Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mobile Broadband across the Ocean – Notes from my trip

I have spent a little bit less than a week on the US and I have tried as usual  to try to be quite observant of mobile usage ecosystem, from people handsets to shops, commercial and the impact of the app world on daily life.
I come to 2 observations through the trip Android vs. iPhone penetration and then also on speeds on experienced broadband and mobile broadband (US vs. Europe)

- Even if the numbers suggest that Android is growing rapidly on market share on the US, to the point that it may pass i-Phone very soon (see AdMob Mobile OS penetration in the US Q1 2010 figures), I did not see very many people using them the way I see people using the iPhone, aka as part of a new way of connected life and usage, from watching a baseball match live on the iPhone to a jazz fest app to follow all events around the jazz fest at NOLA.
This is even more interesting as AT&T is still the only operator selling the iPhone and the other operators have had to find commercial alternatives to the iPhone marketing push (most interesting one in my opinion have been Motorola and Verizon conducting a US$100m launch campaign around the Motorola Droid handset in Sep-Nov 2009, the Google released spoken word turn-by-turn navigation in the US only for free to coincide with the Droid launch – the ‘killer app’ that no other SP has, and Google launched their own Nexus One (built by HTC) in early January 2010 via on-line store and promoted this via links on various Google web assets)
- US Mobile broadband (and fixed broadband for that matter) trail in terms of coverage and speed in comparison with Europe (both western and CEE)
I am always amazed at how important is still network coverage on the ATL advertising from mobile operators. Both AT&T (“Fastest 3G network”) and Verizon (“largest and most reliable 3G coverage”) run ongoing network campaigns constantly
On this matter while putting so much emphasis on the network, it was almost impossible for me to reach 3G connectivity either on my Blackberry or my Laptop (using an HP Tablet EliteBook with embedded modem) neither in NOLA, Houston or Chicago (at airports, hotels, Coffee shops,…), having to rely only on EDGE or having to find a WIFI option (and I can tell you that broadband speeds also trail behind European speeds by far, in fact the US is only placed 18th in the world in terms of average connection speed, see Broadband speeds in the US Q1 2010 figures and world wide comparison, article from Ars Technica).
Funny enough the moment I landed at the UK I could be connected on 3G / HSDPA almost constantly in London. Obviously at home in both Lithuania and Latvia this is not a problem having wide 3G/HSDPA coverage in all major cities and roads (we have the fast mobile broadband service in Lithuania with average speeds of 1Mb/s or above and improving dramatically in Latvia day by day)

No comments:

Post a Comment