Sunday, August 28, 2005

Bye, bye cell phone?

In preparation for some competition with the combined Sprint-Nextel, according to Yahoo News, Verizon is expected to announced a price drop on its EVDO service from $80 to $60 per month.

Ten years ago I didn't have a cell phone. Today, it accounts for more than half of my calls. With EVDO's "near-broadband" wireless service at just $60/month, I'll have unlimited internet access and international phone calls via SkypeOut's super cheap $0.02 per minute rates. Add WiFi connectivity, and you'll even be able to reach me on airplanes. Lufthansa already passed
the two-year anniversary of its first WiFi enabled jet.

So, all I need is an EVDO capable handheld device, and I can say bye, bye to my cell phone?!

On second thought, it's not that simple:

  • EVDO coverage -- it's decent today, but no match for the CDMA network my current cell phone uses. Hopefully Verizon will keep spending the billions it takes to put up more EVDO base stations. And maybe Qualcomm will extend its domination to Europe and Asia so EVDO will work everywhere.

  • Battery life -- it seems that no matter how much I use it, my cell phone always lasts an entire day on a single charge. With their faster processors and larger screens, most handhelds churn through a battery charge in just a few hours. I guess we need one of new battery startups like A123 or one of the many micro fuel cell startups to release a break-through product.
  • These two requirements are simple to describe, but I have feeling they could take 15 years to achieve. For now, I'll have to settle for my Motorola v710.


    John Yau said...

    You may also want to take a look into "super capacitors" that can potentially replace rechargeable batteries all together. Although they don't quite have the same power density as regular batteries right now, they can be charged and discharged in seconds and last hundreds of thousands of cycles. The Japanese have done some pretty interesting research here and have made quite a few advances.

    I've also heard that some researcher in Belarus made a breakthrough in making nano-sized capacitors that can be tapped to boost power density...however, that's just hearsay for now since I haven't seen any proof of its existence.

    John Yau

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