Broadband Was Yesteray – Wideband’s The Future

HSDPA, EVDO, WIMAX, LTE, you name them, they all go advertising these days with "mobile can now do broadband, too". I think this is true to a certain extent, if one keeps in mind that overall capacity that can be delivered by a mobile system in a densely populated area can not match capacity of DSL or cable. But that ‘s not the aim, anyway. However, DSL and cable have already moved on.

I just listened to a tech show on C-Span 2 where the CEO of Comcast introduced his new Docsis 3.0 modems of Arris that can do 120 MBit/s for a single subscriber. Sure, that bandwidth usually has to be shared with other households on the same coax cable. Nevertheless, the speed has already moved far beyond of what we know as broadband today. DSL has also not stood still and projects like in Paris (Fiber to the Curb, Fiber to the Home) have begun to offer similar speeds over telephone cable these days. And it certainly doesn’t stop here. According to the Paris section of this Wikipedia entry, GBit connections to homes are already in the trail phase.

So who should this next generation of broadband be called? Though thing… Comcast has decided to call it Wideband. Bad choice in my eyes, since in wireless, the term wideband is already used in 3G (Wideband-CDMA, W-CDMA)… But agreed, it’s certainly better than to call it Ultra Mega Broadband 😉

So trying to sell 3.5G and 4G networks around the "mobile can now do mobile broadband, too" slogan will not work much longer anymore. Lucky are those operators who have both fixed and wireless assets and make good use of both by combining them.

3 thoughts on “Broadband Was Yesteray – Wideband’s The Future”

  1. Geez… In Professional Mobile Radio (PMR, eg used by public safety actors), the word wideband corresponds to the generation of communication technology between narrowband (equivalent to GSM) and broadband (to be defined). I would say it corresponds to GPRS or EDGE (around 50 kbps).

    Broadband is considered for communication speeds over 2 Mbps.

    Hope this choice from Comcast is not definitive and will not confuse everyone…

  2. Please do not mix and confuse xDSL with FTTx. Fiber buildouts require new infrastructure. Phone line broadband is impractical at speeds 50+ Mbps with serious limitations after 500 m. Fiber is the only futureproof way to consistently deliver 100+ Mbps.

  3. Zed,

    You are right, GBit speeds are delivered by fiber, I intermingled it a bit in the blog entry. I stand corrected.


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