Mobile telephones, the 1st generation of which were introduced in the mid-1980's, have been constantly evolving since their inception. Today, over 2B mobile phones are in usage and around 80% of the world's population is within reach of a mobile phone signal. Mobile phones have traditionally been used for voice communications, but today can serve as the platform for a variety of communication outputs -- including data and video. 3G is the third-generation of mobile phone technology standards. The typical services associated with 3G include wireless voice telephony and broadband wireless data, all in a mobile environment. However, with the capability for high-speed wireless data transfer, 3G has enhanced or made possible a myriad of additional applications such as mobile video, secure mobile ecommerce, location-based services, mobile gaming and audio on demand. For example, using 2.5G (or a slightly better version of second-generation wireless) a three-minute song takes between six and nine minutes to download. Using 3G, it can download in 11 to 90 seconds. There are currently almost 100 million 3G wireless subscribers worldwide. The US, with over 200 million mobile subscribers, crossed the 10% mark for 3G penetration for the first time in 2006, while Japan stayed in the lead with over 50% of its subscribers using 3G phones. As 3G adoption accelerates, 3G carriers, handset manufacturing, infrastructure equipment makers, semiconductor OEM's, and 3G application providers stand to gain. Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP's), carriers without the wherewithal or financial resources to upgrade their networks, and companies that provide services which are standard under 3G (i.e., email access), will be in a position to lose. While the 3G market may be definitely gaining traction, the industry is rapidly approaching a crossroads, where the needs of different market segments can vary substantially, and the potential rewards (and losses) for the...
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