Sprint is currently offering a limited service of 4G to some states in the USA
The past few years have seen the technological development that surrounds mobile phones propel to new levels. New features have been introduced that have since become standard and include faster Internet connectivity, email services, social-networking and the opportunity for your mobile phone to double up as a camera, a music player or both. But where next for mobile phones – how can they develop further?
One way in which mobile phones are developing is by improving the quality of the features that have already been added to phones. For example, with music players and camera lens a rather dated feature, mobile phone manufacturers are now taking to boosting the functionality of these services. A great example of this is the Sony Ericsson Satio which is going to be released later this year. The mobile has a 12.1-megapixel camera which is better than some digital cameras, let alone other mobile phones.
Social-networking has also become a big element of the way that we spend our leisure time and our business time on the Internet. As options like Facebook and Twitter begin to become more favoured than the humble text as the desired method for keeping in touch with our friends, it could be said that mobile phones are going to try and focus on creating easy-to-use apps for these services.
Any new features that come to mobile phones from the Internet are likely to be courtesy of 3G, which has taken the telecoms world by storm. It is 3G that has boosted connectivity in mobile phones and has made Internet on the go possible, with faster connections and mobile-browser compatible web pages.
With Flash and video content becoming more favoured for websites now, mobile-browser compatible web pages are struggling to keep up with the demand for content. In the future, it is highly likely that 4G, and even 5G will be introduced into mobile phones so the experience can be more powerful and more convenient for mobile phone users.
As for when 4G will become an option, it is Japan that will see the new generation of communications open its doors first. A network that is capable of 4G connectivity is to launch next year in Japan. Networks in other countries are planning to roll out their systems for premium cost as soon as the end of this year, but whether those schedules will be met realistically remains to be seen.
Even though real-time video-on-demand has been tried and tested by many mobile networks, it is 4G that could ensure that the opportunity for people to download video content to enjoy on their mobile is realised. With the promising speeds in excess of 30MB per second meaning that there is the chance for mobile phone users to watch HD content on their mobile phone handsets in the very near future, is there any way of predicting how the improvements in connectivity that are due in the future will change how we use our mobile phones?