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Friday, September 15, 2006

Cell Phone Nation: The Next Generation Of Broadband, China Mobile, Sprint, Docomo, T-Moble, and Vodafone


The big mobile phone operators are looking beyond 3G, the current generation of cell broadband. Seven of the companies formed a new organization dubbed The Next Generation Mobile Networks, according to Reuters. The goal of the organization is to set the requirements of the "future wide area mobile broadband network". The organization is made up of seven companies: Vodafone, T-Mobile, China Mobile, Sprint, Orange, NTT Docomo, and KPN.

One has to wonder where Cingular and Verizon Wireless are in all of this. Also not mentioned is the king of 3G components, Qualcomm. The handset manufacturers like Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola are alos missing.

There is a distinct possibility, especially with the presence of Sprint, that the new initiative is a Trojan Horse for WiMax. Sprint has embraced the technology for its next generation broadband phones. The WiMax global initiative is the handiwork of Intel, Samsung, and Motorola. If WiMax is successful as the de facto standard for global wireless broadband, Qualcomm's business as the current supplier of broadband phone components will be badly damaged.

What the initiative of the big wireless phone operator does not address is what technology they will use. WiMax can work globally, cutting across the incompatability of other technologies. Perhaps, in the wings, and out of sight, Intel is lurking.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securiteis in companies that he writes about.

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