The opportunities for digital publishing with the coming 4G

The fourth generation of mobile wireless services, what is known as 4G, promises not only higher speeds and lower latency, but a move to an end-to-end IP wireless network. Consequently, 4G networks offer enterprise wide area network (WAN) managers more than just a faster wireless WAN.

What does this mean for digital publishing? As we’ve been learning in London these last few weeks, commuting crowds in their millions have been sitting ducks for traditional, hand delivered print media, but their older established news brands with instant delivery are really taking off. There are many hands holding newspapers, but there are many more hands holdings apps, and spending more time with them. As has been anticipated for some time, the old “breaking news experts” like Sky News are being eclipsed by even older newspaper brands, in the battle for minds, updates and the spectacular.

the infrastructure required to roll out 4G broadband is coming to the UK

The London Olympics may have created a surge, but that surge is pretty symptomatic of what’s happening everywhere and is changing habits. New media such as Twitter, smart phone and tablet apps are moving the credibility and immediacy of long trusted news brands and mastheads to at least an equal WiFi and 3G playing field.  As with all change, there is great opportunity – and even greater opportunity coming, with 4G. The infrastructure required to roll out 4G broadband is coming to the UK. Indeed, a technology journalist recently claimed that highly skilled freelancers working with umbrella companies are likely to benefit from the increased demand for their skills.

News brands of the 80’s and 90’s are now starting to languish. CNN, for example, has its lowest tv ratings ever and Sky News has seen its better days, too. Brands which have relied mainly on narrow distribution mechanisms and availability, rather than their own, intrinsic brand values, will now need to fight hard to catch up. Barriers to entry are being stripped away.

Sky News was originally a blend of newspaper journalism, commercial radio and television and the BBC

The successful merger of Stream and Tele+ demonstrated a lot about change and opportunity. The changing media landscape has always brought about new, brand building opportunity. The brands that haven’t seized those opportunities have either died, or are almost there. You only have to walk through London or the London 2012 venues to see the future. But what is clear is that new culture, to be successful, needs to blend the best bits of previous culture. Sky News was originally a blend of newspaper journalism, commercial radio and television and the BBC. CNN was also a blend of similar cultures. They were both successful ‘change agents’ in their day.

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