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Obstacles Abound for Mobile Wireless Data: Page 2 of 2

Given that reality, who can blame the major cellular providers for waiting on the sidelines, meekly promoting their overpriced, underperforming data services? Few of us demand these services and fewer still are willing to pay realistic prices.

Gloom but Not Doom

Is the future of wireless data really this bleak? Will the market ever take off, and what will it take to make that happen?

Low-cost wireless LAN hot spots make the infrastructure development risk more manageable, and all the cellular carriers have wireless hot-spot services on their radar. But before those services can be profitable, we need to see more technological development and some business realignment as well. The market can't sustain six profitable players, so look for consolidation among the major participants, especially those with complementary technologies. And the industry needs to achieve a level of secure transparency for wireless data services so mobile users can move between providers and technologies without first having to earn degrees in engineering and finance. I'm confident both these developments will happen eventually -- just don't hold your breath.