Mobile computing, with Smart-phones and Tablets, is paving the way for heavier data usage with applications that require constant data connections. These days, the average users are sharing more of their photos and videos online, leading to their friends accessing the shared content from their devices. All these applications have created the requirement for a faster method of accessing the internet.
What’s Driving the need for faster speeds?
These days, professionals and consumers alike, are starting to use push email solutions on their smart-phones. This along with Internet Messaging applications require a continuous connection to the internet. With multitasking phones, it’s not just a single application accessing the internet, but multiple applications vying for bandwidth.
The young and the old are actively taking to Social Networks to keep in touch with friends and family, sharing their thoughts, photos & videos, and their locations on various networks. Users are performing location based searches for interesting things to do or places around them. A lot of users have also started looking for news and entertainment online, instead of the traditional newspapers and TV. There’s also a shift in the reading behaviours with people downloading the reading ebooks instead of printed books.
All of this is done straight from their mobile devices, and requires a good internet connection to give the user the best experience while performing these tasks. So what was keeping users from doing all this?
The problem with existing connectivity
In the mobile internet space, users were plagued with slow internet access though GPRS and EDGE connections. Downloading applications and media more than a megabyte on this kind of connection was usually a frustrating experience, with the downloads spanning hours and in a lot of cases, just timing out. This has kept users away from a lot of services and applications which require a good internet connection.
Most users have to wait till they get to a WiFi zone to start their heavy downloads. This could be at their homes, offices or one of the WiFi hotspots in popular locations like coffee shops, malls and airports. Most of the hotspots are run by private operators or the owners of the venue, and they require some method of payment to access. Very few of these hotspots are free and since there’s no common operator, the connection at each venue requires a separate payment. Also how many of us really want to pay those premium rates they charge?
3G to the rescue
Here’s where 3G comes to the rescue. With mass roll-outs by various operators around India, this technology, promises to be a solution to the requirement for faster internet access on the move. On a 3G connection, users can expect speeds anywhere from 1 to 6 Mbps on our current networks, and as the operators upgrade their equipement, the speeds could go up to 28 Mbps in the future.
With wider access to 3G coverage and the reduction of the access costs, it will be a key factor in helping internet accessibility through out the country. Since the number of wireless subscribers outnumber the number of landline customers in India, technologies like 3G are going to help in providing broadband internet access to masses.
My personal and professional productivity has improved since I got a 3G connection a few months back. I’m now online with phone with push mail, and I can download even heavy attachments in a few seconds, instead of several minutes. My contacts and calendar are synced with Google’s services, so even if I don’t have my laptop, I’m up to date with all my meetings and appointments. If I’m working from home, I can also perform
Sharing my photographs with my friends, now doesn’t have to wait till I reach a PC, I can click a snap and upload my photos to Flickr and Facebook. I’m now always connected to my friends by IM, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, and can receive updates and files they send in seconds. There’s almost nothing I can’t do these days while on the move.
In fact since I got a 3G connection on my mobile, a few months back, my desktop system at home has been gathering dust. I do most of the daily tasks like catching up with news, social networks and reading on my Tablet device and the rest from my mobile. The only reason I use the desktop these days is to sync and backup data from the mobile. As more mobile and tablets supporting USB-OTG ( on the go), I’m sure my desktop will have to retire from active duty.
3G data access is going to change the way people use technology, leading to improved work productivity without actually being stuck to their desk at office. It’ll also improve their personal life, since work and play is no longer anchored to the home PC, leaving more quality time with the family.
How do you think 3G technology will help you at work? Will 3G make you more productive?