Leader: Mobile data reality check

Leader: Mobile data reality check

TechTaxi's response to all the news out of the Mobile World Congress show

This week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona pointed to an exciting future of high-speed wireless technologies, new phone platforms and innovative services for both businesses and consumers.

But amid all the hype, it is easy to forget that the vast majority of traffic on mobile networks is still made up of voice calls and text messages, possibly because these services are both uncomplicated to use and relatively inexpensive.

Mobile data, on the other hand, is both costly and uses a minefield of competing technologies and standards that can be tricky to configure even when they are available.

Never mind “Super 3G” services, mobile operators need first to concentrate on making ordinary 3G reliable, cost-effective and widely accessible. And as for mobile WiMax, this seems as far off as ever for UK customers despite trials and vendor announcements, because the necessary spectrum is still not available.