The annual Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona, Spain from February 14-17 brings 50 000 delegates from 200 countries together to tackle industry transformation and development of technology in the future.
It’s hard to believe that only 20 years ago, people were adjusting to the introduction of second generation (2G) mobile phones that used digital instead of analog transmission – and saw the replacement of the old “brick” phones with smaller, lighter hand-held models. Then the choice of mobile phone was more about design, size/weight as regards portability, legibility of characters and ease of use. Today those aspects are used to challenge brand loyalty on a far more sophisticated level as companies compete to meet the ever-increasing demands of the mobile office.
As technology became more advanced, the high connection speeds of third generation (3G) mobile phones encouraged users to sacrifice their slimline phones for slightly bulkier smartphones. Their applications include email, social networking on sites like Facebook and Twitter, browsing the World Wide Web, photo viewing and exchange, and music and video playback. In business, these phones make it possible for people to make more decisions faster wherever they are in the world, whether it’s chasing sales opportunities, providing better service as regards customer communication, or closing deals.
BlackBerry has dominated the 3G market for a long time but the Apple iPhone could be a contender for the top spot. Also consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab, launched to challenge the iPad at a lower price but with a smaller screen, and the Nokia C7 smartphone, introduced to appeal to users who had not used a touchscreen device before.
The fourth generation (4G) phones, which offer bandwidth-intensive applications like streaming media, represent the fastest wireless service available. The technology is only available in certain areas.