If you’re waiting for the moment of when mobile becomes ubiquitous to browse internet seamlessly anywhere then this news may be of much concern.  Optimistics have dubbed 2009 as the year of the internet mobile but it might take a bit longer. So, those waiting for that elusiveYear of the Mobile“, might have to wait for another 12 years i.e. year 2020. According to a new Pew study, that’s when “internet experts” suggest enough of us will have web-enabled cell phones in our pockets to make it a reality.

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The “Future of the Internet III” study, surveying nearly 600 Internet experts about the role of technology in the year 2020, suggested that the combination of portability and relative affordability will turn the cell phone into the leading Internet gateway 12 years from now.

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Adding to it, there will be about 4 billion cell phones worldwide by the end of 2008, with up to 15% that are Internet-enabled, according to figures from market database Wireless Intelligence cited in the Pew report. About 1.6 billion people currently use the Web.

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In that vein, the Pew study also suggests that mobile technology may offer a better alternative for expanding Internet access than computers through projects such as the One Laptop Per Child Initiative.

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Continuing with the same, according to MediaPost:

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..however, not all the experts surveyed by Pew envisioned a boundless future for mobile. Some expressed doubts about open networks, bandwidth and screen size, among other aspects of cell phones. Some believe that the lack of a universally-available wireless network is the biggest barrier to growth, while others suggest that the small screen size of cell phones mean that there will never really be a “Year of the Mobile“.

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Here are the key findings on the survey of experts by the Pew Internet & American Life Project that asked respondents to assess predictions about technology and its roles in the year 2020:

  • The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.
  • The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.
  • Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.
  • Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing arms race, with the crackers who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.
  • The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations.
  • Next-generation engineering of the network to improve the current internet architecture is more likely than an effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch.
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So what do you think of this new study which dubbed year 2020 as the new “Year of the Mobile”. Personally, I think for developing countries it will take more time since affordability of such high end smartphones is debatable and also consolidation of mobile networks in terms of portability, bandwidth and open networks is far from reaching consensus.

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