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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wireless Boom
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With yesterday's big iPhone 3G announcement, we continue to see an acceleration in wireless innovation. Apple's Steve Jobs gets the headlines, but don't forget how these mobile phone miracles affect the macro productivity of the U.S. and world economies.

A new Ovum study by economist Roger Entner estimates the existing productivity enhancements of broadband wireless. He also projects that by 2016 "the value of the combined mobile wireless voice and broadband productivity gains to the U.S. economy -- $427 billion per year -- will exceed today's motor vehicle manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries combined."

More from the executive summary:

• In 2004, mobile voice services generated productivity gains to the U.S. economy worth $157 billion per year.

• In 2005, mobile wireless broadband services generated productivity gains to the U.S. economy worth $28 billion per year.

• In 2005, the productivity value of all mobile wireless services was worth $185 billion, greater than the total value of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry (according to

• Between 2004 and 2005, the productivity enhancements generated by the use of mobile wireless broadband tripled in value.

• In 2005, 68.8 million US enterprise users had mobile wireless services, with only a quarter using mobile wireless broadband. By 2016, the US is projected to have 81.9 million mobile enterprise users, with 83 percent using wireless broadband.

• Health care and small businesses are the big winners. In 2005, productivity
improvements due to use of mobile broadband solutions across the U.S. health care industry were worth almost $6.9 billion. By 2016, that number will triple to $27.2 billion, or twice the size (according to Bizstats.com) of the current vocational rehabilitation sector of the health care industry. As demonstrated in several case studies provided in this Report, small businesses are uniquely empowered by implementation and use of wireless broadband technologies and applications.

• To put this information into context, consider that by 2016, the value of the combined mobile wireless voice and broadband productivity gains to the US economy -- $427 billion per year -- will exceed today’s motor vehicle manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries combined.

With wireless already a key driver of U.S. economic growth, and about to bring radical new efficiencies to huge industries like health care, all the more reason the FCC should stop its bizarre new spectrum policy of dictating specific business plans and micromanaging content, services, applications, and technology platforms.

posted by Bret Swanson @ 10:50 AM | Wireless

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