Where to with Mobile Networks?
Where are we headed in Australia with the Mobile Networks?
We have all heard the hype around 4G, but what does this really mean to the consumer?
4G is the buzzword terminology being used in the market, but strictly speaking this is not what is on offer. In actual fact, the correct name for our "4G" network is LTE (Long Term Evolution) but I feel it is OK to call it 4G (and simpler) because this is the 4th generation of mobile service being offered in Australia and around the world today.
We started with an analogue Mobile network, which was the first introduction to Cell Networks where Mobile phones could roam between towers around the country. Then the introduction of Digital Mobile, known as the 2nd generation of Mobile communications. Following 2G, we saw improvements in data handling, leading to some networks naming the service 2.5G, and of course we now have 3G and even 3.5G offering fast data speeds and generally a better mobile experience. With the introduction of 3G came the widespread use of Mobile Broadband. This is still the fastest growing sector for 3G services but is now being challenged by huge take up of the "Smart Phone"... thanks to the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy products, and also the less expensive Prepaid Smart Phones now available in the market.
What do all these improvements mean to us? A faster data connection and a stronger signal basically. Optus have been testing LTE in regional NSW and Victoria, recording download speeds of 70Mbps. That's about 20 times faster than the typical broadband speed at home over the existing wired network. This means faster web browsing, quicker song and movie downloads and seamless streaming of content to our mobile devices.
What does this mean to retailers like you? It means more sales ! Consumers will want to upgrade their handsets and Broadband devices to take advantage of the faster speeds on offer using 4G (LTE) services. So, mobile products will continue to become a larger part of you business as Australians embrace technology, usually faster than the rest of the world, wanting the latest and best.
Keep watching, because this industry is not standing still.