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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Technology For The Next Billion Readers

(Via Barrons) Unwired communications will allow the emerging economies of Asia, Latin America and Africa to transport their masses into the age of the telephone and the Internet at prices affordable even to a low per capita GDP. Alcatel says communications firms in spots with low numbers of telephones per capita - places like Russia, Latin America and India - are more interested in WiMAX than in the latest 3rd Generation cellular products. WiMAX is like WiFi with a metropolitan reach. It's faster than the fastest cellular, but the first WiMAX products will roll out later this year.
While WiMAX is only at the zygot stage, cellular is full grown. Cellular handsets cost less than the computers needed for WiMAX. Service charges for WiMAX will exceed the monthly $10-$15 average revenue per user that cellular operators are getting in emerging nations. Qualcomm stats on the correlation of per capita GDP and the penetration of telephones and the Internet how as average income went from $1,000 to $10,000 - looking across nations in 2002 - the phone penetration went from about 5% to 40%. The same income difference corresponded to an increase in Internet penetration from a few percent to 20%. Each additional percent of penetration required twice the additional per capita GDP for Internet as for phone. WiMAX vendors will surely grow from their small base, and someone probably will dream up cheap Voice-over-Internet-Protocol handsets. Barron’s next billion readers will probably be reading on their cellphones! No doubt the mobile revolution is trailblazing and may become the most important revolution in this digital age.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"