3G’s Gift To Humankind says technology journalist Karlin Lillington, today. Blogger and writer Damien Mulley wrote (back in May) that the end was nigh for overpriced wifi (and more!) We’re talking about broadband Internet access over 3G networks (with a fallback to GPRS out of coverage). With a cute little box you can add to your desktop or laptop or whatever (i.e. it’s not necessairly via a phone).

Right now, I live on a university campus, where I have *free* Internet access in my room, and a good wireless network across the campus. Therefore I’m not really in the market for paid always-on access. However, what Karlin, Damien and others are saying is particularly persuasive – I would be especially full of joy at the ‘taking it on the train’ and ‘using it to avoid paying €15 an hour hotspot charges’. There are some sceptical comments to Damien’s post, though, wondering what happens when the great public comes on board – will there be a significant drop in quality at that stage?

Effectively, we’re at ‘four pipes’ in Ireland now (to borrow the US anxiety about creating a ‘third pipe’), with DSL, cable, fixed wireless access (WiMax and other such services – Clearwire, Digiweb, and so on), and 3G. The most recent ComReg stats on broadband below are interesting, wonder if 3G takeup will have much an impact in the next round?

DSL 436,000
Fixed Wireless Access 94,100
Cable 64,500
Other 7,400 (satellite etc)

Source: Key Data June 2007