Defending 3G

Earlier this month Datamonitor’s “3G R.I.P.” report was declaring the end for 3G. Last week Andrew Seybold suggested that European carriers ditch their 3G plans and investigate lower cost GSM1X overlay networks. Business Week isn’t buying any of it. They argue that despite delays, 3G is rolling out across Europe and in the long run the industry will benefit from the badly needed voice capacity it will provide. A lot of the 3G backlash is really a reaction to 3G hype around the potentional data service revenues and the crazy prices for licenses. In general we agree with BW, we rarely hear much about expanded voice capacity but we hear a lot about data. But we are also intrigued by the issues that Seybold raises about 3G alternatives. The euro-centric GSM community is locked into WCDMA, when there is a chance that GSM1X could provide many of the same benefits at a lower cost and more quickly. Which goes to show yet again, the best technolgy doesn’t always win. The one with the most momentum does.

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