I recently stepped out of the Stone Age and bought one of those newfangled gadgets called a cell phone. But more accessible phone communication was only a small part of the reason I joined the modern era. What compelled me most of all was the mobile Web.
Instead of easing in with a basic wireless package, I opted to go cutting-edge with Verizon's (NYSE: VZ ) V Cast. This new multimedia service taps into Third Generation (3G) wireless broadband technology, with surfing speeds at around three times a dial-up 56K modem, or roughly equivalent to DSL. Maybe I've been in my cave too long, but I'm extremely impressed with the technology.
The Big Four cellular providers will each unveil a nationwide 3G service by 2006 or 2007. SBC's (NYSE: SBC ) Cingular and Sprint-Nextel (NYSE: S ) have 3G currently running in select areas. T-Mobile has yet to bring it to the market. Of the Big Four, Verizon currently has it operating in the most cities.
In order to experience this new technology, you'll have to go with a phone that is 3G compatible. I decided to go with Motorola's (NYSE: MOT ) E815.
Once you are up and running in 3G, you may find yourself saying, "Cool! Sweet! Radical!" I was blown away by how quickly I could get up-to-date stock quotes and check my Hotmail.
But a faster Web experience is just one piece of V Cast's appeal. The real eye candy comes when you click on ESPN and find a new on-demand video clip of an interview with Texas Longhorn coach Mack Brown, as he discusses the upcoming battle against Ohio State. As a rabid Buckeye fan, I'm hooked.
Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS ) is also reaching out to football fanatics through 3G, allowing mobile users to download and play its famous Madden franchise. If video games aren't your thing, between movie trailers, music videos, and NASCAR clips, there is plenty there to entertain.
To say the least, I was amazed by the power of this service, not only by what's currently available, but by the technology's tremendous potential. With development plans in the works to eventually offer 4G (and higher) services, with speeds that match cable modems, the possibilities are endless. From live on-the-go video conferencing to on-the-fly bidding on eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY ) , the Web will be more dynamic and integrated than ever before.
The power of this technology and the potential draw it will have among consumers certainly has me taking a closer look at investment possibilities like SBC, Sprint-Nextel, and Verizon.
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Fool contributorJeremy MacNealydoes not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.