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A rough road ahead for data

Discussion in 'iPad 3 Forum' started by Seadog, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Seadog
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    Seadog Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have touched on the issue of how much 4G is going to impact the use of mobile devices in other threads. Cisco estimates that data use will grow 27 fold over the next two years, but 4G will only increase throughput by 5 times. There is no way that cellular service can keep up with demand. Think about it, for every 1 million Mb of data today, we will want to send and receive 27 MMb in 2014. If we are lucky, 5 MMb will get through.

    The carriers are limited in how many towers they can put in. While they are spending billions on infrastucture upgrades, right now they have more demand than availability. Until someone comes up with a game changer, they are not going to have any incentive to make data packages more attractive. With the new iPad, we are seeing the short term effect. Thrilled by having better data speed than their wifi connections, they are using their 4G iPads to download large files, and learning how quickly it can take away their assigned data usage. Right now, there is a lot of grumbling about the cost of data plans, but eventually it will just settle into a pattern of being careful and griping.

    One of the plans being studied is to place numerous wifi hotspots around that would take care of some of the issue. It would especially be effective in large facilities like stadiums, malls, schools and govrnment buildings. Places where large numbers congregate at irregular times, or frequencies. The issue would be of who installs and maintains these hotspots, and who pays for the usage. The carriers do not favor this option, but it has a lot of virtues that could force the issue. Another plan being looked at is app paying. You buy an app, or something through an app, the price of the app includes the data charge of any downloads. Thus not affecting your cost directly. This would work best on purchases of videos and games, but you do pay for them eventually. We may see the carriers offering family data plans in the near future, but it will not be in any way that will improve costs for most people.

    These issues may be one of the reasons why 4G service may be more of a irritant than a great event. I am interested in hearing the opinions of those here that can create a stimulating discussion of the issues without any blame placing, or rancor. We are going to be affected by these issues at a great cost. We may not be able to solve the overall problem, but we can try to come up with some guidelines that help us as individuals/
  2. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I had a hotel stay in Chicago a few weekends ago. Internet in the room was $15/night. Two nights pays for 1 month of service. So, I will keep my account suspended until I travel. I will not stream movies on it when on travel, I will bring those. Will just use it for surfing and email, as these are better on a tablet than on phone, when you have room to stretch out. The rest of the time, I will use wifi. I don't believe the pricing model currently put forth by the carriers is going to work for me for more than occasional use. And if they get funny about it, I will not use it at all. They can make their money off of other folks.
  3. tlbaker
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    tlbaker iPad Ninja

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    Ha ha!!! I hear ya!!! I use wifi as much as possible when I travel. Most of the hotels have free wifi these days. I use the 3G when wifi is not available.

    Sent from my Verizon Black 64GB iPad 2 w IOS 5.1 Update From NYC!!! using iPF.net
  4. bitsbyte
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    bitsbyte iPF Noob

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    Maybe a little different perspective here. I came over from the 'other side' having used a Motorola Xoom on 4g for the last few months. At the time I signed up with Verizon, they had what is now being called a special of 1Gb/mo. for $20. My Xoom, although not completely able to replace my laptop (and yes I believe the Ipad 3 will be able to do that) was used for a lot of things. Google music (from the cloud), Google Maps for gps when I travel, accessing my laptop from the road, and e-mail/web when I was in areas where there was no wireless access. I NEVER went over the 1Gb, but came close a few times. I did not download movies (they were on the SD card) or do Netflix except on wireless and found it could be managed very easily. I did buy a program called MyDataUsage (which is also available in the Apple store) and was always aware. So... it can be managed if done properly.

    I can tell you that I am on Verizon and when they brought up a number of 4g's they had a real struggle keeping the data feed up. I can remember at least a half dozen times they were out of service where I had to hard re-set to only 3g to keep my data connection so I would agree with the discussion that scalablity will be an issue. I for one think it is why they are establishing these kinds of data plans and throteling large data users as they see the tsunami coming. It will be curious to see what happens with some of the new government bandwidths spectrum that is now being set for auction with super wi-fi, WIMAX and others.
  5. Skull One
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    Skull One iPad Junkie

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    There is no bandwidth shortage.

    I'll let that sink in for a bit.

    Maybe a bit more. In fact you should read that first sentence again. Seriously :D

    Now there is a frequency and tower shortage. And it is HUGE. When I mean huge, I am talking network collapsing huge.

    Is there a solution? Yes and it has already been created. Heck the maker of the system would love to have major contracts with the carriers. Would the local city governments like to approve these devices and get them in place? Of course. It would make the city more attractive to both businesses and residents.

    Here is a recent article on the subject: Bell Labs' lightRadio cube has big first year, wows crowds at Mobile World Congress | NJ.com and I have been tracking this tech for over 8 months now.

    So what is the hold up? There are two.

    1) The carriers themselves. They don't want to pay for the fiber optic lines needed to place the devices at every street corner.

    2) Health concerns. These towers give off electromagnetic energy. There is not enough data to date to say either way if it will kill us.
  6. AdmiralAdama
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    AdmiralAdama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The service provided is what's most profitable for the telcos.
    AA

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