Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to test out DNA Finland’s 4G LTE network before it was launched to the public. In short, I absolutely fell in love with the kind of speeds I was seeing. With just a bar or two of signal in my home office (read: the kitchen table) I was pulling 40 megabits down consistently. That got me thinking, why do companies bother digging up roads to install fiber or fresh copper wires when they could just give people a little USB modem or better yet a dedicated router that has 4G LTE connectivity built-in? Apparently 6.05 million American households think the same thing according to Strategy Analytics. Ben Piper, Director of the Service Provider Strategies Program at the analyst firm says:
We see two parallel markets for ‘Mobile Only’ in the US: users in remote or underserved areas where dependable fixed broadband is unavailable, and cost-conscious casual users, who are unlikely to exceed imposed data caps, and for whom mobile data rates are “good enough.”
If 6.05 million Americans, which is more than the population of Finland or the population of the state of Missouri, think that what’s being offered today is “good enough”, then why don’t operators invest more into their networks and push people to become cord cutters? If Verizon can offer at least 15 megabits per second down over LTE, that’s more than enough for TV and web browsing at home. People who have 50 megabit per second cable or fiber are probably screaming right now, but let’s be honest, you love your fat pipe because you love pirating stuff off the internet.
What do you think, should landline operators bother laying down new cables or should they partner with operators somehow and push them to invest in state of the art wireless equipment?