RE: Future shock and cellphones

From: Reason (
Date: Mon Aug 05 2002 - 05:37:28 MDT

--> Samantha Atkins

> Reason wrote:
> > You guys should chat to SmartTrust ( if you
> want to go
> > anywhere in mobile. Five years from now, most people will still be using
> > phase2+ devices. SmartTrust's system allows pretty much WAP on non-WAP
> > phones using SMS as a data carrier. They're installed in some
> ungodly number
> > of carriers worldwide, expanding rapidly, and are actively looking to
> > populate their partner program.
> WAP was DOA. If, five years from now, we actually have a
> separate device for telephone stuff and have limited over-priced
> mobile connectivity to the Internet, I will seriously wonder
> whether this species has mind and will enough to come anywhere
> close to Singularity. ! :-)

I'm willing to wager a bunch of time and money (and I am wagering a bunch of
time and money) that in five years time most handheld devices in the world
will be phase 2+ GSM cellphones, just like they are today. I doubt this will
be true in the US or Europe at that time, but definately in Asia, South
America, Africa and probably large portions of Russia.

The argument goes something like this: most subscribers in these markets can
afford/will buy a $20-50 device charging base GSM rates for text messages.
95%+ of subscribers in these markets can't afford/won't buy $100 or more
device at GPRS or greater costs. Network operators are not willing to
subsidise handset costs or airtime costs or roll out more advanced networks
in these regions in any more than a very limited way -- and the underlying
financial crunch the operators face isn't going away in the next couple of
years. Network operators also can't afford to wire these regions
efficiently. They've got the GSM coverage out there, but they can barely
justify putting GPRS or other next generation networks in major cities, let
alone putting it out there for the other 50% of the population in the

It's a very interesting time in wireless right now. The industry is trying
out a bunch of diverse things in minor rollouts to see what sticks. But
realistically, you're not going to see high speed wireless networks offered
by commercial network operators outside major cities anytime soon. And those
networks are going to suck in terms of bandwidth. All the major operators
have their GPRS networks up and live in a number of cities across the US at
the moment; you won't be able to buy for a little while yet in most markets,
but the phones are horridly costly, the bandwidth is horridly costly, the
content is nonexistant, no-one has a clue on business models, and you'll be
lucky to get 56k dialup equivelant speed.

Not going much better in Europe, either. So get used to those cellphones...

CTO, VIPMobile

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:40 MDT