Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Broadband "Overshoot": How Big an Issue?

Fixed network operators, including cable operators and telcos, face two different problems when considering upgrades of their broadband access networks. One danger is not investing enough to keep capacity in line with the level of market demand. The opposite problem is investing too much.

In fact, that is a scenario at least some mobile competitors hope might be the case. "Fixed line broadband will overshoot the performance needs of the market, resulting in increasing data cord cutting as individuals, families, and businesses appreciate the value of mobility more than the value of excess bandwidth," says Russ McGuire Sprint Nextel VP.

That's not an unexpected view,coming from a wireless-only company building high-capacity wireless networks, but it is worth considering.Mobile broadband might, or might not, be a reasonable substitute for users who really want to watch lots of video on their PCs, smartphones or other mobile devices.

But mobile is likely to be quite a reasonable alternative for users who don't stream or download much video, especially if they are fairly mobile, either locally or over larger distances.

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Fixed Network Internet Access is Among the Coming Battlefields

It is fair to say there remains much skepticism about the ability of 5G providers to take fixed network internet access market share. But ...