Where's The Wireless Hot Key?

When I was on staff at Korea’s SK Telecom in 2001-2003, one of the big differentiators I noticed between the wireless Internet in Korea and the USA was that their phones had a dedicated key for accessing data services. For example, in Korea it was a “NATE” key, the name of their portal, and in Japan, an “iMode” key was on DoCoMo phones. At the time, the US market was so far behind in data services that it followed that a dedicated key had not yet appeared…but what’s up now? I can tell you what’s up in Korea (but this link requires a subscription, so I’ll cite the salient statistics below in this post): according to Korea’s National Internet Development Agency, 30 million, or 81% of Korea’s active phones have a hotkey. But here in the US we still don’t, despite the fact that today’s US subscriber can choose from a range of data services from every major carrier, there’s still no dedicate key to access them. To get to downloaded games or the mobile Internet, we still surf through menus, yet we have added dedicated buttons for features like cameras and PTT. Why haven’t the US carriers pushed their vendors for a branded, dedicated Hotkey that takes the user straight to the mobile portal? Small wonder the market for mobile content has flatlined, and is stuck between the tech enthusiasts and the mass market. Gee, do you think it would help if we made it easier, quicker, and more obvious?

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Comments on “Where's The Wireless Hot Key?”

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Nokia user says:

Nokia has it (at least in Europe/Asia)

On Nokia phones, pressing and holding the 0 key takes you to the home page that is set for the browser (usually the operator’s home page). On the last couple of phones I’ve had in Europe and Asia, there is also a stylised i on that key.

I admit it’s not well advertised though so Joe Average probably doesn’t realise it’s there.

I assume that Nokia phones in the US have similar functionality

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