Why Gigabit Mobile Matters

Though retail pricing is an issue, mobile network peak data rates above the gigabit-per-second barrier are important because it brings “a mobile user experience that at least matches the home fixed broadband experience,” according to Nokia.

In other words, the value is not so much “gigabit speeds for smartphones,” but the ability of mobile networks to rival fixed network user experience. That, in turn, matters for several reasons.

In markets where mobile provides nearly all the internet access, gigabit peak rates mean typical user experiences in developing markets that are substantially on a par with developed markets.

In developed markets, gigabit mobile rates mean both the ability to create a full substitute product for fixed access, as well as the ability to serve many locations where the business case for a fixed solution at such speeds is unworkable.

For fixed service providers, gigabit mobility therefore also calls into question the value and business model for the fixed network, which shifts away from retail consumer internet access, and towards backhaul and business customer revenue models.


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