Mobile phones headed for '3G' shift

Your phone will primarily be a data device, not just a voice-carrier.

Mobile phone operators are going to have to redesign their business models and start acting more like Internet companies if they want to be successful in the Third Generation (3G) wireless market, according to a report from Deloitte Consulting issued Thursday.

The report warns that the transition to 3G will be nothing like the move from analogue to digital GSM, and will require an operator to become primarily a data company and information provider. The company predicts that over 75 percent of 3G telecom revenues will come from providing data services. If companies fail to do so they risk becoming mere PTTs (post, telegraph and telecom companies), according to Deloitte.

"Most of the energy so far has been spent on the principal issues, such as standards," said Marie Wold, manager at Deloitte, "But companies now really need to think about service delivery, and need to start rebuilding their business model as a data, not a voice model."

The report stresses that mobile operators will have to put the Internet culture at the heart of their business and adapt it to a mobile environment, becoming customer-centric and globally-orientated.

At present, a number of data services are planned for mobile telephones, from Web browsing to e-commerce, but few have been implemented.