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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Speed


Cosmote, the leading mobile telephony Greek operator, announced first yesterday, the availability of the new mobile broadband technology, HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access). It supports up to 21Mbps downlink and up to 5.8Mbps uplink. In the live company's network, the measurements showed a range of 'real' 15Mbps downlink.

I am just really wondering whether there is a real need, when other markets are still examining the 'go ahead', and some other developing markets are skipping it, simply visioning and experimenting LTE instead that will go beyond 100Mbps.

It seems like they are knocking on their competitor's doors, Vodafone and Wind that is time for a change, new investment and faster mobile Internet. Can they afford it?My personal opinion is that due to the geographic difficulties, when other markets will evolute to LTE in 5 years or so, HSPA+ will remain the king in Greece.

Cosmote is heavily promoting the new fast mobile service, as it is offering an extra free 2Gbps download capacity in any new business package. In that case the user enjoys in a monthly basis a download capacity of about 2,5Gbps in the same price or cheaper to Vodafone's Blackberry Storm 1,5Gbps program. Strategically, we are moving forward, satisfying a short term user's need, but with no significant plans for any further evolution to 100Mbps range mobile broadband speed. Market roomers and dicussions are giving HSPA+ a 10 years viability! The bottom line is that besides Web surfing and email, there arent to my knowledge any bandwidth-hungry mobile services developed or offered from Cosmote network/cloud. But perhaps again the previous common services would be more than enough for the user right now, as he is new in this mobile broadband experience.

The Greek Internet user likes speed, as he is getting used to a fast ADSL home connection and demands similar speeds on his mobile phone. But speed with no services adds only a small value to the operator's network, unless there is a short-term new services plan.

Well, lets wait and see the other player's reaction. Greece is a saturated market, with mobile diffusion of over 90%, thus speed could definetely differantiate an operator, but not that much if it happens to be the leading operator, that is already 10% ahead of second operator.

Yesterday, I attended the Greek Telecom regulator's -EETT - conference and ╬Łicholas Negroponte's speech really stood out. A blog entry on the matter will be posted soon.

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