Right examples, wrong conclusions, I think. The message of the failure of
PHS is that mobile phones are supposed to be MOBILE. EVERYONE wants to be
connected all the time - that isn't a premium service for business
traveller - its a basic expectation for everyone - outside the USA, that
Has anyone else noticed how no-one ever makes plans anymore? How people
just say 'i'll call your mobile', and evenings just coalesce in a mesh of
calls and text messages? Now imagine if you went out for the evening with
your friends, but forgot your phone. What are the odds you'd end up
missing them completely? In any Euroepan city, getting on for 100%. Now
imagine a phone that would only receive calls if you stand near a
Starbucks. You couldn't give it away.
Outside the USA, most consumers have never been anywhere that their mobile
doesn't have reception. Most people have never seen 'no network', exept
perhaps in the subway or on a remote beach. This does tend to feed into US
thinking - since they have a system with terrible coverage, a patchy
system like wi-x doesn't seem like such a big difference.
Indeed, I sometimes get the impression that a lot of the 'alternative'
wireless that comes out of the west coast is a form of displacement - "we
have a third world cellular system, and we can't do anything about it, so
let's invent second-rate substitutes instead". Hence you get these
childish fantasies about something-for-nothing networks with
multiple-megabit downloads anywhere for no capex. It's rather like the way
the French tell themselves they're a major cultural force instead of a
> Yes, but. And the "but" is, people who need always to be contactable,
> or always able to make calls, even when travelling at speed in a
> vehicle, will want a premium service of the type 3G offers. But for a
> section section of the market, and a very large section of some markets
> - they don't need that. 3G isn't just about talk - or even mainly about
> talk - it's about shifting huge quantities of data around in the form
> of ringtones, mp3s, movies etc etc. And THAT is where they are
> vulnerable I think. Why would I ever download an MP3 over a 3G network?
> Why would I ever use a 3G network for ANYTHING involving transfer of
> serious amounts of data? (Unless I am out in the wilds somewhere...).
> For me, and I suspect, many other city based consumers, 2G + Wifi +
> VOIP is "enough".
Received on Mon Dec 6 14:23:32 2004