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  • Wireless Internet & Mobile Computing

    I have been analyzing wireless communications for 31 years. I am president of Wireless Internet & Mobile Computing, a pioneering consulting firm that helps create new and enhance existing wireless data businesses in the United States and abroad.

    I write a weekly column for about the wireless and wired Internet as well as writing a mobile blog and producing videos.

    Previously, I created the world's first wireless data newsletter, wireless data conference, cellular conference and FM radio subcarrier newsletter. I was instrumental in creating and developing the world's first cellular magazine.

    I also helped create and run the first association in the U.S. for the paging and mobile telephone industries.

    Phone: 1-301-715-3678

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    « Microsoft getting involved in moblogs | Main | Use text! A picture usually isn't worth "a thousand words" »

    Friday, November 21, 2003


    Alan A. Reiter

    1. Cellular will be the dominant wireless technology for posting photos until something better comes along. It will be years -- many, many years -- before any technology comes close to supplanting cellular. The "smart antenna" companies face an uphill battle and even if they score some wins, cellular still will prevail for a long time.

    2. Transfer rates certainly will increase. Today, the typical cellular upload speed is 10K bps - 40K bps. That might improve in 2004, maybe, if CDMA 1x technology is enhanced, possibly by the end of the year. But cellular uploads will be a problem for a while, which is one reason why WiFi has lots of value.

    Sean Savage

    PS- RE: wi-fi cameras- Here's another reason to look foreward to wi-fi-capable phonecams:


    Thanks for the post and the press, Alan.

    A couple of points:

    RE: whether cellular will be the dominant wireless tech for transferring photos. I'm not so sure that it will. Recent papers and articles (especially a recent Scientific American cover story about smart antennas) provide reason to wonder whether cellular tech will be overtaken by newer technologies. I've started covering my bases by using the term "mobile phone" instead of "cell phone."

    RE: currently slow data rates -- You're absolutely right; the agonizingly slow upload rate that today's phonecam users put up with is a problem. And an important associated problem is the fact that in many scenarios the interfaces on these devices make you sit and wait for one item to be transmitted before you can go ahead and start up other tasks. I didn't explore this tangent in my essay because I assumed that transfer rates and compression algorithms will continue to improve, and I'm sure hackers will create better front-end software that queues up the transfers so you can tell your phone what to do, then just put it in your pocket and let the slow transfers take place while you do other things.

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