The Trouble with Wireless
Wireless is convenient and often less expensive to deploy than fixed services, but wireless is not perfect. There are limitations, political and technical difficulties that may ultimately prevent wireless technologies from reaching their full potential. Two issues are incompatible standards and device limitations.
As mentioned previously, in North America there are two standards for digital cellular service. Internationally, there is at least one more. A device using PCS IS-136 will not work in an area where the deployed technology is PCS IS-95. Also mentioned previously is the inability to use Bluetooth and 802.11b in the same device. These are just two examples of problems that arise when no industry-wide standards exist. The lack of an industry-wide standard holds the technologies back from delivering one of the true ideals of wireless: ubiquitous access to data.
Device limitations also restrict the free flow of data. The small LCD on a mobile telephone is inadequate for displaying more than a few lines of text. In addition, most mobile wireless devices can't access the vast majority of WWW sites on the Internet. The browsers use a special language, wireless markup language (WML), instead of the de facto standard HTML.
Most likely, no one wireless device will be able to meet every need. The potential of wireless can be met, but not with a single product. Wireless will succeed because it will be integrated into a variety of devices that can meet a variety of needs.