Fast Wireless Networks Slow To Thrill

With all the talk about Sprint PCS’s “high speed” mobile data launch in the US, here’s an article looking at similar network launches in Europe, which show that the Europeans haven’t been too excited about signing up for high speed mobile data services. This could be especially bad news for the US, since Europeans were much faster adopters of simple wireless data services, like SMS. The problem is that there simply isn’t a compelling reason to use a high speed service right now, for most people. Accessing WAP content faster, really isn’t a strong selling point. It’s going to take some time before people figure out what the compelling applications are. The carriers are now betting on “picture messaging” (MMS), but I’m not convinced that’s all that compelling. Fun, and occasionally nice to have: yes. But, not so compelling for many people. My guess is that better devices that open up the ability of users to do whatever they want (full internet access) could be more along the lines of what people would like to see.

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