Most mobile phone customers buy
their handsets ‘in the dark’ without any real knowledge of how well their
phones actually work in practice, according to a new report by Mobile Test Labs
into the performance of six smartphones.
The report, All Phones Are Not Created Equal, written by Steve Broadhead of
Broadband-Testing, with contributions from Dean Bubley, analyst with Disruptive
Analysis, argues that the current European certification and type approval process
is no longer enough.
It claims that more specific tests
are needed to determine how well a handset performs in a range of everyday
environments. Some US
operators, such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T, have already introduced their
own performance certification process in the absence of any national set of
The report says that despite the
rise of mobile broadband and other forms of wireless data service, ordinary
voice services still account for the bulk of most operators’ revenues. It
suggests that if something goes wrong with telephoning, most people are likely
to blame the network or operator, rather than the phone.
Hence, it is in the operator’s
interest to ensure a more rigorous testing process before putting handsets out
into the market.
It goes on to say that it would be a
mistake to think that there is no reason to innovate around the ‘voice’
product, as phone calls have hardly changed in 100 years.
Instead, the rise of what might be
called Mobile Voice 2.0, using techniques like speech recognition for mobile
banking, for example, may mean voice starts to become a platform for a whole
range of new services and revenue streams.