Sunday, June 28, 2009

Telco wireless broadband's role is mobile, not premises solution

Here's a great article that ran a couple of days ago at App-Rising putting wireless broadband into proper perspective. Namely that its primary role is to serve as a mobile form of connectivity. Technologically when it comes to delivering bandwidth, it currently cannot come close to competing with wireline and particularly fiber optic for premises service.

The article also links to recent household survey results showing that mobile broadband is viewed more as a luxury whereas premises broadband as a necessity with few willing to cut the cord but far more willing to forgo mobile broadband to save money.

Finally, the piece points up where the real inadequacies lie in the U.S. telecommunications: its wireline infrastructure. These inadequacies have themselves hampered mobile broadband services such as those offered with the iPhone that become saturated due to insufficient wireline backhaul capacity.

While the App-Rising article is written in the context of telco delivered mobile broadband, it should be mentioned that fixed terrestrial wireless broadband provided by Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) plays an important role in serving premises as an interim solution. It provides connectivity to those located in unserved areas where no wireline broadband exists and will likely continue to do so until fiber is extended to these premises. But like telco mobile broadband providers, WISPs also suffer from technological and cost limitations for their wireline backhaul, making it difficult for them to offer appealing price points and a range of robust throughput tiers.

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