The United States faces a double edged sword with the next generation of wireless
data services. Consumers enjoy widespread competition from six major nationwide
wireless operators, with a variety of standards offering a wide range of data and
multimedia capabilities. The resulting competition in price and features has the
potential to bring about better customer value and a faster pace of innovation.
However, the competition has resulted in a lack of critical mass for emerging mobile
services. As different vendors implement features using different standards and
progress at different paces, interoperability and standardization have become major
hindrances in creating the “network effect” crucial to any widespread adoption of new
Given this environment, we analyze the conditions under which the United States
operates, which services have emerged for digital news and content applications and
what services show promise in the future.