Saturday, February 16, 2013

What percentage of the smart phone potential have we seen?

The smart phone is extremely powerful.  You can read mail, surf the web, read Facebook and Twitter, play games, find direction from where you currently are and thousands of other things and even make phone calls from most anywhere!   And most importantly you can store it in your shirt pocket, sorry tablets. 

That said, I’m a firm believer that we have only seen the proverbial tip of the iceberg with the potential of these devices.  I’m remiss to put a percentage, even 1%, on this potential since I’m not sure where it ends.

As we saw with the web, bandwidth drives innovation.   As soon as broadband replaced the dial up modem, which had an absolute limit of 64 Kbps, this innovation engine exploded.  With every increment of bandwidth innovations came to market that were not possible with the previous limit.  That’s why it’s important to ensure service providers never become a dumb pipe. 

Wireless has its bandwidth challenge limited by Shannon’s Law.  Yet we continue to see advances here as well.  We’ve seen 2G, 3G and now 4G/LTE.  5G is in the works.   Smaller cells, femto cells, pico cells and massive increases in Wi-Fi offload will all continue to increase the effective bandwidth available to each smart phone. 

We can only imagine what we and future generations of people will use their smart phone for.  

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