3G versus WiFi and WiMax? Telco standards versus Wireless LAN Internet protocols? You can count on an Ericsson official to say 3G will win.
“We believe that HSDPA (high speed downlink packet access) and PC cards will win this battle,” Jan Signell, president of Ericsson South East Asia, told technology reporters at the “Experience 3G with Ericsson” media workshop that kicked off Sept. 7. [in Kuala Lumpur]
He’s right, 3G will be more pervasive when deployed. If deployed in the Philippines. Our local telcos are holding back on the major capital investments necessary to bring high-speed data connections, and with good reason I believe. How many people can buy the expensive handsets needed to make full use of 3G? On one of the local GSM carriers, MMS-capable subscribers are only 5% of the total base.
An advantage of wireless LAN connectivity is it’s the full Internet. 3G may deliver a “mobile Internet” but I have little doubt that they will set it up as a “walled garden.” The telcos want control over the content flowing through, and the ability to charge per click. (Got WAP access? Try accessing local news sites on WAP and see your prepaid load go down or the charges appear as a line item on your monthly bill.). On the other hand, wireless LANs follow a time usage model – if not unlimited.