Wanted: One Data Plan to Rule Them All

February 13, 2011

The big Mobile World Congress show hasn’t even really started yet and already we are swamped with news of new superphones, tablets and pads, all vying to become the next big thing in wireless. The problem is, no matter how cool, fast or fun each one is, no single device can perfectly answer the needs of all our mobile Three Cs: Communicating, Creating and Consuming. But if we had one data plan to use across all types of devices? That would be something to write home about.

No pad or tablet will ever handle calls as well as a phone, and few phone-size devices can match tablets or pads for making content consumption so pleasurable; and there’s still nothing that really tops a full-feature laptop with its full-sized keyboard for being able to create content on the go. That’s why I subscribe to the theory that says most mobile professionals will soon own a “stack” of mobile devices, each with a singular purpose. Device manufacturers and service providers alike are out there now, nodding their heads, saying Yes! Please let it be so!

But what’s needed to make that happen quickly is a brave mobile carrier to be a trailblazer and provide a single data plan that covers multiple devices, allowing a user to spend their “bucket of bits” via the device, the time and the manner of their choosing. Otherwise, the device stack option is going to remain something that only the budget-rich can afford, and many cool devices will fall by the wayside simply because there isn’t enough reason for folks to sign up for yet another expensive 2-year contract with big early termination fees.

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Friday’s Wireless Headlines

February 27, 2009

News and views from around the wireless web:

More Dick Lynch on LTE: C/Net’s Maggie Reardon, one of our favorites on the beat, gets more LTE details in this Q&A with Verizon CTO Dick Lynch at MWC.

Spectrum Fees for Wireless Carriers? One way to balance the budget — get more bucks from carriers for their wireless spectrum, an idea in the Obama budget.

Wi-Fi in the Sky: Alaska Airlines trials its in-flight Wi-Fi, meaning the days of quiet plane rides are coming to an end soon.

Nokia Siemens Gets China 3G Deals: Infrastructure win for NSN in the world’s biggest cellular market.

Four Hours Without Gmail: What happens when the cloud goes away?


LTE at 50 Mbps? Don’t Hold Your Breath

February 18, 2009

Even though Verizon CTO Dick Lynch tried to stay away from the download-speed numbers game when we spoke to him recently about the company’s plans for Long Term Evolution, you can’t hide from the mainstream tech media’s need for simple figures for long. So it’s not a surprise to see a whole bunch of people taking the “LTE trial speeds of 50-60 Mbps” from Lynch’s presentation at the Mobile World Congress this week and running with that as a projected speed for Verizon’s eventual 4G wireless offering.

Our take? Don’t hold your breath waiting for those kind of speeds.

With the limited amount of spectrum Verizon has available at 700 MHz, a safer guess would be seeing them offering someting in the range of 10-15 Mbps download speeds — not revolutionary, but certainly a magnitude of order better than Verizon’s current pokey 3G offering.

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