Arno's EnergyIdeas (15)
About the world wide supply of mobile phones
In these months, in summer 2008, the number of registerd mobile phones (in German also mistakenly nicknamed: "Haendies" ), exceed 3.3 billion, which means over half of the world`s population has now statistically a registered wireless mobile phone. Congratulations to all involved in this process! How could this so quickly, within about 25 years, happen? Especially if you consider, that in 2007 alone over 1.15 billion new units have been sold. And that a normal mobile phone in the mid-eighties in Germany was having the same value and the same price as a Porsche sports car at that time, namely around 12.000 euro (approx US Dollar 19.000) - which was then around 24.000 Deutschmarks.
Young Chinese lady using her cellular phone in Shanghai, PR China in 2004
Photo: Arno A. Evers, Arno A. Evers FAIR-PR
The largest mobile phone market is currently China with over 600.000.000 registered customers. In my opinion, the following five reasons among others, stand for the worldwide success of the Mobile phones:
1.) All mobile phone manufacturers and operators together serve a basic need of the people: to communicate... (customer demand)
2.) Mobile phone manufacturers and operators were and are always open to the complementary needs of their customers... (multimedia requirements)
3.) Mobile phone manufacturers and operators, have continuisely developled and introduced their own worldwide cellular networks... (network providing)
4.) Mobile phone manufacturers and operators ensure that all its used Services were also invoiced to the second... (billing and roaming)
5.) Mobile phone manufacturers and operators provided from the beginning uniform standards, that is, if somebody somewhere in the world presses to a "9" on his/her mobile phone, he or she also gets a "9" and nothing else ... (codes and standards)
How will this now continue, when will the “peak of mobile phones" eventually be reached? I think, this will still take some time, despite that all inhabitants of the so called western world now have at least one mobile, often even much more than just only one unit per person. Todays new market, with two figured groth rates, lays especially in Africa. There the mobile phone manufacturers and operators are working on something new. So, for example, the "Village Connection" Nokia Siemens Networks is approaching. The aim is, that local small businesses operate their own base stations and charge for the talking time of their neigbouring customers. Ericsson, another manufacturer of mobile phone network hardware, works together with Idea Celluar, an Indian network operator to use bio-fuel for the operation of base stations.
To the governments, the success of mobile devices is much more than sympathetic, as they are earning through import and sales taxes in each case. Andthis they do well, considering that each connection with a mobile phone for example in Germany is charged with 19 percent value added tax. The calculation work with the payroll tax and the collection of the money is with the network operator.
Who s winning as well? Exactly, the producers and distributors of electricity. Not only with the power supply of the base stations, but especially for each charge of the mobile phones, happening with so inconspicuous sounding devices such as a "Quick Charger". Again with high systemic losses (AC-DC converters). At this point, let us waive the consideration of the safety aspects while useing mobile phones, but let us come to the point: What does all this have to do with hydrogen and fuel cells?
Much and little. Much,if you consider that mobile phones with "fuel cell inside" have been announced be be on the market since a many years, however, introduced they are not, though. We write this energy idea in June 2008! Little, because neither mobile phone manufacturers nor network operators have never been waiting for "lighthouse projects" or "Implementation Groups”, or even “roadmaps”. That was not at all necessary in any case, see the five reasons above. Perhaps the hydrogen and fuel cell activists worldwide should think less about "low budget" and governmental support, but act more to implement new ideas for new services, which are so valuable, as a Porsche 25 years ago once was.
PS: Greetings from the 17th WHEC in the Brisbane, Australia. In principle, "all" H2/FC- international scientific leaders, including Prof. T. Nejat Veziroglu, founder of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy, IAHE, have been here, but, unfortunately, not many commercial companies. These you can easily count on one hand! My company, on behalf of Deutsche Messe AG, Hannover, Germany was the sole sponsor of the poster presentation at 17th WHEC. On display were 247 posters from all over the world, to 16 relevant hydrogen and fuel cell thematic groups.
More about this in the next "Energy Ideas”.
Links to the News: