Friday, September 11, 2015

When Faster Networks are a Problem

Most people would not consider faster networks to be a problem, instead likely seeing them as a solution. In some ways, faster networks actually might be seen as a problem.

That can be the case in markets where expensive investments in infrastructure cannot earn an adequate financial return.

“In developed countries you have landline, satellite, cable TV, government and mobile networks. In India we have one network, the mobile network,” said Rajan Mathews, Cellular Operators Association of India director general.

You might not think fast-arriving fifth generation networks, for example, are an issue. But India’s mobile operators only now are trying to recover investments in 3G and making more outlays for 4G.

In essence, 5G makes those investments less robust, as another upgrade will be required. To make matters worse, Indian mobile operators pay infrastructure prices that are 30 percent above world levels, said Mathews.

One more bit of evidence of the principle Mathews illustrates: Wide Open West, a U.S. provider of triple play services, is boosting Internet access speeds to 300 Mbps, for residential and business customers.

Generally speaking, that is not going to be the main trend in India and other markets across South Asia, Southeast Asia or Africa.

There, improvements will come from mobile and other spectrum-based networks (fixed wireless, satellite, Wi-Fi) and not improvements of the fixed access network.

The point is that the supply of access facilities is vastly more robust in the markets where WOW operates, compared to the situation in India.

Existing residential speed tiers featured 30/5, 60/5 and 110/15 Mbps service. Business speed tiers of 8/1, 30/5, 60/5, 110/15 Mbps also had been available.

The 300 Mbps service is available in Southeast Michigan (Detroit), Columbus, Ohio, and Cleveland, Ohio now.

Service will be made available in Chicago, Evansville, Ind, Pinellas (St. Petersburg), Fla., Auburn, and Huntsville, Ala. on September 15.

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