Total Pageviews

Monday, October 25, 2010

LTE puffery in Germany by Vodafone?

A DSL Prime story that Vodafone is using 800MHz LTE to connect over 1000 German villages by Christmas in a doughnut (outside to in) rural build that will overcome the digital divide. 30Mb/s for 40euros - sounds too good to be true? I did some digging.
First, note that its about 3Mb/s - and that you only get to use that subject to tight data caps. You pay a huge 70euro/month to get a landline equivalent 30GB cap, for instance. And its only in a few places, and its HSDPA so far, and no-one knows what real data rates will really be - clearly much lower if they are successful and there's no fixed access. I checked the beautiful little village of Konigstein in Saxony - no answers there except GSM, blank space, and some EDGE. No 3G even.
Conclusion: show me the data that says it really gives more than 2Mb/s in villages before all this puffery.
Huawei have helpful real information by Voda's CEO: 'We will be commencing network extension into regions which don't currently have any coverage in the near future, providing actual transmission speeds of around 3 mbit per second right from day one," said Friedrich Joussen, CEO of Vodafone Germany. 
Vodafone will start work on the LTE upgrade at the end of September, and by next year 1,500 base stations will incorporate LTE technology. The communication company has been implementing field trials with HSDPA technology in rural regions over recent months, providing residents there with wireless access to the Internet. The infrastructure for Internet access is now in place in the Uckermark region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, plus Thuringia and Saxony.
UPDATE: DSL Prime was much more balanced than I suggested initially - here's my edit of their caveats: "The caps are low if you regularly watch video, plausible if your net use is light. That's probably the long run expectation of LTE and LTE advanced: moderate but not terrible speeds, not enough capacity for many to watch quality video, (30 gig is less than 90 minutes a day.) This is a reasonable but not great offering for the last few percent that are expensive to reach with landlines...wireless is shared and limited in total throughput...Most of us are optimistic results like this will be common in rural areas and prices come down. But no one is sure until we see results on networks with many subscribers."
UPDATE 2: DSL Prime has also explained that vectoring claims are theory not reality.

No comments: