The GSM Association’s 3G For All campaign

I was reading this story by about LG leading the ‘3g for all’ campaign.

Some background:

Link: GSM Association Press Release 2006 – GSMA To Accelerate Development Of Mass-market 3G Handsets Under “3G For All” Programme

At a meeting yesterday here in India, the board of the GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade association for mobile operators, approved a “3G for all” programme to bring 3G multimedia services and mobile Internet access to many more people in both the developed and the developing worlds.

Over the next few months, a group of operator members of the GSMA plan to establish a core set of common requirements for 3G handsets to create the economies of scale that will allow mobile phone suppliers to rapidly bring down the cost of manufacturing these high-tech devices.

Under the initiative, which builds on the success of the GSMA’s Emerging Market Handset programme, mobile phone suppliers will compete to design a 3G handset that meets the operators’ common requirements. The GSMA will endorse the winning handset, which will be widely deployed by operators participating in the programme. More details of the initiative, which is sponsored by the Hutchison Group, will be announced at the 3GSM World Congress Asia in Singapore in October*.

“Our 3G handset initiative will allow far more people to take advantage of the video clips, mobile music, Internet access, and many other multimedia services now enjoyed by more affluent users in the developed world,” says Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA. “Our Emerging Market Handset programme is a compelling demonstration of how economies of scale can be brought to bear to accelerate falls in the cost of manufacturing mobile phones.”

Well I never.

What smart arse at the GSM association …. no, let me stop there.

The fundamental problem with ‘3g’ is that no one, no one who actually BUYS these services knows what 3g means. To go around promoting a ‘3g for all’ campaign is just ridiculous. It has its merits in terms of inter-company relations within the mobile industry, but the industry is just shit at branding things.


2g? Please.

it winds me up reading about these things. I really hope someone, somewhere, does a Steve Jobs — or an Apple — or anything — on the industry. Even today when I speak to people, I find myself saying, ‘is that a 3g handset’ and they look at me as though I’m from Timbuktu.

‘Does it do video calling?’ I ask, to try and qualify.
‘Er, dunno,’ comes the inevitable reply.
‘Right, but it’s got a camera on it here, I think it does do video calling..’ I calmly suggest.
‘Dunno mate, never used it,’ ……


By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

2 replies on “The GSM Association’s 3G For All campaign”

A whole lot of the “what is 3G?” confusion could have been avoided if one of the bigger carriers didn’t go and call themselves “Three”.

Three were the first 3G carrier here in Australia, and I have the devil’s own time explaining that Three and 3G aren’t exactly synonymous…

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