(An Inevitable Step)

Many of us will have 3G phones by the end of the year. We are all using second-generation (2G) phones at present, but soon we will be benefiting from more efficient data handling when we all inevitably upgrade to the third-generation (3G) phones now becoming available.

3G is a wireless industry term for a collection of international standards and technologies aimed at increasing efficiency and improving the performance of mobile wireless networks resulting in high speed access to data which will make mobile phones much more versatile.

The name for the third-generation mobile telephone standard in Europe is Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS). For the businessman, in addition to dictating over a mobile phone or sending text messages, he will be able to send high-quality video clips and photographs (built-in cameras are well over a megapixel now). Videoconferencing is an obvious and very important application.

Sony Ericsson Z1010 G3 Phone Believe it or not, the new generation of 3G phones will be able to receive TV shows, and there will be some shows produced by television companies that are not shown on television at all, but which will only be available on mobile phones or PCs.

You can imagine what sort of shows these will be, bearing in mind television companiesí obsession for appealing to youth audiences- think Big Brother!

Nokia 7600 This is already happening in Holland where Jong-Zuid, an award-winning Dutch soap about a group of youngsters in a student house moving into working life, is available for two episodes a day on mobiles by e-mail or MSN messenger.

Other benefits will be the availability of an enormous range of downloadable music videos, instant access to travel information, weather reports, entertainment guidance, news and sports results.

Motorola E1000 G3 Phone Paying bills over a secure link will be possible. You will be able to call up a moving street map of your location, so you need never be lost again. Once UMTS is fully implemented, computer and phone users can be constantly attached to the Internet as they travel and have the same set of capabilities no matter where they travel to.

Users will have access through a combination of terrestrial wireless and satellite transmissions.

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