A very interesting piece on the future of mobile data. The conclusion of the piece is that the cell data network is in trouble, and there’s going to have to be some serious cooperation between parties which have historically not been good at cosying up together.
But in the last year or so, the attitude has shifted dramatically from “no one is using mobile data” to “oh my God, there’s so much demand for mobile data that it’ll destroy the network.” A lot of this attitude shift was caused by the iPhone, which has indeed overloaded some mobile networks. But there’s also a general uptick in data usage from various sources, and the rate of growth seems to be accelerating.
The premise that there are cell data network issues certainly rings true for me: I’ve noticed in Bristol that it’s rare for my iPhone to find more than a trickle of bandwidth from the cell network. So I hope this problem gets proper attention, and fast. —via @timbray