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Fighting for Cheaper 4G
When 3G services were introduced, big mobile phone companies had to pay around £100bn which made the launch of 3G harder.
Now when all the major leading mobile phone companies are preparing for the launch of the next generation of fast wireless broadband, the same bill issue might occur.
This is the reason for which six of the world's leading mobile phone companies have joined their powers to take the steps to avoid a repeat bill of such amount. The companies intend to lobby governments, regulators and the rest of the industry to make sure that the next generation of fast wireless broadband which is called 4G, is not as expensive to introduce as its predecessor.
The idea is that the mobile phone industry looks to broadband internet access as a new way to make money. O2, owned by Telefonica, bought the residential internet service provider Be Broadband, a move that will allow O2 to offer converged mobile and fixed-line services.
Most players in the industry think that the future is mobile broadband and believe that "the convergence strategy seems to be a defensive strategy as the major mobile phone companies are scared that the fixed-line operators are coming after their business." (Jim Hyde, head of T-Mobile's UK business).
BT seems to be on the side of converged mobile and fixed-line phone services and offered a package with interactive TV, videophoning and other integrated home media services including video on demand, voice-over-internet phone calls and wireless broadband.
T-Mobile, fair to its strategy, is launching an upgrade to its existing equipment that will make its 3G network four times faster. The service will cost £17 a month for up to one gigabyte of web surfing while Vodafone that launched a similar service but with a quarter of the capacity will charge £25.
Although these new services seem overwhelming on the market, they are only the opening of what the industry will offer when 4G, a super-fast mobile broadband technology will be put into work. With speeds of 20MB a second there is no need to have a fixed-line broadband connection. The new service aims to speeds of 20MB a second which will make the fixed-line broadband connection almost useless.
At this point nothing can stop the industry to develop in this direction, except maybe for the governments who are looking to make billions from licensing spectrum and technology companies looking to tie up intellectual property rights. But here comes the role of the new created Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) Forum that includes companies like Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, KPN, DoCoMo and China Mobile and will lobby regulators to allow operators to use their existing spectrum to run the super-fast wireless broadband.
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