Can you afford faster cell phone service? AT&T, Verizon, Novatel – how fast can you go?

by Guest on February 11, 2010

Internet Police OK, so AT&T is planning to launch their LTE service in 2011, Verizon is hoping to have it this year, and Novatel just had the first successful 4G LTE data transmission.

My question is – how fast do you really need to go?  With data rates of up to 100Mbps down, and 50Mbps up, on a phone with 16 to 32 Gigs of storage, you’re looking at filling up your phone in 30 to 60 minutes.  Yes, this is fantastic, but really – how fast does it need to be?

Are you downloading enough video to last you a lifetime, or are you buying, or “finding”, music to last you the rest of 2010?  Do you need to get this all in 30 minutes or less?

I’m all for higher speeds, as long as they don’t cost more than what I’m paying now.  I’ve got a first gen iPhone, with a brutal plan from Rogers, so it’s going to cost me a fair bit to upgrade to the iPhone 3Gs, and all I will really get is some faster downloads.  Should I really be shelling out more bucks to get my emails faster?

The only folks that will truly benefit from the increased speeds are the ones that run the wireless companies.  Once the new infrastructure is in place, the companies will keep cranking the rates as long as they can.  And as long as there are folks that will pay to be on the bleeding edge, the cell companies will continue to add more speed.  Not more content, but certainly more speed.

I can drive my car well over 100mph, but when and where am I going to need that kind of speed?

Like I said, I love the speed, but it’s got to be worth it.

What can faster speeds do for you?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt February 11, 2010 at 9:20 am

I agree on a smartphone those speeds are excessive and for the average consumer are waste. However, I wanted to get creative so I recently upgraded to a 3G cellphone, I get speeds faster than my DSL at home. I can also share my cellphones internet with my home computers.

I have plans of soon moving to Wind mobile who offers unlimited data for $35 per month, that way I am saving vs my home DSL and have internet at home and on the road/coffee shop/etc.

I suggested the same to a non-techie friend who was having difficulty getting internet at their cottages and now they use their Blackberries 3G connection both at the cottage and at home…..will be interesting to see where all this goes. Perhaps wireless internet is speeding up to replaced wired?

Jason February 11, 2010 at 11:13 am

Hey Matt,
I’ve considered this option as well – and I think it’s great for a single person, but anyone with a family will need either multiple plans, or worse – someone will have to leave their phone at home for the rest of the family to surf.
Leaving the spouse without an Internet connection is apparently akin to neglect – or so I’m told!

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