Tomi Ahonen is a smart guy who’s done a lot of observing and thinking about the 3G future. He reports that planet Earth has 2 bn mobile phones, with more phones in use than cars, credit cards or televisions, and that advertisers, businesses and governments are all trying to understand how the mobile future will download. For a glimpse into the future, Tomi was in Tokyo last month for the 3G Mobile World Forum 2006 where he observed that Japan already has the handsets, the networks and users who have migrated to 3G, while “the rest of the world is just starting to understand and discover this opportunity.”
He points out that in Japan, roughly 30 percent of all mobiles are 3G phones, compared to the UK, where it’s only 8 percent. “We have a long way to go to catch up.” WWJ’s Lawrence Cosh-Ishii caught up with Tomi for a tightly-focused interview covering 3G, 3.5G, consumer service definition, key technologies and how marketing and advertising are starting to recognize the potential of mobile.