Opinion

Europe poised to take lead in broadband mobile technology

Europe ot overtake US in broadband cellular mobile technology

As we prostrate ourselves to the triumphal US marketing machine, it is easy to overlook the huge advantages that Europe, and particularly the UK, enjoy in next generation Internet delivery and services.

We are well poised to attract millions of new Internet users in broadband cellular mobile technology and interactive digital TV.

The US has blown its third generation broadband mobile future, having auctioned off the spectrum for the existing second generation network. By contrast, Europe, already bristling with mobiles, has a clear field here, hampered only by the wireless application protocol debacle caused by greedy suppliers over-hyping its capability.

The US is also firmly on the back-foot because its digital TV standard doesn't work. To move ahead, it will have to swallow its pride and take up European standards. In the meantime, Europe and the UK, which is very strong in interactive digital TV, can only extend its lead.

Meanwhile the US, with 42% (and falling fast!) of the world's 377 million Internet users, is increasingly less dominant in global Internet usage. TV and mobile standards will attract many millions of additional users - including non-humans such as fridges - that will unleash whole new markets for Europe and the Far East. What we're seeing is a new level playing field for all except the US!

John Riley

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This was first published in November 2000

 

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