Thursday, August 03, 2006

Phone of the future steps into the past

Charles Arthur in today's Guardian has written and excellent feature on how we sometimes end up with what we are given rather than what we want.

In testing a WiFi handset he points out some of the obvious problems such a quantum leap will require, which bring back the happy days when I was just starting paid employment and cellular telecoms had just started up in Europe some 21 years ago.

Charles asks "Does this mean, I asked myself, that soon we're all going to be making phone calls over the internet, using wireless hotspots rather than these annoying "mobile network" companies?"

He then goes on to say "
Analysts are talking up the possibilities of WiMax, a long-range wireless system which isn't compatible with Wi-Fi: the other day, Jupiter Research forecast that there will be 21.3m WiMax subscribers by 2012, perhaps using it as an alternative to mobile companies' 3G networks.

But the prospects of Wi-Fi getting that big, at least in the UK, seem remote. Hotspots have been around for at least five years and their price - around £5 per hour - shows little sign of falling. Are you really going to pay £5 just to tell someone you're going to be on the train, and that once you're there you won't be calling them because you've given up mobile phones?"

I guess I don't need to worry just yet to the threat that WiFi phones will replace mobile. If you want to see what others are thinking on what the Industry is calling take a look at Dean Bubley's Diruptive Analysis blog.

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