Another article that thinks 3G is all about wireless data access to your corporate files and applications. Somebody in keitai forwarded this link. Also mentions the case of another article in WSJ last February. In both cases they failed to acknowledge Japan side of the matter.
If it was because of the American approach to cellular technologies we would still be waiting by the roadside to use a payphone. Only top executives would have "mobile" phones, no smaller that your typical cell phone 10 years ago. It wasn't because competition and innovation took place in Japan and Europe the cell phones would still be a business tool.
I am sorry to say this but some of this people (analyst, writers, etc etc) should get out of their cages and look around (not around Cupertino). Europe and Japan have created a totally new market. People did not have VCRs, Walkmans...or mobile phones before. These were products for which demand was created. It was done top-down. Investing huge amount of money in communication, infrastructure and distribution. Giving away phones and giving national coverage in record time. In the heart of the internet revolution and without any excuses the US carriers have not yet even been able to give decent coverage. Lack of competition, lack of brains, lack of money, whatever you want but they are way behind by any means.
Not until very recently have the US carriers really assume that cell phones are a consumer product. Cell phone... that is a technical name does not say anything about what is it that we are talking about. Mobile phone at least means something to the consumer!!
Sorry for the pointless rumbling...
Anyway if anybody thinks that the US will show the way for 3G the Blackberry way they must be smoking something. Blackberries for the masses, a consumer product?
It is the consumers stupid!! You are not going to pay for the networks and licenses with the revenues from your corporate accounts. Look at Ricochet...
The US wireless industry is clearly focused on the corporate market and they will fail again if they think the road to 3G success passes even close that way (I like funmail but they are the exception). I think 3G will succeed in Europe for one big reason because it has to, carriers and vendors have not option but to make it work. Carriers in Europe might be too many things but one thing they are is copycats, anything that is successful they will try. They will push the market if they belief it might work. They will have the coverage ready and then the learning curve will accelerate as they learn what to offer and how. Seven years ago we were looking at each other (the carriers) and doing a "me too" like no one has ever seen. Across all Europe we were pulling contacts to understand a new pricing plan written in a foreign language, a new business model (i.e. prepaid) and a new vendor with a better phone or service (some wanted to charge for voicemail the American way : )). Back then everybody thought Nokia was Japanese. See where we have gone. Look where the industry is after only a few years!!!
It will happen again, watch.
I have to recognize that I have seen in the States a change of mentality lately. More competitiveness and some are even looking at prepaid or at the youth market and the credit challenged as segments that show potential. This is showing that US carriers start to see things in the right way. OK US carriers are not brain dead but...
One more example, everybody agrees conflicting standards etc explain in part the lack of a real SMS service with interoperability in the US. For a nation that made to the moon and back it seems a poor excuse. Another potential 10% of revenues gone down the drain everyday. Add the prepaid segments, the youth segment and all the calls never made because of lack of coverage or because the phone is off so not to pay for incoming calls and you are done with. No vision.
With the current state of things the US carriers are 4 or more years away from their European and Japanese counterparts when it comes to addressing the needs for mobile communications in the consumer markets. I do not question where US carriers and rest of the us wireless industry are in respect to wireless data services to the corporate world but I do not think it is relevant to 3G unless we are talking about the US flavor and the rest of the world flavor.
Maybe in 10 years we will see corporate execs using fully integrated PocketPCs roaming effortless between the office, the car, the Starbucks and home using all possible technologies, checking email, voicemail, mapquest and their stock quotes. I bet in Europe, you and me, our kids, our mothers and everyone else, 100% of the population will be enjoying 3G demanding services that we can only imagine like sending each other pictures and videos of the last skiing fall from their chair-lift. Yes in Europe ski stations have decent coverage.
OK, maybe I am being a little unfair but 3G better be more that what the US is thinking of, because it is scary what they have done so far with 2G. Talking about a quantum leap: analyst put the US ahead in 3G when you can barely make a phone call in many places in California!
Any of these guys should go though the pain on buying a phone in California for example, use it and pay the bill, and then try the same in Portugal for a few months!!
There is more to 3G than the high price paid for 3G licenses in Europe or the technical advantages of CDMA2000 vs. UMTS (or viceversa). If the business analyst do not want to see that way is their problem. We should know better.
Received on Fri Mar 15 22:50:55 2002