I think it was Bill Gates that said something like…
“In the future, the internet will be in everyone’s pocket.”
I think the relization of his dream hasn’t come yet, but in doing research about some of the latest and greatest mobile internet solutions brought to us by top U.S. cell carriers such as Sprint, AT&T and Verizon, it is clear that the technology is starting to come to fruition.
Oddly enough, I think Sprint is going to be leading the pack with their 4G network. Rumors have been appearing of late about Verizon “fast-tracking” their 4G solution for another rumor of an Apple table PC. These rumors are getting a bit old, but as soon as I start really knocking the rumor-blogsters I’ll be aghast to find a press-release from Apple stating that the tablet is real.
Enough of hi-jacking my own blog post… Sprint has already rolled out the “Beta” version of it’s 4G network in Baltimore and has concrete plans for rollouts in many other cities Q1 2010. The thing that excites me about the 4G network is that there are:
- No Bandwidth Caps! All the major carriers currently limit you to 5 Gigabytes per month over their 3G networks.
- Fast speeds! Imagine in 5 more years what hi-speed wifi brought to us over the air will mean—fiber-to-the-home will be moot, we’ll have hi-speed internet traveling straight to your pocket!
- Competition! Eventually (maybe on the 5G networks) we will have a choice of having internet provided by any of Comcast, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon or whatever other cable/DSL companies that exist in the neighborhood. This is great for the consumers because as TV and telephony converge into the Internet we’ll finally have a TV/phone/internet solution that will be the equivalent of a modem and router that is mobile, fast and, most importantly, cheap!
This is bad news for some of the companies that have invested heavily in land-line infrastructure, such as Comcast and AT&T, because eventually I’d bet that most everything to the end-user will arrive from over-the-air. Well, that’s my two cents. I could be totally off course, but I know what companies I’m going to be investing in and watching over the next few years.