Most Service Providers have been very busy over the past several years laying fiber to the home/premise/curb. This activity has resulted in large jumps in the Internet speeds that many served customers are enjoying. Of course, the less rural you are the better, but still, even the rural providers are stretching their budgets and sewing in fiber connectivity wherever they can.
This is all great news and if you are one of the lucky customers to benefit from these services, good for you. If not, be patient. Your turn is coming, albeit not fast enough. Some providers understand they need to move quickly to keep their customer base. They are looking over their shoulders and being very vigilant for threats. Others may not be.
In my Tweet last week (ow.ly/hhNz30bYQk3) a warning shot was fired by the Wireless 5G folks. While as of the writing of this article 5G continues to be defined, many tests have been on going and developments are accelerating. Let’s assume that as with most wireless claims, this 120x faster claim is 50% too aggressive, 60x faster is significant. Significant enough that perhaps service providers will face serious competition to their fiber services.
The claimed acheivement was 6.4Gbps. If you are able to get 100Mbps service, then indeed this is 60x faster. Apparently this was also acheived in a moving car.
Now let’s be on point. Will you ever need 6.4Gbps? Hard to tell, but certainly not today. The worst case demands are video. From the Netflix site the most you would need is 25 Mbps to watch a 4K Ultra HD movie. But is two people are watching on two different platforms that would double.
If you have YouTube viewers and gamers in the household all using the Internet at the same time you can see how 100Mbps gets consumed quickly, but you will still be nowhere near 6.4Gbps.
What this will all boild down to is pricing. If the wireless carriers beef up their tower bandwidth and offer this 5G based higher bandwidth services at a much lower price that fiber based delivery, service providers will be in trouble to pay off the costs of laying their fiber.
Alternatively, a wise service provider will combine fiber based delivery with 5G based delivery themselves to remain competitive. No decisions need to made as this writing, but if you are a service provider, you better be looking over your shoulder!