Being the thoughts and writings of one Gustaf Erikson; father, homeowner, technologist.

This category contains posts on mobile communications, mobile data access, and devices

Thursday, 2024-06-17

3G services

In this week’s Ny Teknik, Hans Strandberg wrote an editorial about the need of Sweden’s 3G providers need to look up from building the infrastructure and to start selling/distributing content.

He’s concerned that the enormous amount of money spent on 3G in Sweden will be squandered on providing “3G”: Games, Gambling, and Girls. The first provider who sends video from a local council meeting will get a gold star for “kaxighet” (Swedish for chutzpah).

Is that the future we are facing? “Free enterprise” selling crap, or the “worthies”, Sweden’s politicians and authorities providing dull information?

I don’t think so. On my short ride to work today, on bus and subway, I came up with four possible mobile data services.

Existing communities

In the same paper there was a small article on how Lunarstorm, Sweden’s largest commnunity for young people, has a 3G service. People can chat with their friends, update their profiles, play games… just like on the web. Only now they can do it in the classroom, which will probably lead to 3G phones being banned in schools soon.

Traffic information

Scenario: I ride more or less the same route to work every day. I got SL’s site and set my preferences for that journey. Every weekday between 08:30 and 09:15 I can see any scheduled or unscheduled outages. I can also see when the next bus/subway will arrive, so I can decide whether to run or just take the next one. Same thing for the return trip.

The same principle can be applied to commuters in cars. Video feeds can show congestion, flash messages can warn of big accidents, a reminder can be sent when the roads are icy.


Sveriges Television has a videotext service. Making this service available to 3G handsets is such a no-brainer that I’m suprised no-one’s done it yet. For that added pizazz, a link to a video feed can easily be added.

Location-based games

Another article in Ny Teknik described a virtual treasure hunt in Tokyo, played with GPS-enhanced mobiles. Not really a 3G application, but one that can be enhanced by a video feed showing the target location and if anyone is nearing it.


The thread tying these services together is that they are evolutionary, not revolutionary. They are web services that can be simply adapted to mobile data terminals. No need for gimmicks, just try to deliver information and services that are useful and simple to use.

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