You must have seen Aircel’s wifi promo on TV. If not, here’s that
At this – a few of tech news/blogs wondered if we really need wifi in the age of 3G, and upcoming BWA – mobile WiMax and LTE stuff.
Well, a simple and straight answer – Yes, we do need!
We need to remember that 2G, 3G, WiMax or LTE at the end have their own limitations. Firstly, we can’t say much of LTE as it’s very new (even yet under trail launch in US). Talking about 2G – it’s slow and just can’t provide broadband experience. While in case of 3G and mobile WiMax (802.16e) – spectrum remains as issue. If everyone on network start using the way in which services are advertised – networks will just choke up. And everything around us will look lot like….
That’s what happened in US on AT&T’s 3G network due to iPhone. No one really imagined that, but iPhone increased data use by over 5 times which badly hit 3G networks.
One must remember that except in case of mobile WiMax and LTE, all existing 3G technologies like HSDPA, HSPA+ etc most were designed to deliver “broadband experience” to mobile users. With term “mobile users” we primarily mean – cell phone users and laptop/netbook users at some extent – who are travelling and checking mails and doing other light tasks. They were NEVER made to replace existing fixed broadband technologies like DSL, Cable modems, etc.
Now, what’s happening in India is – due to super poor fixed broadband coverage users are tending towards mobile broadband services like Tata Photon, MTS, Reliance net-connect (EVDO based data cards) for their regular broadband needs. In “regular broadband” usage – one just doesn’t checks only email – users tend to download lot of data, tend to share heavy videos, tend to use cloud computing apps like Google docs, Zoho etc which at the end of day – choke mobile networks.
Here’s what we need in India:
- Better mobile broadband technologies – extracting maximum out of available (limited) spectrum.
- More and more offloading of heavy data users at Public places. Remember that users tend to use more data when they are sitting in a Public place like Airport, bus stand, Railway stations etc.All carriers should consider putting their wifi hot-spots in these public places. These hotspots can be restricted for carriers own network users.
- Public wifi hotspots can be back-hauled using existing wired infrastructure of Public or Private telcos in metro cities, or fixed wimax in case of non-metro cities where LOS isn’t a big problem.
- Better bundling options – We need better bundling of fixed and mobile broadband connections. Till now – there are not much options available, but I think ISP’s should start bundling datacard with fixed broadband (DSL) eventually having users to use fixed broadband for home/office while mobile broadband when they are out.
- Capping seems bit crazy. I wish Aircel had capping of like 500MB for an hour of usage.
Well, nice work Aircel guys. It will surely help India with better broadband experience!