“Conversely some of the earliest adopters of LTE — like the U.S., Japan, Sweden and Germany — are starting to fall behind in terms of data performance. In part, these older networks are suffering from their own success. In the U.S., for instance, LTE’s introduction in 2010 resulted in a huge base of LTE subscribers in the country today. Those subscribers are all competing for the same network resources, slowing down average speeds. In comparison, newer networks in South America and Europe are more lightly loaded. But the U.S. has also failed to keep up with the rest world in both spectrum and technology. All of the four major U.S. operators have been expanding into more frequency bands, but none have been able to match the capacity countries like South Korea and Singapore have plowed into their networks. The U.S. has also been much slower in moving to LTE-Advanced.”
During my first few weeks at Wofford College in the Fall of 1996, I stumped the campus IT team by asking for the TCP / IP details or a way to get an internet connection in my dorm room. “Why do you want to have the internet in your dorm room?” one of the IT team asked me. Two years later, the whole campus had a high speed fiber connection.
We’re undergoing a transition from laptops to mobile devices as a primary mode of computing for many people, young and old. However, as Thomas Whitley and I talked about on Thinking Religion yesterday, the transition is happening quickly on university campuses.
I’ve talked to young people who said that mobile service was a factor in where they wanted or decided to go to college. It wasn’t a primary factor, but it did make into the equation. I hear the same from businesses and clients I work with today when deciding on where to have meetings (“We can’t meet in that part of town…the Verizon coverage is terrible.”).
I wonder when / if we’ll, as a country, insist on investing in more development of LTE and mobile in both urban and rural parts of our country as the mobile revolution continues? Or has our political mood changed so much in twenty years that the government stepping in and working with an industry to improve what is potentially seen as a necessary service an impossibility?
“We’re here to tell you we believe that in rural North Carolina and in rural America, Internet access ought to be just as likely as telephone access…You ought to be able to use it in the fastest possible way…And if you can, it’ll mean more jobs, more businesses, higher incomes and more opportunity.”