Wireless Trends I’d like to see

There are trends driving both the wireless technology and adoption depending on the market (e.g., Japan, UK, US). However, instead of looking at the trends, I think the wireless carriers need to step back and figure out how to increase their definition of service. Today, wireless carriers focus on subscriber growth and gross revenue per user. Yet with an increasingly saturated market and an almost unwillingness to pay for extra services in the US given the expectation created by the Internet (i.e., most service is free – news, entertainment) I think they need to move to new models. For example, why is it that I pay a bus fare in cash, struggle to get my credit card transation to process in the taxi and usually come up short at the vending machine? Wireless carriers have 2 key assets, there transport ability and their billing ability. This should be used in new ways to develop more revenue. So, below are my thoughts on what trends I’d like to see.
1.) Increase data speeds to allow more functionality to be delivered to the end user such as web access and video phone (essential in US market getting use to broadband)
2.) Clearinghouse function created to rival Visa/Mastercard (e.g., to be used for vending machines, mom/pop stores, government, movie tickets)
3.) Business to Consumer/Business Applications (e.g., point of sale systems, kiosks, supply chain management). Leverage the network in new ways. Provide transactional processing charges vs. all you can drink.
4.) Increased reliability (reach the 5 9s of wireline) ha!
5.) Social networking services (e.g., friendster in realtime and based on your location; find out the person sitting next to you in Starbucks is friends with your friend Joe; receive a “flirt” via SMS from a girl in the club that hasn’t yet met you, but your profile popped up as a match on her phone when you walked in the place)
…oh, and I still want to have my phone tell me where the nearest gas station is when I need one.

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