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3G: The Unfulfilled Promises

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3G: The Unfulfilled Promises

2G wireless needed only basic voice and text to ignite a revolution where “mobility” was the killer app. But 3G started with high expectations deliver a new, unplugged broadband experience that would support a whole new breed of multimedia applications. The dominant theory at the time was that users would pay more for the new, rich set of broadband services that 3G could offer, presenting a large revenue opportunity.

The expectations were so high that at some point leading wireless carriers in Europe paid a total of $70 billion for 3G licenses.9 Unfortunately, this “irrational exuberance” led to over 160 billion in debt and an average drop in stock price of 60% among these same companies. 3G services have been extremely slow to penetrate the market and deliver real revenues.

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