Publisher and Managing Editor's
With ongoing debate
on 3G spectrum allocation, lack of predominant network standards and
lower subscriber base, will North America lose its technology
leadership to Europe and Japan during the next decade? This is an important
question facing North American cellular industry? We are sure Mr.
Wheeler, CEO of CTIA , Mr. Powell, Chairman of FCC and many other
executives of wireless infrastructure vendor community have been
asked this question. What is the real prospect? What can FCC and US
Congress do? What can industry do? Is it good for International
trade? Does it really threaten American economic efficiency
engine? The smart phone industry is pretty well gone to Europe
for design and Asia for manufacturing. Here is MobileInfo.Com's
assessment in a point form.
It is true that balance of
technological prowess is changing in wireless and mobile commerce arena.
America does not hold the same superiority in 2001 as it did a few years
back. Here are some of the facts and reasons:
Lack of network
standardization in North America - Europe has had single
network standard - GSM for some time. Thanks to
competition and lack of regulation in telecommunications cum
cellular industry, North America has everything - GSM, CDMA
Europe has higher
Internet-enabled subscriber base than Europe. Ratio of
cellular subscribers to population is higher in Europe than in
USA and Canada.
2.5 G and 3G
network plans in Europe and Japan are head of similar plans in
North America. There is a gap of, in our opinion, two to three
years, if you consider the time for debate, resolution,
allocation auctions and then implementation.
Two out of three
infrastructure giants (Nokia and Ericsson) in mobile
infrastructure are based in Europe than in North America.
Europe holds an edge in handset area.
Japanese network service providers (Deutsche Telecom,
Vodaphone and NTT DoCoMo are gradually investing in American
There are many
more m-commerce related product developments coming out of
Europe now than we saw before. I appears that they are ahead
of America in WAP browsers and WAP servers.This is based
on an unscientific analysis based on the number of
press-releases we get here, even though we are based in North
Europeans' use of
SMS is higher than in north America.
The above advantages
in favor of Europe tell only a partial story. On the whole,
North Americans use web more than Europeans. Factors where North
America still maintain an advantage are as follows:
research and technology that feeds commercial exploitation in
wireless continues to come out of US defense establishment.
Many of the 4-G wireless networks will probably emerge out out
of US companies.
blocks and plumbing required for m-commerce are predominantly
coming from North American vendors. Qualcomm's CDMA
technology, wireless chip technology from TI, Intel and
Broadcomm and mobile application server software continue to
give North Americans an advantage. Most of the security
software is from Canada and USA. 2G to 3G modems are coming
from Canadian companies.
If you combine
wireline and wireless consumption, Americans still utilize a
highly-reliable and higher-capacity telecommunications
networks for personal and business communication as compared
maintains a lead in PDA and handheld hardware arena.
There are more
options for consumers and businesses network service providers
than relatively monolithic state-controlled telecommunications
businesses are still more efficient and retain a competitive
advantage to this day.
While B2C mobile
commerce in Europe may move ahead of North America, Americans
have implemented B2B mobile applications ahead of Europeans,
based on our unscientific analysis.
The number of
mobile computing and wireless software product vendors
continue to be in America's favor. On the positive side, these
companies will find Europe a fertile ground for their
competition between the three continents is good for the
industry. Let the best from Europe,
USA and Canada must
move forward by adopting wireless network infrastructure and
m-commerce initiatives in the following ways:
the spectrum allocation issue. Let TV industry vacate the
spectrum for wireless data. Let Mr. Powell use his persuasive
power with entertainment industry to achieve a compromise, if
Let FCC learn from
Microsoft and adopt a spectrum licensing pricing model based
Let us invest in
software that can give us bandwidth efficiency. Encourage
vendors like BlueKite, Fourelle, Net2Wireless and Flash Networks.
Let us encourage
technologies from vendors like ArrayCom. Let us build a hybrid
network architecture utilizing Internet for long-distance and
a combination of IEEE 802.11 LANs, wireless broadband to
solve the last mile problem and 3G UMTS. Each of these
technologies has a place.
in all areas of m-commerce. This includes network
infrastructure, handset form factor, device (handset and PDA)
accessory standards (for add-on cards) user interface,
location-based application standards.
Let us work on
next generation unified protocol - that will replace and
enhance WAP, adopt the best features of I-mode and allow easy
migration from these disparate standards of today.
Let us bring the
best minds of the Internet, wireless networking and IT
together to take a holistic viewpoint. Only then can we build
unified applications for the wireless Internet.
Dhawan - Your Site's Principal Consultant and Publisher
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