Who wants 4G?

This afternoon, I am delivering a talk at the Oxfordshire branch of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. More details here.

In this talk, we put technology to the side and focus, instead, on the social and psychological needs of mobile phone users. This is the slide set for the session. As usual, I would love to hear your feedback:

5 thoughts on “Who wants 4G?

  1. Interesting slide deck, Ana, and a presentation I’d love to see. I think, in the end, everybody wants 4G. For me, with technologies like these, it’s often a matter of pricing and availability. I want these things, but not at all costs. The big issue for me is that providers need to earn back their inflated investments (buying a part of the spectrum for too much money), and hence the initial costs are too high. I’m very annoyed that my current ‘unlimited, flat fee’ data plan is nothing of the kind. I pay too much, and after a certain amount of data, my speed gets limited to an extremely slow trickle. And when I cross a border, the prices are (or were) ridiculous. In the end, these things will quickly become a utility for a low price. On top: certainly within the EU, I think consumer protection regulation, such as on roaming prices, is an important factor for mass adoption. Maybe that should be part of the spectrum auctions. Because, just as with the telephone and internet, mass adoption will allow for the true benefits of this technology to float to the top, and ignite useful innovation.

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    1. Thank you, Arjan. They recorded the presentation, and I will share the link when it is online πŸ™‚

      We will probably see two stages: one where people seek out the 4G phone because they like to have the latest technology or because it solves some sort of problem. The other one, as one person in the audience said, when the operators push the 4G phones, for instance as an upgrade when it is time to renew your contract.

      The difference between potential (theoretical) speed and actual speed is a big issue, indeed. Very rarely will we be able to use the phone at the speeds announced. Another issue is that you may run out of your allowance in 4G, whereas some plans (in the UK) currently offer unlimited 3G. And, then, there is the drain on your battery πŸ˜‰

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      1. I’m not really sure that the difference between theoretical speed and actual speed is a big issue, as long as it’s not slowing down to speeds at the level of Edge. That’s observable for anybody, while other speeds might not really be experienced as bad performance, if experienced at all. These differences are mainly notable when downloading big amounts of data, or when you’re monitoring speeds with a special app.
        Well, maybe not. Anyway, I will test my thoughts soon. I upgraded my account yesterday, and will receive my 4G phone soon.
        By the way, to be clear, what exactly is seen as 4G? I know at one point UMTS was part of the 3G set of technologies. But then there was something like HSDPA (The H+ symbol). Is that also 4G?

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