The recent 4G fiasco is indeed disappointing. Indeed a fiasco. Nobody was happy, everyone was disturbed by what the telcos are up to. It didn’t make sense. 4G wasn’t an enticing feature that anyone seemed to really look forward to. It was merely a pacifying excuse, unready for prime time. It didn’t seem convincing. There is no trust in the system, only reluctant customers.
4G was used as a scapegoat for the data allowance cut. It was cited as the excuse that with increased speeds, the network will be overly taxed and ruin the experience for everyone. It was promised that most people will get higher speeds at same cost. It was said that it would really make a difference, except for some people.
So apparently they offer 4G for free, recouping the cost from charging more to heavier users. But I don’t get it. What’s the problem? Are they saying that my slow network access is due to system bandwidth limits, meaning that your backbone cannot handle the user throughput? You mean to say that actually the number of signal bars on my phone, whether it shows HSDPA or 3G or GPRS or nothing isn’t the problem? I doubt they are addressing the issue here. My greatest problem is finding a signal to connect to, not the underlying speed.
If, after so many years, I still cannot have uninterrupted and decent speeds on heavily trafficked areas like public transit, malls, CBD, then what hope is there that a new 4G network can even match up to the same coverage in the foreseeable future? It is disturbing how we are likely to simply end up with multiple half baked network technologies.
3G speeds are perfectly capable of supporting even video calls, provided they actually deploy enough hardware infrastructure. I fear this 4G or LTE nonsense is yet another ploy to urge consumers to spend more money on a differentiated product line. 4G technology isn’t even standardized worldwide, most advertised phones are not cross compatible, use of any data overseas is prohibitively expensive. I think it is simply more productive for us to run our own airbnb of WiFi to solve our problems. It seems that ISPs and carriers are the limiting factors in phone updates, data speeds, rollout delays, crapware, wireless payments, etc.