I was intrigued by a recent ZDNet news story that reported that Orange has promised that it will deliver 4G in the UK and nine other European countries within three years. While any push on delivering 4G services is most welcome, I can’t helping thinking that the three year timescale is not going to be soon enough for the UK.
The problem is that 4G mobile data networks are already overdue as rich data and the growing demand for constant information are continuing to put mobile networks under extreme pressure, resulting in huge problems for the mobile operators of late. This coupled with the fact that newly launched consumer devices that come with 4G functionality (such as the new iPad) are likely to accelerate consumer demand, means that the need for 4G is more urgent.
In addition, the growing pressure on networks has led to many operators having to create data caps to limit people’s access and increase the price to ensure ‘hard’ users don’t tip the network over. So, even with the extra capacity 4G will provide, it’s important that operators optimise what they’ve got, or this could even not be enough. With a potential delay of another three years, it will be interesting to see how the current networks hold up.