the potential threat from Voice over Internet Protocol telephony.

Vodafone has signed deals over the past two days with Microsoft for mobile email, France Telecom's Orange for instant messaging and Google for search technology.

Speaking at the 3GSM mobile telecommunications conference in Barcelona, Sarin said: "As an industry we will morph into (the VoIP) space over time."

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a phone network that utilizes the Internet to make free phone calls.

Sarin said consumers using services like VoIP and instant messaging still have to pay for broadband access.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the conference, he added mobile operators currently offer bundles of voice minutes and text. But when High Speed Downlink Packet Access, or HSDPA - a technology that enables higher data transfer speeds - is embedded into Vodafone's 3G network, wireless data bundles will become possible.

He said Vodafone won't be doing this over the next six to 12 months, but it will emerge within the next two to three years.

Sarin said this will enable users to employ combinations of instant messaging, search and VoIP technology as they wish.

Asked about wimax - wireless technology that provides high-speed broadband connections over long distances - Sarin said: "If we can get ubiquitous wireless broadband coverage, wimax will be a far less interesting thing when it turns up here in 2008-2009."

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Reply # 29109 22-Feb-2006 18:34
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From a survery durin 3GSM:

  • A small percentage (9% and 4% respectively) of cellular data subscribers surveyed relied on UMTS or HSDPA for mobile data collection, with a massive 85% relying on 2.5G technology in the form of GPRS for cellular mobile data

  • Nearly 93% of respondents use other networks beyond cellular mobile data with 43% citing the need for higher performance, 30% stating coverage issues, and 20% saying cellular mobile data was too expensive as the reasons for selecting other networks for sessions.

  • Basic messaging applications remain by far the most popular: SMS (89%) and email (53%) with less than a quarter of respondents (24%) currently browsing the Internet on the move. Mobile multimedia services are slow on the uptake: VoIP 18%, Video 13%, TV 6%

  • Mobile and laptop users that did not subscribe to a mobile data service either thought that they didn’t need it (27%), or just believed existing services were too expensive (12%)

  • Overall just 57% of mobile data users are satisfied with their current cellular mobile data connections.

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