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Last Updated: Friday, 26 November, 2004, 17:48 GMT
Measuring the success of 3G
Stephen Cole
By Stephen Cole
BBC Click Online presenter

Every year we are promised exciting new ways to use 3G technology.

Click Online reviews some of the milestones achieved so far, and puts some tough questions to the 3G salesmen.

3G milestones

  • A music concert, believed to be the first of its kind, was recently streamed to 3G users in the UK who could enjoy it from the comfort of their own sofas.

  • When no other camera crews were available, a live news report was even made on the BBC using a 3G phone mounted on a tripod.

  • Forget cash or credit cards - you can now use your phone to pay for a variety of services, from restaurant bills to drinks cans.

  • Ear plugs anyone? As if musical ring tones weren't enough, 3G makes it much easier to sing karaoke - with your phone!

  • If you believe the hype, 3G handsets will cease to be just phones and start to become a permanent personal companion. And while there is a lot of glitz and glamour surrounding this particular technology, is this colourful vision all just a pipe-dream?

  • In the harsh light of day, there is one fact that speaks volumes: after four years on the market, only 8% of mobile users around the world use 3G. That is the real wake-up call.

3G face-off

Click Online set up a 3G face-off between the sceptics and the salesmen.

Sceptic Guy Kewney is a tech watcher who wants to put a few points to the 3G men.

Those answering the questions were Perry la Forge, one of the 3G pioneers, Ed Brewster from 3G network operators "3", and Lothar Pauly, CEO of handset manufacturers Siemens.

We also spoke to Davina Yeo, a media analyst who helped us make sense of the debate about 3G.

Click Online is broadcast on BBC News 24: Saturday at 2030, Sunday at 0430 and 1630, and on Monday at 0030. A short version is also shown on BBC Two: Saturday at 0645 and BBC One: Sunday at 0730 . Also BBC World.

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