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Mobile Broadband Economy refers to a situation where the use of technology has become so diversified that it is now easy to use devices like mobile phones, computers, radio interphones and mobile televisions among others in a mobile environment. This is to say that these gadgets need not be fixed in one place for one to access and use them, but they portable. The gadgets have a network that can be described as high-speed, meaning that data transfer speeds are at a minimum of 1.5 megabytes per second. In other words, it is the ability of technological systems to provide high sped data connectivity beyond the minimum bandwidth. However, it is important to note that the minimum volume of bandwidth varies across countries and agencies, depending on the level of development and interconnectivity demands. With the advanced technological development, it has constantly become easier to conduct business the world over hence fuelling economic growth, link socially with people abroad, as well as stay informed on current issues, hence the line 'the world has become a global village' (Seiichi 2003).
The development of the mobile broadband economy has been facilitated and boosted by the fact that there has been an increasing knowledge of scientific research, technological applications and a link between the two. Mobile technology is rapidly becoming the lifestyle of many people and as Herbert Spencer tells us in his book, Living networks: leading your company, customers and partners in hyper n the hyper-connected economy, this great innovation can boldly be referred to as the World Brain. This is because it has been formulated by different individual, who nevertheless have a common purpose and vision, and who, by believing in this great vision, have made technology what it is today (Seiichi 2003).
Working within organizations has now become more effective and less time consuming. This is because, through networking people across and within organizations, it is now possible or people to work from different locations and achieve desired results, simply through necessary collaborations. Innovation and intellectual property are now becoming easily accessible and modifiable, as this information can now be captured and stored in digital form, making it easy for the data to flow between consumers. What about the fact that it is now very easy to form new friendships with people form different countries, reconnect with old friends and form chat groups online? Isn't this a reflection of the fact that mobile broadband economy reveals exponential growth for future generations to combat socially? This study was necessitated by the prediction made that in the days to come, mobile broadband economy will be the way to go because it has already revealed possibilities for growth socially, economically, professionally as well as politically if so to say (Ross 2003).
The emerging wireless technologies have exhibited potential for boosting growth of underdeveloped markets as well as activation of dormant resources like cable conduits that lie idle. According to the World Bank research carried out in 2009, the percentages of individuals using the internet at home at least on a daily basis are at least 50% the world over, going as high as 82% in countries such as Iceland. When the data was grouped according to age, it was found that teenagers and young people below the age of 30 are the ones that benefiting or seem to be actively using the mobile broadband much of the time for communication, networking and socializing purposes. High percentages were also recorded in usage of the system for business purposes like providing customer services much more than for sending or receiving e-mail or getting information form government, for research or internet banking or financial services. (World Bank 2009)
As a result and in a nutshell, the positive impacts of economies of scale have been felt by many investors and business people far and wide. By being able to increase the speed of communication, companies have as a result been able to create value with their clients and other stakeholders in their businesses (Ross 2003).
In an attempt to find just how much potential lies within the broadband system, this research paper has been formulated into five sections that cover; Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Findings and Results, Conclusion and Recommendations.
Having looked at the introduction let us then go to section 2, which is all about literature review that forms the solid basis for this work.
This chapter is aimed at having a look at what the mobile broadband entails, what it is all about and what authors and other figures of reference have go to say about it. What are the interconnections in the system that make the broadband all that it is? This chapter is basically an overview on IT literature which will lead us to understand the tit bits of how internet for example works. One thing that most writers seem to agree on is that this growth in technology has enhanced fluidity in communication. In other words, most of the communication barriers like long distance and high costs of transport and communication have been addressed by this technological advancement. This is because communication has been eased, what with the 2nd, 3rd and currently the 4th generation wireless technology that has been innovated over the years. All these generations have come with increased speed and reliability despite high development costs in the progression of development (International Engineering Consortium 2007).
The generations mentioned above have come along with a number of access modes that have served as linkages that host a large communication channel. These include GSM, CDMA (code divisional multiple access), WiMAX (worldwide interoperability for microwave access) WiFi (wireless fidelity), AOL, ISP, XML, VoIP (voice over internet protocol), PDF (portable document format) among other wide broadband types in the market today. Many of these broadband were developed in the Asian countries in the '90s. the different types of broadband have been developed in such a way that there are those that work bets for computer interconnections, those that work for mobile phones, those that work for radio and for other gadgets that fit the broadband description (Seiichi 2003).
The mobile broadband economy can be described as interplay between users, services, high-speed networks and applications, which is enhanced and made more useful by factors such as availability, access, affordability and investments as well as demand. In other words, the interplay is incomplete and useless without the above mentioned factors. It is like an incomplete circuit. How then can economies or governments use the mobile broadband to enhance development? To begin with, it is important to observe statistics such as the fact that there are over 465 million subscribers of fixed broadband users, not to mention that those subscribed to mobile broadband are over 575 million, and these are people using the 3G (3rd generation) technology (Yongsoo and Tim 2009).
This brings us to a famous quote that goes 'mobile broadband is a common thread holding nations together.....national initiatives in various nations have proved this and have one thing in common: that the broadband, fixed or mobile, is now a necessary tool in holding the world together as a global economy (Whitman 2005).
Countries with high economic levels and a high competition between different companies offering different types of broadband technology can take advantage of these existing factors to enhance growth and development in aspects such as career development for its citizens, social networking and economic expansion for large and small scale business people in the country. One thing that goes undisputed is that both fixed and mobile broad band technologies will over time continue to penetrate the economy, even though unevenly and in increasing costs. It then goes without saying that people's lifestyles will continue to change in an overwhelming manner, what of people working from home, shopping online and even dating people they have never met in person online! (Roberts 2005).
The internet is an interesting tool. It has now become easy to read about people that you have even never and probably will never meet in their blogs. This is through the development of the flash software by a company well known as macromedia. By dropping into people's websites you are able to retrieve the information they have keyed in about themselves. Talking of websites, there is now what has become a craze for many people, both young and old, and this is the face book website. It has positively impacted in the lives of many people emotionally and socially by enabling them to network and socialize as well as keep themselves updated on the current happenings around the world. Other websites that work in a more or less similar manner to face book are twitter, Yahoo! buzz, reddit, Stumble upon, delicious, tweetmeme, mixx, Slashdot, friendfeed, clipmarks, newsvine, diigo, propeller, flixter, myspace, last.fm, linkedin, blogster and faceparty. Note however, that this list is nowhere close to exhaustive (Soumitra, 2009)
The number of evolving network stations is extremely high and is continuing to grow. However, most of those unmentioned here are location-specific. For example, cozycot is a social networking website that targets the women of East and South East Asia. However, some other websites that serve as search engines for diversified topics and issues are like Google. Google especially helps one to search for any information that they may need, and has especially proved useful to students who search for study material online. Other websites are issue-specific, meaning that they concentrate on specific objective for example, there are those websites that you will link into for the sole purpose of playing games and this is for example Avatars United. Another one known as Athlinks is specifically designed for swimmers and runners, while Audimated. Com is specifically for online music. What of Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo mail others that are email based and are commonly logged into for the purpose of receiving and sending electronic mail? Earlier on we mentioned VoIP, which allows one to make local and international calls via the internet. Amazing, isn't it? The list is endless, based on specifications and locality. Note however that each website, regardless of its diversity records a registration of over hundreds of thousands of subscribers. This report was at October 2010. Many of the websites come with an instant messaging facility that allows users to receive and send feedback to other users or to the website overseers (Ross 2003)
Companies are actively getting involved in developing intellectual property and ensuring that flow of information and idea is constant to their clients and other stakeholders in the organization. This way, companies have continued to create value with their customers and suppliers as well. With the different opportunities created by mobile broadband, companies are now in competition to create new services and products through the use of technology in order to reach out to as many people as possible (Ross 2003)
One of the software that has been adopted by many corporations is the collaborative filtering software that is meant to keep employees in track as far as their jobs are concerned. The software works by ensuring that the only information that employees get access to is job related, hence making the use of internet and the broadband system more relevant to the job. As such, employees can take advantage of this situation to grow and expand professionally by connecting themselves to such websites (Ross 2003)
In order to make full use of the developing broadband and broad width tools, many products are being formulated the world over. Some of these are the digital television. Through the research carried out by Digital Inclusion Action Plan, it has been established that demand for digital TVs has been on the increase over the last 4 years. For example, in Wales, the demand had risen from 82% to 84%. This is in comparison to England and Scotland whose demand had risen with an overwhelming 11 and 9% respectively within the same period of time. The digital analogue band is yet another discovery that has given rise to radio stations like BBC, Radio Wales among others, not to mention the numerous FM services that have been launched the world over (Great Britain House of Commons report 2009).
Many authors and IT analysts are seemingly standing on a common ground as far as the future of the mobile broadband economy is concerned: the mobile broadband economy has grown, is growing and will continue to grow even in the days to come. In their book, (Building Broadband: strategies and policies for the developing world, Yongsoo, Tim and Raja 2010) say that the Trust Fund on Information and Communication Technology for Development, infodev, the World Bank and various governments are coming together to innovate and design a broadband package that will be rich in licensing procedures and documents, information and practical examples related to policy making and regulation. Moreover, and as an example, the republic of Korea unveiled a plan in February 2009 to launch a large broadband network that works at a supersonic speed of 1gigabit per second by the year 2013. this leaves no doubt that people the future of the broadband is bright, bearing in mind that this is just what has been recorded, what of those other economies whose data has not been documented but are in the process of expanding their broadband usage (Yongsoo 2010)
However, there are still areas that need to be worked on in order to realize the full potential that lies within the development of the MBE. Among them is to address the fact that there is still limited awareness of the use and advantages of IT, and more so among the Small and medium Enterprises. The other thing that need to be looked into as we consider the future of MBE is the difficulty and rising costs that accompany enforcement of IT rights, both for individuals and companies. Lastly, we should not turn a blind eye to the fact that there are high and rising rates of crime associated with improving Information Technology (Great Britain House of Commons report 2009).
It is evident that there are other factors that are to be put into consideration as the above challenges are looked into. These issues are based on factors that affect the society socially. For example, while governments look into expanding their broadband base, they need to consider factors of accessibility especially to children. Every parent would love to see their child grow as far as technology is concerned. Internet use for children to do their homework and at the same time ensure that they do not get exposed to some hazardous sites should be put into consideration. What about easy access for hard-to-reach groups? By so saying we are referring to those people who are visually impaired or who are faced with other forms of disability. Older people and offenders should also be considered when technology is being advanced. They should be able to access these services without much ado and without feeling left out in this share of progress.
Methodology refers to a set of principles and procedures that are applied in order to inquire into a given discipline for the purposes of analysis. A methodology, unlike a formula, varies depending on the discipline that on is looking into or dealing with. (wordnetweb.com 2009) and therefore this chapter looks at the data collection process that was used in order to reach the findings that are outlined later in this document. Data was collected from secondary sources, meaning that a lot of this work was based on literature review. Secondary data refers to the ability of a researcher to re-analyze already existing data in his own words. An example of secondary data is published review. Secondary data in this paper was considered very useful in order to gauge what broadband users have to say about the innovation and what they feel is the general trend in the world of mobile technology. As outlined in the previous chapter of literature review, there is so much that can be said about MBE, and we can still not exhaust the available information and opinions that people have projected concerning this wide topic. (wordnetweb.com 2009)
The books reviewed formed a good basis for comparison between the world before mobile broadband and the world thereafter. They helped gauge how the lives of people have changed in regard to the changing technology. Ross confirms that networks are becoming alive, are expanding and are behaving more or less like the human brain. The links created through these networks have deepened relationships between customers, companies and partners. Furthermore, with a more holistic approach that includes linking various aspects of the broadband development in the process like networks, services, applications and users, the economy of the broadband promises an increased investment in the sector by many more subscribers the world over. This is because, as people continue to create their own information and content for various needs that include socializing and job search, demand for high quality services to be able to download and upload such information will continue to be on the rise. If only the development will be coupled with policies and programs fit for the ecosystem, then the future of the mobile broadband is almost guaranteed (Yongsoo 2010)
From the data collected, broadband usage continues to be used more and more widely with each passing day, and especially in the western world. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the demand is so much on the rise that the bandwidth being used will require to be expanded to a speed of more than 1.5 megabits per second in both directions. (Yongsoo 2010)