3G and beyond the applications generation
D Ralph and I Bonner
This paper examines the drivers for the deployment of 3G networks and outlines the applications that will utilise broadband access@om mobile terminals. The challenges presented within the telecoms industiy and developments in the supporting technologies surrounding the delivery of mobile broadband services aredescribed. Finalij, an overview of the applications currently being delivered on early 3G networks and an assessment of future developments in the mobile arena is presented.
The mobile industry has moved through a phase of tremendous growth in subscriber numbers and is entering an era of packet based network technologies capable of providing broadband data services to the user. Itis often asked “What will be the killer applications for 3G networks over the next few years?’. Unless the exact meaning of this question is challenged, this apparently simple question cannot easily be answered. Will this be described in terms of transactional revenue, subscription or airtime? The killer services worldwide, or on a more localised basis or niche offering?
An analysis offorecasts suggests that the revenues per user for voice traf€ic are set to decline in Western Europe, due in part to increased pressure on profit margin fiom regulation . However these predictions support the use of packet based networks to enable data applications - to further increase revenue in key areas such as messaging, m-commerce and location based services. (see Fig 1).
As is always the case, users choose services based on the value to them and are not dnven purely by technical merit, e.g. quoted bandwidth. It is to this end that the deployment of 3G networks and devices must capture the needs of users in terms of mobility - a significantly greater challenge than simply mobilising existing content [11.
Fig 2 : European Mobile Penetration by Country,June 2001 (%) [Source: Morgan Stanley Research]
This paper aims to demonstrate the Internet services that mobile users will be able to access.
It will position the drivers for mobile data applications usage, the high penetration of mobile telephones around the world (Fig 2), the increased device capability, and the deployment of broadband mobile networks.
Fig 1 : Mobile Services AverageRevenue Per User (ARF’U). [Source: Morgan Stanley Research]
It remains to be seen whether the significant investments in 3G networks in several European countries will provide a sufficiently early return on investment for the operators, but it is clear the applications which drive
3G Mobile Communication Technologies, 8-10 May 2002, Conference Publication No. 489 0 IEE 2002
usage ofbroadband mobile networks are necessary to secure future revenue streams. (Fig 3).
multiple subscriptions and devices secure transaction billing audiohide0 streaming
application development cost
a infrastructure cost
licencecost +total cost based on infrastructure sharing (assuming a 4 saving) %
The hrther standardisation of protocols will supportbearer transparency at the application layer, these include WAP and also those used in Japan for “Freedom of Multimedia Access” (FOMA) the encompassing service offering for NTT DoCoMo - broadband mobile applications.
Wireless Application Protocol
20 10 0
The WAP 2.0 standard will be supported on 3G networks and will continue to play a major part in the delivery ofapplications to the next generation of devices. An example of enhanced WAP is shown in Fig 4.
Fig 3 : European 3G investment by country [Source : the Yankee Group, 20011
As service constraints such as latency, bandwidth, device processing power and screen resolution are much improved on these devices, the WAP standard is moving to use an optimised TCP/HTTP stack and making...
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