With this planet gradually moving towards 3 billion mobile phone users, it is time to ask whether the mobile Internet will ever really happen.
If you talk to the telecoms and tech industry they are all resoundingly positive. "Isn't the mobile Internet already a given?"
If you talk to the average user you hear an entirely different story. "I just use my phone to make calls."
Will the mobile Internet ever become reality?
Well, maybe, but certainly not before a few things happen: 1. Smartphones become a big selling category (and the devices get smaller/lighter). 2. Mobile phone operators give up their walled gardens and become access providers and not access monopolizers. 3. Hi-speed, next generation 3G (called HSPDA) becomes widely available. 4. Compelling mobile Internet applications take off. Not including texting, email, music or games downloads. (Come on Google et al!) 5. Mobile Internet browsers become more sophisticated.
The above barriers should all be removed by 2010, but ultimately it will be up to the industry to excite and entice us consumers. Maybe Apple will do it with their soon to be launched iPhone. They sure shook up the once equally unexciting digital music market.
What a shame for the mobile phone operators if they need a catalyst like Apple to shake the mobile Internet into shape.