The Digital Britain report, and the Birmingham unconference yesterday at which Lord Carter, the report’s author spoke, showed very little vision when it comes to mobile.
The mobile platform is one of the most exciting, mobile, vibrant areas of innovation in the UK, yet it scarcely merited a nod, except to discuss broadband.
The report focused on broadband (and important issue, granted) and uncapping 3G licenses. Lord Carter complained that few people had commented on the liberalization of the spectrum. The report is fairly technical when it comes to this issue, and you would need to know one end of an MhZ from another to assess whether the proposals are good or otherwise.
The mobile phone is now a personal communications platform with the power to reach people on a very personal level. You can get services over a mobile line that landlines can only dream of,.
I can’t see that Britain has a big handset manufacturing industry, so maybe Lord Carter discounted discussion on that basis. But the creative content end of mobile is oh so alive, vibrant and full of innovation. And people are prepared to pay, to a degree, for mobile services.
It is in mobile that I feel we are missing perhaps the biggest trick for a digital Britain. What is in the report is laudable. I simply feel we should be going further.