Blog Post

3G Overhyped, Says Tech Pioneer

3G operators would have a difficult time getting customers to use the network, according to Dr Andrew Viterbi, co-founder and retired vice-chairman of Qualcomm, who’s best known for developing the Viterbi algorithm used in most mobile phone and digital satellite receivers. “Users are more likely to download pictures from phones onto their PC at home and distribute them using Wi-Fi networks,” he told delegates during a keynote at the IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium in San Diego on Tuesday. There are few applications that need mobile broadband, Viterbi said.”
Which is possibly true. TV and radio will most likely be delivered over other spectrum and a lot of things can be transfered from computers to mobiles. The telcos are hoping that the convenience of downloading on the go will attract users, and I agree with them: How many users and how much they’ll use the service is open to debate, though.
The exception to this is multi-user activity such as chat, games and so on. Also, general browsing of the web will generate a lot of traffic. I think there are two main markets to target with mobile content — those who are looking for information and those who are bored.
Viterbi also said mobile operators in Europe paid about 10 times too much for 3G licences and were now forced to chase consumers…which is obvious.