"The Japanese have some motivation to move this technology forward; they don't have as much experience as the U.S. with PC-based Web access. But even so, they can get what they need with narrowband--why do they need broadband?" Faulhaber asked. "Sure, they're more likely to use it in Japan, but there the problem is the device. I just don't see the Japanese going for larger devices.". Faulhaber is skeptical of the promised uses for 3G technology, pointing out that much of the information people need on a mobile device doesn't require real-time updating at blinding speeds. "E-mail? Yes, but you can do that now. Stock quotes? Same thing. That's all narrowband. I just can't imagine burning up the spectrum. People say they'd play music from their cell phone. But we have MP3 players for that--and I don't need it every second. That's why we have radio. To find the closest restaurant? Sure, but I don't need that information updated to the minute!" he said, and such a restaurant-finding service can be done with 2.5G.
"I believe the killer app in the enterprise space is e-mail with mobility," said Dave Williams, vice president of strategic planning for Cingular Wireless, "That's a pretty compelling service, In the consumer space, it's adding the ability to send ghostek cloak 3 iphone x tough case - clear / red reviews and receive digital images on a color-screen phone in a cost-effective package." Still, he said, most of these services can be deployed over GPRS networks, so in itself they might not be driving forces for 3G, Andrew Grant, a 1990 graduate of Wharton and managing director of Virgin Mobile Australia, thinks it's merely a matter of time before compelling consumer applications are developed, But he, too, sees deployment of high-speed technology as a gradual change, "Our vision is to develop a substantial community of customers in Australia who look to us to provide more than just a mobile phone as part of our service offering, We already have the microbrowser technology on the screens of our customers' handsets today to bring this vision to life, It's not whether it's GPRS or 3G technology; the challenge is to develop a service proposition that consumers find valuable," he said..
Faulhaber believes the telecom companies weren't adequately prepared. "In the early 1990s, the FCC held the first PCS auctions in the U.S., and did a pretty good job setting them up," he said. "Wireless companies hired economists to try to game the system. So the FCC hired the same people, minimized the gaming opportunities, and got more money. Both sides spent time acquiring expertise in auctions. The Europeans got some people to help them out too, in setting up their auctions, but the telecom companies didn't have much experience in it. So I put what happened there down to inexperience. People were playing up 3G, but nobody thought hard about what the business model was going to be.".
"It's not whether it's GPRS or 3G technology; the challenge is to develop a service proposition that consumers find valuable."--Andrew Grant, managing director, Virgin Mobile AustraliaIndeed, Williams said, expectations for short-term returns might be a little optimistic, "I personally think the classic European 3G business case is a little flawed, There is a natural upgrade path, but they all dove straight in, I think in the ghostek cloak 3 iphone x tough case - clear / red reviews long term, 3G will pay for itself, but we're looking at a 10-year payback."..
Williams said that Cingular's strategy is to move gradually. "We're doing a GSM/GPRS overlay across our network and also overlaying EDGE as part of that over the next two years. Our investment is not as significant as those of some of the European players. We can study what happens in the rest of the world and evolve over time.". Capacity constraints?Wharton 1993 graduate Rajeev Chand, a wireless technologies equity research analyst for Rutberg, believes that 2.5G is adequate for the near term, at least in the United States. "It's good enough for the present, with its always-on connectivity. That in itself represents a revolutionary step forward. Application developers, Internet service providers, etc. can all start figuring out how to make money. Carriers are not interested in big investments without seeing what it will be used for.".