4G will have massive effect on mobile devices and copyright

The emergence of 4G technology in the mobile phone market will dramatically increase take up of ultra mobile devices and give users a better experience, a report by Business Insights has said.

However, we shouldn’t get too excited about the news as according to the market analysts by the end of 2010, 80 percent of connections will still be 2G.

Richard Absalom, Business Insights analyst, told TechEye: “There’s still a good four to five years until 4G becomes widespread.”

He also warned that the music industry could face more copyright problems as “4G will give easier access to illegal music services due to more information being available online.”

In its report, Business Insights predicts that 4G technologies LTE and WiMax will have a significant impact on the current landscape, encouraging increased adoption of ultra mobile devices. It said that shipments of smartphones will increase nearly threefold between 2009 and 2013, from 185m to 451m. Netbooks will also grow fourfold and eReaders tenfold by 2013.  

Mr Absalom told us 3G was currently driving these trends and by the time 4G comes into the mainstream it would help devices such as eBook readers, portable gaming devices including the PS3 and DS Lite, smartphones and GPS systems to develop better applications as it will enable more data and bandwidth to these services.

However, as always with emerging technologies there will also be an element of competition.

“There is a war between WiMax and LTE at the moment but ultimately it’s which technology performs the best in the next few years,” Mr Absalom said.

He reckons there could eventually be competition between tablets and netbooks with tablets decreasing the popularity of netbooks. He said this is because both devices do similar things.

However he pointed out that the industry was torn over the applications each offers: “Some believe tablets are better but then there is the argument that these can’t do things that netbooks can such as word processing.

“Music devices will also get better as a result of 4G when it comes into the mainstream,” he added.  

The report also highlighted that by 2013 the number of users accessing social networking sites via mobile devices will reach 600m worldwide, accounting for 43 percent of global mobile web users. In contrast, other database services such as MMS will not gain significantly from being delivered through a 4G mobile.