Readers of the UK government’s recent Digital Britain report will be aware that it identifies the need for innovation in digital content, applications and services, and priorities for the UKinclude a rapid transition to next generation high-speed mobile broadband andprogress towards universal coverage in 3G and Next Generation Mobile.
According to a recent poll conducted by Broadband Genie, as few as 11% of those whose who use mobile broadband are happy with the speed of their service, with lack of coverage and intermittent service being common complaints.
Compare this with the optimistic assessment of the state of 3G technology by the GSMA, which represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Apparently there are more than 300 networks across 127 countries and1500 HSPA-enabled devices readily available on the market. This, says the GSMA, adds up to HSPA being the fastest adopted mobile technology of all time.
Phil Sheppard, Director of Technical Solutions at 3 UK, thinks that mobile broadband must play a key part in internet service provision in the future. “[Mobile broadband] is very cost effective, it actually doesn’t need government funding, what it needs is access to spectrum, that’s the key,” said Sheppard, continuing: “If you have the right spectrum you only need about three or four thousand sites enabled with this spectrum to provide access to roughly two million households that do not have broadband access at home.”
The situation should improve by the end of 2009, when more spectrums become available after the UK switches completely from analogue to digital television. Recent research suggests that there could be 94 million users of mobile technology in Europe by 2017, so it looks like this technology is here to stay.