Mark Bridge writes:
“You're gonna need a bigger boat”. The words of Roy Scheider as police chief Martin Brody spots the shark in the film Jaws.
37 years later and O2 UK CEO Ronan Dunne is facing another all-devouring monster... but this is no aquatic predator. It’s in the air - and it’s invisible.
No, we’re not talking about a Pteranodon (that’s Jurassic Park III) but a 4G mobile broadband connection. A real-life data monster.
O2 has just released some new information about its 2.6GHz 4G trial in London. Customers are enjoying speeds that hit 150Mbps and regularly connect at between 20Mbps and 50Mbps. Not only is that something like 20 times faster than a 3G mobile connection, it’s also considerably faster than most of us enjoy on our home broadband. Good times ahead, eh?
A 40MB file can be downloaded in a matter of seconds, says O2, with most active trial members using something in the region of 200GB per month via a USB dongle or personal WiFi hotspot.
Hang on a sec. 200GB per month. Not megabytes. Gigabytes.
At the moment, I’m on a tariff that includes 500MB of data every month. I reckon that kind of usage would cost me somewhere over £4000 at my current rate.
Tariffs may change, of course. In the last few years we’ve seen ‘unlimited’ data allowances disappear and then reappear again. O2’s Ronan Dunne expects 4G services to increase capacity by 20 to 40 times from today’s levels, which means today’s 1GB limits could become 40GB limits. But that’s still a long way off 200GB.
Something’s got to change. We’re gonna need a bigger tariff.