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Hard and Fast


The Race to 100 Mbps (part 2): Always On

By Antonios Karantze, in , posted: 23-Dec-2010 15:44

In the late 90's the telco industry was going through another round of uber-investment to install GPRS networks for Mobile Data, ahead of forthcoming torrent of money that would be unleashed when 3G finally rolled round. An over-used term at the time was 'Always-On', which was meant to be a soundbite summarising why mobile data is important. Today we would never question the concept: a mobile without access to the internet? Oh yeah, it's only $1/mb etc, doesn't feel like my prepay goes down that fast.

Way back when, these concepts were analysed in depth, at length, and serious money was spent verifying whether always-on was relevant, and would the public at large comprehend the whole MB charging concept???

At the time, the only application that was 'Always-on' was your voice and text messaging service. The voice and text 'app' were embedded in the phone, were a core part of how it worked, and were not considered an 'app' at all, as it just came with the phone.

I bring this up in terms of context for the High Speed Internet service I am using, on TelstraClear's cable network, in Wellington. The speed is running at 100mbps download and 10mbps upload, maximum. See earlier comments here http://www.geekzone.co.nz/blogentry.asp?postid=7494

A while ago I was asked what 100mbps was good for. And just like those early days of GPRS, I thought about finding an application or use case expression... and failed dismally, because that's not the way to view the opportunity.

The pace in the western world is accelerating. Information is more readily available, in more forms, quicker than ever before. Perhaps it is hard to digest. Or perhaps we just to expand how we use our brains and learn to filter more effectively, or listen to others and get their view. But, it's not going to slow down. Information will not decrease. Live with it.

So to quote an overused expression, we have to 'suck it up'.

And in that respect: i don't want to wait, and I don't want to compromise what I do get. A 15mbps connection on TelstraClear cable is pretty good. You can download an average quality YouTube clip in semi reasonable time.

But what brought 100mbps home for me, was watching my daughters explore YouTube and download High Definition content as the default, not the fallback. I hate grainy movies and poor quality audio - I don't have time for it. Huge downloads are a pain when your link is slow, and irrelevant when it only takes seconds.

'Glee' gets a good amount of airtime here. If you can tolerate the stageshow nature of the programme - I enjoy musicals, so no problem for me - the different is amazing (720 vs 360) when you upscale and go fullscreen, especially to a large TV.

360p

720

It also veritably FLIES down, starting to exercise the Youtube cache that TelstraClear put in a little while ago.

Hardly stuff that's going to add another $100bn or so to the NZ economy. Parking the hyperbole, faster speed does lead to new experiences, and that's what it's about at the end of the day.

With speeds like this becoming widely available, paired with a high-qaulity wireless router (like an Airport Extreme, which I think works brilliantly), the 'concept' of always-on for wireless widget (ipods, smartphones, ipads) as well as streaming content to a TV from the web - well it's all just there. You STOP having to make a cup of tea wanting for the content.

You just get on with it.

More coming after the xmas break... have a good holiday, wonderful surfing and enjoy the sun....


Other related posts:
2Degrees prepay price change
Consolidation (“and then there were fewer”)
Introducing the Hot New Social Network (updated!)






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antoniosk's profile

Antonios Karantze
Wellington
New Zealand


I'm a born and bred Wellingtonian, and have chosen IT and Telecommunications as my industry, as a Commercial Manager.

Credits include but are not limited to:
- The O2 Xda smartphone range, and O2's range of 3G Mobile Internet services
- Numerous TelstraClear Mobile and IP voice products

In my journey through the industry I have worked at
- Bellsouth NZ
- Telecom NZ
- ICO Global
- T-Mobile International (formerly One2One Communications)
- O2 Plc
- TelstraClear
- Vodafone NZ

I'm a fan of technology, and what it can do for people and business... and I enjoy bringing new things to market and seeing them grow. Enjoy the blog, take the time to think about what I write - it's not technology heavy, and is my reflection on life and the people around me.