Monday, February 11, 2008

Future of the wireless market

By the end of 2005, there were over 1.7 billion subscribers worldwide depending on mobile wireless telephones. Affordable, reliable, and ubiquitous wireless service has profoundly altered the way people access the global communications network. To date, mobile wireless growth has been driven largely by voice traffic. The wireless revolution, however, is now colliding head on with the other great telecommunications phenomenon of recent years—the Internet. The convergence of these two forces in the third generation (3G) of wireless technology represents an enormous new market opportunity.

On a worldwide basis, wireless services are growing much faster than wireline services. INSIGHT’s research suggests that wireless revenues will grow from 46.3 percent of all telecommunications services revenues in 2005 to 55.6 percent in 2010—a virtual flip within the five-year period—approaching a trillion dollar market by the close of the forecast period.
Consumers will access 3G wireless data services through different types of handheld, pocket-sized terminals. Tomorrow’s 3G mobile wireless devices will be more like personal computers (PCs) in terms of their complexity—with an operating system (OS), client applications, and multiple voice modules. These mobile devices will function as a phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), computer, television, pager, videoconferencing center, newspaper, diary, and even a credit card. Some even think that the new mobile handsets will become indispensable and carried everywhere. Users will be capable of worldwide roaming and receiving customized services based on geographical location. 3G wireless will deliver these capabilities at high speeds, ranging from 384Kbit/s to 2Mbit/s.

The potential revenue associated with wireless data services spurred network operators during the late 1990s to make enormous expenditures on new spectrum licenses for 3G, and to make further huge investments in building the networks themselves. Nonetheless, the promise of 3G is still that—a promise. Discussions of next generation wireless services inevitably come back to the unresolved issue: Who will pay and when?

More info here: InsightResearch

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