Quick Note: Vodafone CEO Says Only "Technofreaks" Want 4G
February 8, 2013 2:57 PM
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He said normal, everyday people wouldn't notice a difference between 3G and 4G
Vodafone's CEO referred to 4G connectivity as a feature that only "technofreaks" are worried about.
Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao discussed how UK digital communications company EE's 4G network has impacted
Vodafone's business in the UK
during a media conference call earlier this week.
According to Colao, customers wouldn't notice a difference between 3G data speeds using HSPA+ and 4G network speeds -- hence, 4G isn't a necessary network feature.
“I haven’t seen any figures but when I visited an EE store to see how fast it was all I saw was technofreaks in there," said Colao. "I haven’t heard any calls from friends, colleagues of businesses that we need this fast internet. With the increase in data speeds of HSPA+ (a faster version of 3G), an early LTE network won’t be much different.”
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RE: Cartel economics
2/8/2013 6:45:34 PM
This comment is so out of touch with engineering reality it makes baby EE Jesus cry.
There is finite spectrum available for use in wireless data transmission. For a given radio access technology (i.e. LTE or HSDPA)there is a spectral efficiency limit, a cap on now much data can be transmitted on that amount spectrum in a given time. Changing modulation implies changing RAT, because the technology standard defines the available modulation and coding and must be adhered to otherwise devices will fail to interoperate. (For instance if I made an LTE base station that transmitted in 1024QAM it would be useless since no user devices could demodulate the data.) Changes in the standards take time and generally rely on changes in fundamental technologies such as semiconductor process nodes to allow a device to decode larger blocks faster, or radio antenna technology to improve the ability to demodulate dense constellations.
Adding more cells sounds like a good idea, excpt for the whole interference thing. Basically the more cells you add in an area, the more noise you add to the channel, which reduces the amount of data that can be sent over the channel. So there is a tradeoff and network planning requires a lot of analysis of that tradeoff to find a balance.
Building different towers goes back to standards, there are new towers in the works to improve things, but it takes a significant amount of engineering effort to overcome difficulties that arise.
As it sits right now a good LTE network provides the most spectrally efficient means of providing wireless broadband, and this continues to improve as advancements in the LTE spec and the key technologies behind it become available.
The CEO here is honestly an idiot for ignoring the advantages offered by the best current technology and if he is followed will likely greatly impact his company in future years. However, that does not change the fact that even the best available has definite limits on how much bandwidth can be made available.
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