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Telecom revolution – 3G Vs. WiMax and iPhone Vs. gPhone

Posted by Irus on August 22, 2008

As iPhone is released today there has been a flurry of activity in the Telecom Sector this month. With the technological changes on the anvil moving from current cell phones to the next generation devices and service providers is certain for the common man in India. The two new technologies which will soon be vying for your money are 3G and WiMax. Let’s find out how they stack up against each other and which could eventually be the winner. image

THE DEVICES

3G is represented by the iPhone and WiMax by Dream or more commonly known as Google phone which is to be manufactured by HTC. HTC as many would know is already producing competing devices against iPhone. A comparison between iPhone 3G and HTC Touch Diamond can be found here.

THE AVAILABILITY

iPhone is now available from 22nd August 2008 in India, while Dream will make its worldwide debut during October and November.

THE PRICING

iPhone is available for Rs 36100 for the 16 GB model where as gPhone is likely to be highly subsidized by ad revenue therefore much cheaper to the end consumer.

THE NETWORK/TECHNOLOGY

WiMax works over Internet and Cellular networks both. In current deployments, speeds are often closer to 2 Mbit/s at 10 km being stationery.3G works over cellular networks, speeds on paper are 2Mbit/s stationery but it drop to 384 Kbps in a moving vehicle. 

THE USES

Advantages which both technologies offer are similar.

· Fast downloads

· Interactive gaming

· Global positioning over Internet 

· Video calls – Face-to-face collaboration provides for a more effective exchange of information, faster problem resolution and increased productivity.

· Emergency Response: Effective disaster management requires an immediate,accurate assessment of the situation and continuous monitoring of events during response

· Manufacturing: Utilizing 3G visual communications, field engineers can quickly address equipment maintenance issues or supply chain disruptions,visually exchanging critical information with remote engineering or home office support to assess and resolve the situation.

· Site Assessment: 3G visual communications can enable remote collaboration on potential construction sites,as well as visual updates on project progress.

THE 3G DISADVANTAGE

Although 3G was successfully introduced to users across the world, some issues are debated by 3G providers and users:

· Expensive input fees for the 3G service licenses

· Numerous differences in the licensing terms

· Large amount of debt currently sustained by many telecommunication companies, which makes it a challenge to build the necessary infrastructure for 3G

· Lack of member state support for financially troubled operators

· Expense of 3G phones

· Lack of buy-in by 2G mobile users for the new 3G wireless services

· Lack of coverage, because it is still a new service

· High prices of 3G mobile services in some countries, including Internet access

· Current lack of user need for 3G voice and data services in a hand-held device

· High power usage

INDIAN GOVERNMENT’S POLICY

With the government auctioning the 3G spectrum last month, 3G operators such as Airtel and Vodafone were in jubilation mode till Department of Telecommunication, Government of India announced deregulation of VoIP which will hugely benefit consumers since TRAI on Monday allowed the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to permit local, STD and ISD calls from Computers to Mobile and land lines or vice versa without any restriction. However for using VOIP landline service, consumers will have to spend only Rs 500 to Rs 1,500 for buying a specialised device to convert a landline into a VOIP phone that also needs a broadband connection

THE WINNER – gPhone/WiMax

Technological factors and cost factors e.g. few entry barriers, lack of IPRs etc. make WiMax easily win the battle. Also WiMAX is a possible replacement candidate for cellular phone technologies such as GSM and CDMA, and can also be used as a layover to increase capacity.

THE FUTURE

Given the limited wired infrastructure as a result of prohibitive costs and unsympathetic geography in India the costs to install a WiMAX station are likely to be small in comparison to developing a wired solution. Here WiMAX can enhance wireless infrastructure in an inexpensive, decentralized, deployment-friendly and effective manner.Due to the huge potential benefits to the populations of nations on account of providing services such as education, tele medicine, entertainment these technologies must be taken to the rural areas of India for Inclusive growth.

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