Monday, March 16, 2009

Here we go again

It's like a bad case of deja vu. As if we've learned nothing from the past, NTT DoCoMo is trumpeting its success in pumping an LTE test network up to the point where it can deliver 120 Mbs.

Amazing. Brilliant. Mobile broadband will never be the same again, right?

Well, maybe. But don't expect that speed on a network anywhere near you soon ... or indeed on any commercial network. The incredible speeds were realised in a "special testing area", using base stations straight out of the lab (not off the shelf) and only to a single device. Not exactly 'real world' now, is it.

It's an already accepted rule of thumb that in a commercial network the most a user will ever get is about half of the advertised 'peak rate'.

So while the headline lab-test speeds are great headlines, for a subscriber it is a still a bit of a moot point. Fixed line DSL guys have already got in trouble for failing to deliver on their broadband speeds, so mobile operators would do well to be realistic and tempered in the language they use to describe their own capabilities now that they are talking the language of mobile broadband.

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