Sunday, January 21, 2007


The weekend edition of the Australian Financial Review pickedup a snippet on the news-wire that the number of people in the US who have dropped a "traditional telephone service for wireless" rose by 40% to 21,000,000 in the first half of 2006, when compared to the first half of 2005. It went on to say that "about 11% of households had at least one wireless and no wireline phone service."

This is an interesting, but certainly not surprising trend. As somewhat of an "old man of the internet industry" here in Australia (I started what I believe was the very first web development company in Australia in 1994) I have a long and vivid memory of the talk about the "wireless dream." As early as the mid-nineties we were talking about the potential of wireless, and even worked on a few early projects in TCP/IP based field-force automation and very early SMS. The issue was always about the bandwidth and the capability of the devices.

Fast forward to 2007 and it is a very different time. There have been significant advances on both sides of this equation; devices today are amazing and continue to surprise and delight and the wireless networks, well, WOW. I know I have raved about the Telstra NextG network in past blogs, so I won't do that again, but we are in a world where we have now got 3.6 Mbps to the handset (and mooted to be upped to 14.4 Mbps - faster than I get on my ADSL2 connection at home!!).

As for the devices, the handsets available today are fantastic, and the ones on the way look as thought they are going to offer us even more (the Apple Phone [lawsuit pending] looks pretty and clever - no 3G though - and some of the innovations from the major phone makers - like the Nokia N95 - look tremendous). These are incredibly powerful, flexible and capable multi-media computers, sitting in the pockets of consumers, business people, etc.

The link here is that we are reaching, in my opinion, a point of confluence of critical factors which will see mobile access become the dominant connection for consumers and business within the next few years. As consumers get more and more from their mobile, the attachment to the "wireline" will become less and less. In fact, we are probably already at a point where consumers can get MORE from their mobile connection than they can from the old bakelite rotary dialer on the telephone stand in the hall. I reckon the telco's have to like it, more use of mobiles and more acceptance as the primary telephone connection (and a connection to an individual rather than a connection to an address!) means more chances for value added services and new revenue streams.

All of this augers well for us and our position as a leading supplier of mobile solutions. There aren't any excuses for there not being a strong, comprehensive mobile strategy in the plans of every major corporation or government agency; consumers and businesses have the latest mobile technology (or will get it in the next 12-18 months) and are using it... and are turning off some of their traditional communications channels

If you haven't got a plan, call me, because we are REALLY good at this stuff..... and it is this stuff which is a very strong sign that we ARE changing the world.

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