LTE: the bandwidth dilemmas

There’s a lot of talk about LTE, the next generation mobile technology, and what is going to happen in the UK with it.
In the US, Verizon, Vodafone’s tight-fisted associate, is going hell for leather to put in LTE because it will help it cope better with the traffic volumes that smartphones generate, iPhone in particular.
But in Germany LTE may well bring decent broadband speeds to rural areas for the first time, since the regulator has framed the spectrum licences so that, to coin a phrase, the last mile shall be first.
New data from Juniper Research into the global LTE market highlights the network operators’ dilemma: do they use LTE to unclog congested urban networks with spectrum in the 2.6GHz band, or do they go for the periurban and rural market with 800MHz frequencies?
Much depends on the revenue model they go for. Juniper reckons they have three possile cash flows: handsets, minutes, and bits, cunningly disguised as content and services. In Juniper’s eyes, it’s the bits that are most attractive.
But comedians know, timing is everything. Thanks to legal challenges, mergers etc, the UK is well behind other LTE roll-outs. That may be a good thing in the end. Hopefully, it will allow the handset and other device makers time to iron out the bugs and ramp up production volumes, making its relatively cheaper for the UK to get into the game. Which should lead to faster, quicker network builds and consumer adoption.
Now, if there were just some services worth upgrading for… On second thoughts, I’d just about settle for dialtone in Croydon between 5.30 and 6.30pm.

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