Mobile BBand Should Enable More Than Apps on Steroids

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Over at is a brief consideration of what wireless high-speed broadband (WiMax, LTE — 4G) will bring us in the very near future. Its sponsored by Intel, supporter of the WiMax standard, but we’re not addressing technology flavors here, rather what the technology can bring.

RWW, along with many others boil it down to familiar categories:

  • Video, video and more video
  • Gaming
  • Productivity and realtime collaboration

We can’t disagree with any of these but having spent time working on wireless broadband products for three providers we know there’s a bit more to consider. For instance, mobility (once coverage is built out enough by Clearwire and the many others wholesaling its bits) is likely the true game-modifier here, but not without developers remembering to avoid the temptations toward shovelware. Even simply porting over iPhone or Android apps for laptops, pads and other devices misses the point: these new networks are bringing speed, diminished latency and freedom — and it’s that freedom to roam, to be mobile, to move not from room to room but from town to town while not losing connection that is the point.

We all need to challenge ourselves not to waste the network’s potential on the same old things. Developers and entrepreneurs have a huge opportunity (even responsibility) to look not at the individual benefits of the technology but the confluence of benefits. Together these enable potentially new behaviors altogether, which of course means all kinds of opportunities for startups and others.

So avoid thinking of this new world as 3G+ and start dreaming of the slick spawn of bandwidth that rains from the sky and finds users wherever they are, holding hardware infused with spot-on location detection and connected to anyone they want in live time.

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