Do we REALLY need a phone?

Stefano Cavallari stefano at
Sun Apr 20 12:10:26 CEST 2008

(sorry for the length of this message)
I was thinking today about how the phone system is quite dead without no one 
noticing it. We are paying unreasonable tariffs for just sending data which 
happens to be voice. The whole motivation behind having a number is no longer 
existent as with portability and roaming you don't do switching anymore.
So you don't want to access the telephone network, you want to access the 
Internet, then do whatever you want from there.
Yes in the meantime you may still want to do normal calls but the focus is in 
doing VoIP and IM. 
Because of this I think the next moko should be designed around this and be 
mainly a handheld. With no included GSM module so you can focus in the 
interesting part of the product and don't bet on the next mainstream 
communication technology (mobile wimax? UMTS? EDGE? CDMA something?) and just 
provide the one you are sure they will be supported for much time (wifi, 
Then you just provide some module to access the chosen network, like a SDIO 
card (probably with a big external part like most wifi ones).
I was thinking of a beast like a bluetooth UMTS dongle. There are already USB 
UMTS dongle right now which emulates a serial port. So it's a no brainer to 
take an existing design, strip the usb-serial chip and put a bluetooth-serial 
chip and a battery (the usual nokia one which most GPS and the Neo uses).
This gives the advantage of not having a powerful antenna attached to the ear 
(when talking) or anyway near you (when messaging, browsing). 
You can put it near a window and get better signal, and so on.
Of course some may find the SDIO more appealing or not. Anyway if you keep 
this component separated you let the user choose whether they really need 
GSM, you can develop the hardware WAY faster and most important, you don't 
have to wait for the comm. modules to be functional to start selling, and if 
a comm. module happens to be a total market/design/whatever failure you still 
have the main product (the handheld) selling well.

Just my (long) 2 ¢

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