Even if you’re a light user or a millionaire, you might still think twice about going entirely wireless. Allen Nogee, principal analyst for In-Stat, says he actually tried an LTE modem as his sole Internet connection for about four months. He was pleased with the service; however, he did eventually go back to a fixed line for a number of reasons.Another analyst, Strategy Analytics, predicts fixed wireline will remain the primary premises Internet connection and will not be displaced by 4G wireless connections where wireline infrastructure exists and serve as an alternative means of access where it does not.
Nogee says that while price is certainly an issue, depending on usage, spectrum is the truly prohibitive element that will prevent LTE from becoming an in-home solution. Nogee says that eventually the cell towers currently pumping out LTE will get crowded, and that’s when things get complicated.
“It’s a shared resource, with a set amount of spectrum, and operators only have so much spectrum,” Nogee says. “If we had no wired Internet in the United States and everyone attempted to use LTE, it just wouldn’t work. There’s just not enough capacity there.”
“We see two parallel markets for 'Mobile Only' in the US: users in remote or underserved areas where dependable fixed broadband is unavailable, and cost-conscious casual users, who are unlikely to exceed imposed data caps, and for whom mobile data rates are ‘good enough,’” said Ben Piper, Director of the Service Provider Strategies program at Strategy Analytics.What about tablets? Might tablet users cut the cord to these devices and instead rely exclusively on mobile wireless connections, especially since tablets are so portable? Not likely. Nearly all tablet data traffic will be transported via fixed premises Internet service, Sandvine says in its broadband predictions for 2012.