Accessing Internet via Mobile…Duh!

A recent article in Online Media Daily (http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=96642) states that the Pew Internet & American Life Project (what does mobile have to do exclusively with America escapes me!) report, “Future of the Internet III”, concludes that “most will access the Internet via mobile by 2020”. There is a certain obviousness to this conclusion. A. The Internet or any connected experience first via mobile is being experienced by many emerging countries today. B. 2008 will be the year of about 4 billion mobile devices. C. Unless the PCs or laptops (and their connectivity and pricing plans) experience a major disruption and innovation in the coming years, they won’t be the majority of Internet access to a mass market of users. D. There is one particular nuance which I did not see in the article and intend on searching out in the report, and that is, WHICH Internet is going to be accessed via mobile devices by 2020? If this is the same Internet mature markets are experiencing through PCs or high end mobile devices, then I may disagree with the reports conclusions. But if it’s tailored web services from tailored client applications (widgets et al), then I may tend to agree with the report’s high level thesis. Don’t get me wrong. I know there is but ONE Internet. It’s only a matter of how the information accessed or retrieved from an inquiry is presented to the end devices. There would be rendering, device specific characteristics, mashups handled at the service side and/or device side, etc., etc. An analogy is: I can access the Internet via the Safari browser on my iPhone. This is very much a PC-like experience unless the page or content is developed specifically for rendering on the iPhone. But if it’s not, it’s the same as on a PC, generally speaking and browser specific configurations notwithstanding. But the many apps that I have loaded on my iPhone that make web services calls to some web service in the Internet deliver to me a very optimized experience of “Internet content” without the delay and drudgery of a full browser experience. So the latter will be hope looking towards the future. Another statement from the article that I am particularly interested in point out, “”If the carriers continue to own the market, network access through mass adoption of the mobile will be far slower than if governments would begin blanketing their land with WiFi (or network access on other spectrum channels) as a public-good infrastructure project,” she told the Pew researchers.” She is Danah Boyd, social media researcher at Harvard. I don’t agree with blanketing ANY land with WiFi, but do agree with the stranglehold of the carriers being a limiting factor to rapid adoption of mobile services. How about this for a suggestion? Have the carriers divest themselves of their network infrastructure and operations, turn it over to the government to be managed as a “public resource” same as our asphalt highways, then compete with other content and service providers for the walletshare of the customer base. I’m certainly NOT for more or big government, but from time to time, the government does do something well for the public well being. Agree or disagree? Or, what’s a better idea?

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