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WSJ Documents the Debacle of 3G Mobile Phone Technology

Any self-respecting Weblog should be pointing to this Wall Street Journal article today. Reporter Almar Latour tells the story of the European and Hong Kong-based wireless carriers who overbid for 3G licenses. In the process, they ruined their balance sheets, squandered their technological advantage over their American competitors, and created a major crisis for the entire telecom gear industry. Many European national governments share blame for this, because they set the auction system up with the specific intent of creating a bidding frenzy.

From the first glimpse of technologies like CDPD and WAP, we believed that Internet content delivery on mobile phones (as we know them today) was fatally flawed. Usability experts like Jakob Nielsen have also provided ample evidence confirming our view.

We still believe that the most usable wearable Internet access tool is a Blackberry pager from Research in Motion. Now that BT Cellnet has rolled out Blackberries on it GPRS service, these devices are expanding outside North America and jumping into the "2.5G" market at the same time.

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