Derek Snider hit the nail on the head with his comment today on Network World Canada’s story today on Telus Corp.’s high speed packet access HSPA announcement.
“How about improving the data plan packages before upping the bandwidth?” Snider wrote, in response to a story by Howard Solomon, assistant editor of Network World Canada, on the Telus plan to provide HSPA Dual Cell, with a maximum data transfer rate of 42 Mbps. “With most carriers only having plans with five gigabytes per month, customers are now going to be able to use up their entire monthly limit in about half an hour.”
Whether you agree or disagree with Derek, we’d love to hear from you.
I can’t say whether I agree or disagree with Derek because it’s almost time to go home and I’m too lazy (or innumerate) to do the math.
But there’s no doubt that wireless carriers are increasing their bandwidth not to make it easier for subscribers to do whatever it is they do while they’re walking, biking or driving down the street with their noses in their handsets. Carriers are going to HSPA, and HSPA+, and HSPA Dual Cell, so that customers will transfer more data over the network – and more of their hard-earned money to the carriers.
It was a big deal five years ago when Telus and Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) Inc. launched their 1X EV-DO networks, and Rogers wireless Inc. launched Enhanced Data rates for GPRS Evolution, or EDGE.
The EDGE and EV-DO networks, were a significant improvement to digital wireless networks because mobile Internet users could get download speeds that were better than dail-up Internet.
But once the wireless Internet speeds exceeded a megabit per second, increasing the speed beyond that was only a minor improvement for the individual user. Notice I did not say that upgrading to HSPA, or HSPA+, or LTE, will not benefit carriers who face congestion from multiple users watching videos all in the same area.
But the aim now is to improve dollar transfer rates – from users to carriers – rather than data transfer rates.