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IEEE Vet: Carriers Capping LTE Services To Avoid Fixed-line Cannibalization 118

alphadogg writes "Roberto Saracco isn't buying carriers' claims that they need to put data caps on their LTE services due to excessive traffic causing massive engineering challenges. Saracco, a senior member of the IEEE and the director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre, said during an interview Tuesday that the major reason carriers are placing data caps on their LTE services is to prevent users from going exclusively with wireless data services and ditching their landline connections. 'You're always going to want to make the maximum amount of value,' he said. 'And you don't want to have your fixed-line network being cannibalized by mobile.'"
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IEEE Vet: Carriers Capping LTE Services To Avoid Fixed-line Cannibalization

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  • collusion? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:31AM (#39720397)

    there's no guarantee that a wireless carrier would also be a particular customer's landline carrier..

    so, if tfa is even partially right, there must be some level of collusion among them all

  • Also (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @04:38AM (#39720693)

    The bandwidth is just lower period. When you compare wired to wireless wired is always way, WAY ahead.

    I mean take common consumer wireless and wired. Best you can get for wireless is 802.11n. If you run a 5GHz network, pure N mode, 40MHz channel, 3 antennas in the station and laptop (theoretically it supports 4 in the standard, never seen it in reality), with good signal you get 450mbps raw data rate max. Now with wireless, there's a heavy overhead so that raw rate equals 150mbps, maybe 200mbps effective data rate. That's as good as it gets in the home right now. That is shared between all devices, and degrades rapidly.

    As an example my laptop has a 2 antenna card, not 3. In my bedroom, about 40 feet from the base station, I'm lucky to see a raw rate above about 72mbps.

    Wired? 1gbps, no problem. Hard to even buy a NIC or switch that isn't gig these days. That is 1gbps, full duplex, to each device on the switch. So long as you don't damage the cable, anywhere with 100 meters can have that, as many devices as you like. 10gbps is perfectly doable too. It isn't pie-in-the-sky, it is a finalized, released, working standard. Only issue keeping it out of the home is cost and that is falling. Oh and in all cases legacy 100 or 10mbps devices are fine, they inter-operate and don't slow the whole system down.

    So never mind even adding more cable, wired is way ahead of wireless, always has been and probably always will be. Same thing on the high end too. Lest someone go find a proprietary wireless standard that allows for faster point-to-point links, please go have a look at what you can get on DWDM fibre optics. At any level, wired is a ton faster and then as the GP says, you can always add more cable.

    Wireless is nice because of the convenience, but wired will always rule for high bandwidth. LTE is nice and fast when people don't use it a ton. When someone goes and grabs a webpage and then sits quietly and allows others to use it, ya it is nice and fast, like cable modem fast. However if you all try to stream HD Netflix, the network will fall over, not enough bandwidth.

  • Re:Idiot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HornyBastard ( 666805 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @04:53AM (#39720763)

    Unless you use different frequencies for neighboring towers (keep in mind that it would be extremely expensive to do so), you will just be causing another problem.
    Where the towers overlap, you get a lot of interference, which degrades the service.
    If you want to cover the same area, you will have a lot of overlaps.

    Personal experience: I live on top of a hill with line of sight to 4 cellphone towers. Voice is fine, because that is relatively low bandwidth. But when I try to use HSPA, It's almost as bad as GPRS.
    If I go halfway down the hill, where I can only see 1 tower, I average 10 Mbps.

  • Re:Video Streaming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @05:07AM (#39720799) Homepage

    Please explain, then, why some countries (European and Asian) are able to give 100Mbps UNLIMITED access to the home for vast swathes of people and have been doing so for years.

    Are those companies somehow "cheating" on their backend? Are they in bed with Netflix and other large content distributors?

    Surely, if you put a 100Mbps line to someone's door, you'd expect them to use 100Mbps at some point. Maybe not today, maybe not next year, but surely before they move up to any other product they will max it out. If all your estimates that you made when you install it are unchanged five or ten years down the road, surely that's naivety?

    And if you are properly planning for everyone to expand over time (which, surely, must have been a lesson learned by now), why is the associated amount of backend peering not in place in time? Why aren't your costs reflecting what it would cost you to do that? What, precisely, have you been doing with that percentage of profits that you set aside for future planning?

    A lot of UK ISP's have a similar "problem" with BBC iPlayer. My last ISP said it alone consumed 50% of their traffic at peak times (far outweighing anything done by P2P programs by a factor of 5 or 6 - and yet they limited P2P but not iPlayer!) and that had been a growing trend since the day it was introduced.

    So why haven't your growth estimates taken into account that people want more data, people buy more data, people will eventually start to use every ounce of the data they have already bought, and all these lovely increases in traffic will have a knock-on effect on all your infrastructure?

    And then, why have other countries and their ISP's not struggled similarly when their customers are connected to the same "Internet" as you are? And how have they been able to offer 100Mbps+ services for the last, what? Decade?

  • Re:Uh oh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ihmhi ( 1206036 ) <> on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @06:52AM (#39721175)

    Uh oh, the horses are out! Better close the barn door.

    The first company to truly manage to do unlimited, no bullshit wireless internet and not treat its customers like shit is going to make a fucking fortune.

  • Re:Uh oh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @08:01AM (#39721471)

    Not really. Massive influx of new customers is actually not a good thing in telecom industry. You get massive congestion since you will be unable to expand fast enough due to logistical problems, and in a few months all the new people will be gone alongside many of your old clients.

    Controlled influx that matches growth is much better for long term success. Of course, with many modern telecoms making an absolute killing from simply massively oversubscribing their capacity, it's not a very realistic scenario in many cases either.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain