Smart Parts have a survey of what is available to the consumer when it comes to Mobile Broadband. The biggest problem I have is that Telefonica and France Telecom businesses do not have a product!
At an event last week the head of 3's Handset Group said that he intended to sell 500,000 devices for Mobile Broadband. They will be promoting the device as just the thing to have so that you can get ahead of others by using it on the train whilst you commute. Shows that he drives to work in Maidenhead because if he did he would know that it's standing room only for those who try and travel from London to Reading and would not work on the Chiltern Line that I use when I have to join the rush hour. But he is trying and those that I know that use the service are happy with the ease of use and cost.
But why can I not get the service from Orange who are the main provider of mobile for me? They did provided the service when I was in Spain last month for Mobile World Congress. They will do so later this month when I am in France. But the only way I can get the service in the UK is as a Business customer. Perhaps the new Chief Executive for Orange can get his masters in Paris to stop playing in the fixed broadband market and spend money on a mobile option, the costs should not be that high thanks to a network share agreement with Vodafone?
Before we all start picketing for better mobile broadband though perhaps we need to realise that fixed broadband seems to be something that those of us that live in the cold north of Europe. Mobile is something that is important to Europe because it generates approximately 5% of the GDP which is almost twice of what it should be worth. However what is needed is more than just dumb pipes from the mobile networks and shinny shinny toys from the handset guys.
If we are to develop we have to get all the networks to become involved, Mobile Broadband will not be mainstream in the UK until it is a service that is supplied by Virgin Mobile, Tesco Mobile AND Orange & O2 when that is so we might be able to talk about data services.