I get the feeling sometimes that 3G is more of a global buzzword amongst people around with only a shallow understanding of the services it enables. Sure, everyone is aware of the High Speed Data Access on mobile devices, but what does it do beyond that? Here are a few thoughts on services and features that 3G enables/would enable in times to come:
1. Large “Enterprise” Apps: The SAP and Oracle ERP systems run on broadband and even then are notoriously heavy on system resources and usage. 3G with its enhanced data bandwidth and higher speeds of data would be a huge enabler in terms of running these large “enterprise” applications on the mobile “on the go”. Enterprise adoption for running business and systems would thus be the biggest contributor for 3G revenues.
2. Video Streaming: This will be the most “visible” benefit of the high data speeds in 3G across a diverse set of usages
a. Video Conferencing: We have seen this (remember the Deepika Padukone BSNL ad)
b. Video Streaming/Mobile TV: TV content on the move through air on the mobile
c. Social Networking: While access to Facebook and other SNS sites is possible on 2G, video sharing is yet to catch on. Videos On Facebook and YouTube consumption will see a big fillip thanks to the data speeds of 3G
d. Mobile Surveillance: An application which has both enterprise and domestic use, video feeds of users house or work place will be enabled by 3G
3. Live Gaming: Rich media transferred through over the Internet providing a console like Gaming experience would be another domain that would benefit from high data speeds
4. Cloud Streaming: Music, Video Clippings, or Streaming Games are possibly the first phase of Cloud based services. Going beyond, the focus would shift to the Cloud wholly. The kind of stuff being spoken of here is Part OS in the cloud, Remote Software, Remote Applications. The user device would simply have to log into the cloud and choose the end service and the enablers will dynamically support the end service. Thus a lot of storage on the device (such as mobile phones), will shift to the cloud which will come into service only when required by the user. The high data speeds will support the dynamic transfer of data and services through the air.
5. Location Based Services: While most Location Based services will normally be supported on 2G networks, there may be high end applications such as LAYAR which will require speedy and dynamic link up with the central servers to feed location data to the consumers
6. m-Commerce, m-Health, m-Payments and m-Banking: All and most of these are supported by 2G services, but enhanced data and security layers for payments, banking and commerce could be facilitated by 3G. Similarly Remote Health monitoring (in absence of broadband connectivity) can be another major service enabled by 3G (remember the Deepika Padukone BSNL ad again)