The Evolution of Mobile

February 15

Gargantuan. Gigantic. Great. Is this what the "G" in 3G mobile network stands for? Well, not really, but it might as well be. 3G or "third generation" technology, like that found on the new iPhone 3G, makes browsing the mobile web, accessing email, downloading content, watching video and everything in between much faster.

Leading US carriers Verizon Wireless and AT&T have seen a tremendous surge in their data plan revenues. Verizon's data revenue grew 45% year over year, and AT&T's grew 52% year over year (Fierce Mobile, July 29, 2008). The term "data" encompasses pretty much everything else the phone can do besides "voice" – voice being what historians will eventually describe as "talking on the mobile phone." These gargantuan numbers for data consumption showcase consumers' appetite to use the mobile for more than just talking.

In fact, both carriers have seen a gigantic increase in existing customer upgrades to devices that utilize 3G, with Verizon reporting 60% or 40.5 million of its customers making the leap to mobile nirvana (Fierce Mobile, July 29, 2008).

AT&T reported that 95% of iPhone users surf the mobile web. And Apple has reported that over 25 million mobile applications have been downloaded from their online App Store since its launch a month or so ago. And btw, the iPhone is open source, which means any developer can build and share apps for the iPhone. Got you thinking yet?

So why is this important to you? We've all heard about mobile marketing and how it's the future of direct marketing, but in the US we've been on the fringe of mobile really blowing up. In other countries, like Japan, mobile marketing has been big for many years – they've had commercial usage of 3G since 2001.

But now, with the growth of smart phones on 3G networks, we'll see more advanced capabilities for users to get access to the web, download applications, and get connected to brands anywhere and everywhere they go. And of course, that means social networking on the fly just became easier, with Loopt, Facebook, Eventful, and MySpace all creating iPhone apps downloadable for free.

It's the evolution of mobile. And it will help us build new innovative ways to reach job seekers in the future. And personally, I think that's great.

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