embracing 3g

04/11/06 at 8:03 pm | Posted in Tech | Leave a comment

I can't wait to get my hands on my new phone, the 3G-enabled Nokia N70. Well, I sure hope Smart delivers it next week, or my technolust won't be sated.

I'm getting this 3G handset after availing of INQ7.net's company plan with Smart. Did you know that new Smart Gold subscribers can get a Nokia N70 for free at Plan 2500?

I've been waiting for 3G to arrive in the Philippines since last year, when I experienced it extensively during my first trip to Kuala Lumpur for an Ericsson 3G workshop. In fact, my team won the Amazing Race-like Ericsson 3G scavenger hunt. Here's one of the stories I filed from KL last year as I speculated on what it would be like when 3G finally arrives in the Philippines — this one's for our youth site.

Now that Smart has finally introduced 3G, initially on a free trial basis (they launched it on Feb. 14 — quite a Valentine's Day gift for us, huh?), we'll see how quickly such multimedia content will be developed in the Philippines. Talk is cheap — now let's live 3G.

At the end of the day, even if many of us get 3G handsets, I don't really see us making video calls on a regular basis once the novelty wears off. I mean, come on, do you really want everyone to see you, and will we have to fix our hair and gussy up before answering our phone? More likely than not, you'll limit your video calls to family and friends.

Video calls, however, will be ideal for the many overseas Filipinos who would like to see their loved ones, instead of just making voice calls. Plus they open up a lot of possibilities for collaboration in the workplace. I'm particularly interested in this since I telecommute and have learned to do my work anywhere, whether on the road using a mobile device, in a cybercafe, and even the Internet terminals in Changi airport.

I'm also pushing an idea for INQ7's Breaking News and other sections, as part of the multimedia content and services I'm conceptualizing and creating for the sites I handle. More on this soon.

Content is still king. Now that Smart has provided the infrastructure — and with rival Globe Telecom following suit — let's hope we'll have more content that will take advantage of what 3G has to offer. I've thought of several applications which would be ideal for 3G, but unfortunately some of them aren't rated GP, so let's not go into that.

Right now, you can watch TV programs from ABS-CBN and GMA Network on your 3G handset, and with any luck we'll see more applications soon. Content that's not merely ported from one platform to another, but which has been designed from the ground up for a mobile phone and 3G networks.

I'm just counting the days.

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