Benefits of mobile broadband communications:

Last decade was witness of the development of two key industries that generate an enormous growing in developed economies: mobile communications and internet. These two industries brought significative benefits to users, industries and national economies. For example, net benefit due to mobile communications in Great Britain economy in 2007 was estimated in €500 per capita. In a similar vein, a 2007 report by Cisco estimated that considering only the adoption of internet based solutions in USA would result in an annual grow of 0.43 %. Moreover, a recent study of Deloitte - Touche consulting suggests that an increase of mobile communications in 10 % would result in a consequent increase of 1.2 % in GDP. Also, a study of Ovum consulting for the GSM association estimated for 2004 that mobile services industry of the European Community (15 countries) will contribute to GDP with €105.6 billions (that position this industry at the same level that power, gas and water industries combined). In the same study is was concluded that this industry was responsible for 2.8 millions of jobs, through direct and indirect employment, and that mobile services workers earn 2.5 times the average worker. There is no other potential user of the spectrum that can be attributed such wide and diverse benefits.

Even when direct and indirect contributions of mobile communications and internet are outside of any doubt, these achievements are only the beginning of a new era that promises significative additional benefits. This is, in part, due to:

- Mobile communications and internet has been constrained, in developed countries, only to urban regions.

- Benefits in these industries include social aspects that are difficult to quantify and are visible only after user adapt their lives using the devices diary (for example, through an increase of personal safety due to emergency sevices used in any time, in any place).

- Interaction of these industries is at an initial stage and, as a consequence, providing mobility to internet will lead to new benefits that can not be predicted with industries working independently.

Evidently, a wide disponibility of mobile communications and internet to the general public of emergent markets and users in rural areas in developed nations will contribute positively to improve the impact of these industries. However, further improvements will be expected when the activities of these two industries cooperate in a suitable form. Such scenario will allow innovations that will impact positively in other industries and will lead to social benefits that can not be predicted at this moment. In this aspect, guvernamental policies in several areas will be key recipient of these benefits. This is explained due to, for example, the following perspectives: economic development, increase in the number of job positions and also increase of productive iniciatives; better acces to universal services like emergency, education, finantial or ealth; improvement in safety through social inclusion, global cultural interaction, etc. Finally, a wide disponibility of these technologies will lead to a significative increase in the number and diversity of people working on innovation, that will conduce also to additional benefits since technological opportunities will be more democratic.

Some examples of the benefits obtained due to the availability of wireless mobile networks include actual applications, such as browsing and interactive messages of internet, emergent applications like video conference or mobile TV, and other applications totally new. Examples of this last type of applications include the prediction of some administrations to combine the physical and virtual world, or the remote medical diagnostic. As a concret example is possible to consider the case of physical objects, such as buildings or highways, which have an (wireless) acces point from where additional information can be obtained using a mobile device. This kind of information could include: static information (history of a building) or dynamic information (such as traffic congestion). Furthermore, the information could be available without any environmental impact (as having some printed report). The kind and number of applications that can be developed in this new stage are constrained only by imagination and the ability of the mobile networks to provide them in an efficient manner. This, as a consequence, depends on several factors, mainly the availability of spectrum. Even when the benefits of mobile broadband are huge, there are logically also many challenges and/or problems to be solved. To achieve the expected benefits it will be required a wide collaboration among the several members of the ecosystem, which includes network operators, service providers, device produces, administrators, applications designers and sellers of infrastructure devices.

In order to achieve successful initiatives is advisable to use previous experiences. Mobile communications industry has a global succesfull history whose contribution to society and economy can be compared to those obtained by other dominat infrastructures in the past, such as highway networks, railways, shores systems, etc. However, to obtain the mobile communication industry success considerable attention to planification and predictability will be required. The case of GSM is an example of no improvisation. GSM (one of the more successful projects of technological collaboration) was started 20 years ago and its impact has not been completed yet. In February 1987, a small number of European countries decided, to organize the fragmentation in radio industry, to follow three specific lines

- Provide a mobile radio service with application in the whole continent.

- Substitute the analog technology by new digital technologies.

- Replace the car size radios by pocket hand size radios.

By that moment there was considerable esceptisism and resistence with respect to the future of the project. However, the determination of the originators leads to a successful technological project, with more than 2.3 billion GSM global subscriptions in more than 200 countries by 2006. They required more than 12 years to reach the mark of 10 billion subscribers, but only two and a half years to incorporate 1 billion more. It is expected a mark of 3 billion subscribers by the end of 2008.

The experience of GSM is closely related to the standarization process. The figure illustrates the stages of the process (requirements specification, definition of the architecture of the service, network and devices specification and test and verification), and also the iterative character that involves. It is evident that participation and experiences in that process are useful from many points of view and require special attention not only in the aspects related to mobile wireless communications but also in the different related technologies.