Rafe Needleman writes about ipWireless and Flarion. Both have their own high-speed wireless technologies, which can be used by cellular operators. The challenge is figuring out what to do with the bandwidth. “The real issue with mobile high-speed wireless is the demand side. Do people really want cable-modem speed on their handhelds? I have no doubt that clever companies could come up with uses for all this bandwidth, but the carriers haven’t yet convinced the public that it needs videophones or push-to-talk service, both of which use a great deal of data bandwidth. Maybe if picture-phone services were more robust, or if carriers set up really useful wireless e-mail or instant messaging services (which don’t require massive bandwidth), consumers would get the portable wireless bug.”
There is an opportunity in the emerging markets, especially in the rural areas, for wireless services which can connect up villages, using WiFi. The service needs to work over distances of 10-15 kilometres, or a few kilometres if there can be a relay approach.