Wireless and mobile communications is on the verge of a new revolution–a 4G wireless broadband revolution. And media content providers are driving the future of mobile.
The blazing super fast speed offered by 4G systems (100Mbps and faster) is not the “Che Guevara” in the revolutionary world of 4G technology. Content providers that are the future of mobile entertainment and information services.
Think of it this way. Carriers or operators are the conduits (the “pipes” in Internet terms) and handset manufacturers the “appliances,” similar to utility companies delivering electricity, gas and water and appliance manufacturers producing refrigerators, furnaces and dishwashers.
Light bulbs only work when electricity causes their filaments to activate. Lawn sprinklers are literally “dead in the water” without water. And gas stoves won’t heat anything without natural gas. Similarly, carriers like utilities, connect wireless devices, such as mobile phones, to communication networks. That’s all they do.
A 100 watt light bulb is brighter than a 60 watt one and requires more juice. If you have a larger front lawn, you need more powerful sprinklers and H2O. Likewise, heating and cooking using a larger frying pan requires more gas. But none of these devices contain “content” or information. They’re just appliances that produce light, keep grass green and cook a meal.
Multimedia Devices Different than Appliances
On the other hand, your television, radio, mobile phone, mp3 player and Sony Play Station are different. They deliver audio and video programs. These multimedia devices aren’t “appliances” in the same way as a fridge, furnace or dishwasher. Yes, they require electric power to work. But their value is the multimedia content they offer. Imagine turning on your television without a cable, satellite and fiber optic connection or using a smartphone without a mobile Internet connection. No content. No information. They become appliances.
This simple distinction between a washer and a smartphone is not trivial at all. As I write these words, thousands of multimedia providers–broadcasters, cable, media, Internet and other companies–are planning and producing content for the new age of 4G wireless devices: smartphones, e-readers, tablet computers and digital video players.
Apple is an excellent example of integrating new technologies with multimedia content. Its iPad transforms “old media” through new media channels connected to the Internet.
Steve Jobs, who has proven over-and-over his marketing savvy, is re-packaging and delivering multimedia content obtained from sources in the music and movie industries. But he’s competing with Netflix, Roku’s video streaming service and hundreds of Web content providers.
Imagine a world of wireless, 4G devices, operating with processors faster than the most powerful computers today connected to wireless home networks, downloading media from powerful servers.
While carriers and other wireless broadband companies race to launch 4G services worldwide, those who produce or own multimedia content will profit the most. That’s why wireless carriers, cable and satellite companies are quickly acquiring content providers as each prepares for the new world of 4G.