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US Mobile Data Traffic Usage Exceeds Voice

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the talking-is-overrated dept.

Cellphones 71

MojoKid writes "A report just released states that total mobile data traffic topped mobile voice traffic in the United States last year, for the first time. In fact, globally, data traffic topped voice traffic on a monthly basis last year, and the total traffic across the world exceeded an exabyte for the first time in 2009. Apparently, North America and Western Europe's mobile data markets are growing so rapidly they each should exceed an exabyte sometime in 2010. Interestingly, the nations with the largest data service revenues were: the US, Japan, China, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Spain and Korea, respectively."

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Which is why (0)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31715996)

Your cell bill is going to keep going up, whilst QoS declines...

Re:Which is why (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716080)

Because of contention for the airwaves or because of the backhaul?

Re:Which is why (2, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716304)

It's the same lie as with fixed broadband. The (mobile/fixed) operators have limited bandwidth, which is very costly to upgrade, and yet they want to drive increasing revenue through new applications. To put it simply, they don't want you actually using all the services you purchased to the full...for example:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=833011 [macrumors.com]
I love the part where the AT&T drone says "we have to educate our [power] users"; translated as "shit, they're actually using the bandwidth they paid for!"

Re:Which is why (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31721916)

It's a two-fold dilemma.

The telco/cable industries know they must upgrade to remain competitive with each other. OTOH, the industry also stands to make more money off a scarce resource by charging a premium for it. Ideally they prefer the latter, but know it's not sustainable because of the former.

Voice data is relatively small... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716018)

In terms of data size, a 10-minute voice-only phone conversation is absolutely miniscule compared to even a single page load of even a mobile-friendly web site. So it's not surprising at all that data usage would exceed voice usage. The data usage is typically much more intensive than voice.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (2, Interesting)

spud603 (832173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716104)

In terms of data size, a 10-minute voice-only phone conversation is absolutely miniscule compared to even a single page load of even a mobile-friendly web site

That can't be true. Loading yahoo.com (by no means a lean page) pulls in about 800kb of data. Voice-specific codecs tend to get about 15kbps, so a 10-minute one-sided conversation weighs in at about 9Mb.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716130)

You're thinking of late-1990s voice codecs. More recent codecs, along with improved link-level compression, have reduced it down to 1.5 to 2.0 Kbps, with no perceptible loss in quality.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (1)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716182)

You're thinking of late-1990s voice codecs. More recent codecs, along with improved link-level compression, have reduced it down to 1.5 to 2.0 Kbps, with no perceptible loss in quality.

You've still only reduced the codec bitrate by a factor of ten, resulting in 900 kb. That makes a 10 minute conversation not absolutely miniscule compared to a page load.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (1)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31718476)

On your next call, notice the lengths of dead air on both sides. Or, maybe you've already noticed the cuts to dead silence on calls through poorly-configured VoIP trunks.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31719674)

Multiply by two. For webpages you upload a very tiny request and dl that 900kB page. In voice you upload and download. Though with my parents it sometimes feels one way.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (4, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716572)

with no perceptible loss in quality.

We've gone from 'So clear you can hear a pin drop' to "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?!"
'Loss in quality' indeed.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (1)

hiscross (1226636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31717066)

I was once stationed in Turkey and to make a phone call we had the call an operator who patched us to who needed to talk with. The system was pretty old and didn't provide the operator with the means of knowing if the phone call was still taking place, so the operator had to interrupt a conversation by asking "Working?". Somehow I have to wonder if those operators design the wireless voice network. Job security?

Help me here..1.5 to 2.0 Kbps (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31718762)

OK, I am not any sort of audio expert or anything, but this range of 1.5 to 2.0 Kbps seems a scosh low. If not, why (and there is my question) is that the lowest you see for audio (talk) netstreams (like at shoutcast [shoutcast.com] ) nowadays is 16kbps with rarely an 8 out there. And tons of them run at 24 kbps (and I am paying attention to b or B, and man I wish this "industry" would pick one and stick to it) and above. Why aren't we seeing them run much lower, so they can push more streams? What's the difference, where's the catch?

Re:Help me here..1.5 to 2.0 Kbps (1)

paul248 (536459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31719318)

Doesn't Shoutcast use MP3? That's certainly not optimized for low-bitrate voice.

Probably (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31720286)

MP3 or whatnot. Like I said, not an audio expert, but dang if I can ever remember listening to any stream at less than 8kbps. I am just wondering where these ultra low rate but high quality streams are (outside of the phone calls). Seems like a great way to save on hosting and streaming costs for internet talk radio stuff.

Re:Help me here..1.5 to 2.0 Kbps (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31719650)

(and I am paying attention to b or B, and man I wish this "industry" would pick one and stick to it)

If it is moving we use b (data-stream). If it is sitting there we use B(storage/ram). So there is a system. And yes, it is stupid and arbitrary.

Well, hey, thanks! (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31720702)

I never noticed that before! At least now it makes *some* sense to me.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (1)

spud603 (832173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716160)

Oops, I also mixed up my bits and bytes, AC below does a much better comparison.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (5, Interesting)

RalphBNumbers (655475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716336)

Ok, first off, loading Yahoo takes about 900 kilobytes (kB), not kilobits (kb).
Your 10minute conversation at 15kbps works out to 9 Mb, which is only 1.125MB.

And in reality cell phone codecs only take even close to 15kbps when they're running at full quality (and cell carriers being what they are, it's my understanding that they almost always skimp on that quality by at least half).

Wikipedia says AMR (the codec used in GSM and UMTS) varies between 12.2kbps and 1.8kbps.
Even the full 12.2kbps works out to 915KB for a 10minute conversation, the 1.8kbps rate only uses 135KB.

Of course, I think those are single channel rates, and you'll normally send as well as receive and thus double the data transmitted.

Overall I wouldn't call the voice call's relative data size minuscule, but it could easily wind up being less than a large-ish page load requires.

But in this case, it might be more appropriate to compare bandwidth needs. And in that measure the voice call really could be minuscule in comparison, since it's load is spread out over minutes instead of seconds.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722420)

You just try to make a point, the 1.8kbps is only for when there is no speech (background noise).

Quote from spec:
AMR has 8 coded modes in UMTS systems, whereas in GSM AMR uses either 6 or 8 modes. The eight source rates vary from 4.75 to 12.2 kbps. It also contains a low rate encoding mode, called Silence Descriptor (SID), which operates at 1.8 kbps to produce background noise and a non-transmission mode

More about AMR:
AMR uses Multi-Rate Algebraic Code Excited Linear Prediction (MR-ACELP) scheme based on two different synthesis filters. It converts a narrowband speech signal (from 300 to 3,400 Hz) to 13-bit uniform Pulse Coded Modulated (PCM) samples with 8 kHz sample rate. This leads to 20 ms AMR frames consisting of 160 encoded speech samples. This means that the codec can switch mode, i.e. source bite rate, every 20 ms.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (1)

tomhuxley (951364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31725854)

It's even less, the HTML, Javascript and CSS are all gzip compressed ... that 800KB would be once it was uncompressed by the client.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716138)

That is what I was hoping to see in this article. Makes no mention of how they define voice, since depending on the codec you could be 2.5 kb/s (LPC10, but you sound very robotic so very unlikely), GSM (13 kb/s), (u|a)law (64 kb/s). (And this is limiting. If you were using a wideband codec, that could be even higher)

But lets see, 10 minutes of voice (remember, these are one way bandwidths)
GSM (13 kb/s) * 600 seconds (10 minutes) = 7800 kb = 975 kB.
(u|a)law (64 kb/s) * 600 seconds = 38400 kb = 4800 kB. (Unlikely to see on the cell phones)
Remember that is just one way.

GSM: 2 MB of data for a 10 minute conversation(up & down)?
Not sure about the mobile web pages, but some of the normal web pages seem like they might break that by the time they get all their graphics and stuff loaded.

Phone convos aren't 100% talking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716314)

A typical English voice conversation isn't 100% talking. There's approximately 20% of the total, give or take a few percent depending on the individuals, that's dead time. If using a good cell phone, this is effecitvely eliminated, and no transmission takes place.

Take 80% of your values to get a more realistic view of the situation.

Re:Voice data is relatively small... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716838)

The codecs are adaptive, and when one person is talking the other one isn't, so they typically reduce the quality a lot. You're talking about 5-6MB for an hour of conversation at typical GSM quality. It's really not surprising that data topped voice; even with UMTS you can easily consume as much with data in about two minutes as you would in one hour with voice. With 3.5G technologies you are getting closer to consuming that much in a few seconds.

Largest data service revenues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716050)

the nations with the largest data service revenues were: the US, Japan, China, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Spain and Korea, respectively.

What would be more intertesting would be to compare the level of "data sevice revenues" to the amount of data actually transferred. Just telling you which nations have the largest revenues doesn't tell you whether they're very active or just very expensive.

Re:Largest data service revenues (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716132)

In the U.S., Verizon charges something like $0.05 per MB for overages on it's mobile broadband plans, or $50 per GB. It used to be somewhere north of $200 per GB so at least it's improved, but i have to wonder how much of their capacity goes unused even while they charge people for transferring what is a relatively small amount of data.

Re:Largest data service revenues (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716358)

> but i have to wonder how much of their capacity goes unused even while they charge people

Obviously, just as much as they need to survive during the peak usage periods, or they would lower the price slightly and introduce new features to waste more MBs. Their purpose is to fool you into throwing money at them without wasting their time handling porn or coverage complaints, after all, not to leave your money in your investments (or pockets, at least).

Duh! (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716054)

When I use voice-over-IP on my Interweb-enabled tubified G4 phone of course the voice traffic goes down!

its all data, lets go there finally (0)

drDugan (219551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716112)

I want the cell companies to drop this absurd notion of selling minutes, and provide high quality data service only - and a "DNS"-like service and effective filtering so people can find me and the programs (including VIOP) that I choose to run on my mobile device.

We're *almost* there, but not yet. Accessing your mobile device via a phone number still works much, much better than just data plans, and SIP sorcery (to get a number for voip) isn't simple at all.

VoIP? (3, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716122)

How much if that data traffic is actually VoIP? I have a SIP client on my iPhone 3GS that gets more use than my cell many days.

Re:VoIP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31717816)

"No I can't understand you you sound like you have shit in your mouth. Why don't you send that to me in an email?"

I despise voice communications of all types.

Re:VoIP? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31718848)

"No I can't understand you you sound like you have shit in your mouth. Why don't you send that to me in an email?"

I despise voice communications of all types.

So would I, if everyone I spoke to told me that. But then at that point, I wouldn't be blaming the communications medium....

Interestingly? (2, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716158)

Interestingly, the nations with the largest data service revenues were: the US, Japan, China, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Spain and Korea, respectively.

I don't find this all that interesting, since this pretty much a list of the world's largest economies in descending order. I'd be much more interested in per subscriber data.

Re:Interestingly? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716262)

Interestingly, the nations with the largest data service revenues were: the US, Japan, China, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Spain and Korea, respectively.

I don't find this all that interesting, since this pretty much a list of the world's largest economies in descending order. I'd be much more interested in per subscriber data.

China and Japan are smaller than the US?

You actually think that?

You're must be an American, right?

Re:Interestingly? (1)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716322)

China and Japan are also a lot more likely to be blanketed in Wifi, aren't they? Making their data usage faster, and not on mobile networks.

Re:Interestingly? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716914)

The main reason Japan has smaller revenue is that it has a smaller population. It does however have more cellphones per head of population than the US. The US is about mid table in the world rankings for cellphones per head of population.

Re:Interestingly? (1)

ral8158 (947954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716346)

Uh, America's GDP is 14,441,425 USD, Japan's is 4,910,692 USD, and China's is 4,327,448 USD. So yes, actually it is pretty much a list of the world's largest economies in descending order.

Re:Interestingly? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716430)

Question is, how big part of all those GDP numbers out there is composed out of imaginary money...

All fiat money is imaginary (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716956)

how big part of all those GDP numbers out there is composed out of imaginary money

Banks use fractional reserve lending to create money. All fiat money is imaginary.

Re:All fiat money is imaginary (1)

Cidolfas (1358603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31717870)

Money is just paper backed by the trust that it is worth the goods and services you exchange it for. All money is imaginary.

Re:All fiat money is imaginary (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31718504)

Money is just paper backed by the trust that it is worth the goods and services you exchange it for. All money is imaginary.

Prior to the 1970s, U.S. money was backed by the trust that it was worth a legally defined amount of a specific good, namely gold. But since the U.S. abandoned the gold standard, there hasn't been such a law to trust.

Re:All fiat money is imaginary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31719976)

And why exactly does gold have value?

That's right: because you can exchange it for goods and services.

All money is imaginary.

Re:All fiat money is imaginary (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31720824)

And why exactly does gold have value?

As I understand it, the exchange value of gold developed from its use value in jewelry. Since then, it has developed another use value in connector plating.

Re:All fiat money is imaginary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31722492)

As I understand it, the exchange value of gold developed from its use value in jewelry

That would be more impressive if jewelry had a non-imaginary use value.

But is aesthetics imaginary? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31723114)

Jewelry's non-imaginary use value is that it looks shiny. Or are you also going to write off the entire cosmetics industry, the entire designer clothing industry, and every other industry related to aesthetics, as imaginary?

Re:Interestingly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716356)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29

Re:Interestingly? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716906)

Japan is larger than the US?

You actually think that?

You're[sic] must be an idiot, right?

Re:Interestingly? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716908)

In terms of total GDP, yes. Only the EU is bigger than the US.

Re:Interestingly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31717046)

If you thought I said that, it must be because you don't understand what "descending order" means.

Re:Interestingly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31718294)

Interestingly, the nations with the largest data service revenues were: the US, Japan, China, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Spain and Korea, respectively.

I don't find this all that interesting, since this pretty much a list of the world's largest economies in descending order. I'd be much more interested in per subscriber data.

Well, I find it interesting, but not news. Notice the absence of Canada - we have the shittiest & most expensive cell phone service in the OECD. As a result, far fewer Canadians own cell phones, and those that do use them much less.

Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research in Motion, lives in Canada. He has said multiple times that obstinince of Canada's cell phone carriers is holding back progress.

Re:Interestingly? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31719708)

the largest data service revenues
Highlighted the word that made it statistically crap. Prices vary madly between these countries. And as others have mentioned most japanese people use wifi, likely south korea (I assume they didn't mean north here :p) as well.

Sexting FTW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716176)

woot, theres data in them thar sex chats!

I pray for the dumb pipe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716208)

When LTE rolls out on At&t, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc, I pray that they realize they just need to get out of the way and let me do what I want on an open phone. Maybe not torrents(seems to be the logical exception due to insane bandwidth use of torrents), but VoIP and video streaming, etc.

Re:I pray for the dumb pipe (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716268)

Verizon doesn't restrict video streaming and VoIP even on their existing 3G network, but the amount of transfer is quite limited. I've got a Mi-Fi with a 10GB plan but i know if i were to use it for netflix i'd eat through that quickly.

Re:I pray for the dumb pipe (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716534)

Torrents would really only be an issue in dense urban areas. Especially in the boondocks, spectrum scarcity shouldn't be an issue.

Re:I pray for the dumb pipe (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716978)

Torrents would really only be an issue in dense urban areas. Especially in the boondocks, spectrum scarcity shouldn't be an issue.

Capacity of a wireless network depends on subscribers per tower. Urban areas have more people, but they also have more towers.

More data than talk? (3, Funny)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716362)

I'm speechless!

Holy crap that's a lot (4, Interesting)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716514)

Our mobile data demands last year were 1 Exabyte - Which is roughly the equivalent of 1/5 the words ever spoken by humans.

No wonder everyone feels crazy. Nothing in evolution prepared us for this much information about anything/everything/everybody all the time. I mean, it's great, it's fantastic, we now essentially carry a device that not only can communicate on several different levels with nearly anyone on the planet anywhere anytime, but it's also a repository of most human knowledge and on their way of becoming capable of nearly everything (Voice, then text, then cameras, mp3, web, navigation, apps then?). True, the data and communication links aren't in your pocket, and it's far from complete. But that's a lot of information. And it's all nearly instantaneous. Now we get frustrated not only if we can't get the information, but if we just can't get it fast enough. 5 seconds of "connecting..." is enough to get us mad sometimes. Never mind that 15-20 years ago it would have involved a trip to a library or several libraries, phone calls, or maybe taking a trip and talking to locals, and take days, hours, or months to find the info we're looking for, half a minute waiting can get us angry, we need to hear what kind of music they play at specific coffeehouses in Prague right now, dammit, we're trying to plan a trip here.

ADD isn't a disorder in this context, it's a result. It gets hard to concentrate for a while nearly everything can be looked up in seconds, nearly every desire that starts "I want to see...", "I want to hear...", "I want to tell..." or "I want to know..." can be instantly fulfilled. If it's not instantly gratified, it's quickly forgotten, and another desire takes it's place, even if it's just been seconds.

All opinion, and I'm not arguing that ADD isn't a disease, just that our technological environment has a lot to do with it.

Re:Holy crap that's a lot (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716642)

You are overstating things more than a little bit. Something like 1/2 of people do not have any regular access to portable communications, and many of the rest of us find current pricing quite unattractive, so we are limited to communicating over voice within a more limited region.

Re:Holy crap that's a lot (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31717628)

>Nothing in evolution prepared us for this much information about anything/everything/everybody all the time.

Evolution doesnt prepare us for much. Fighting, fucking, and the basics. The rest is learning and culture. Today's world is just as weird as the world 500+ years ago (agrarian society) and there hasn't been a significant change in the genome. In the world 500 years ago ADD would have been undetectable. No one would know you couldn't sit down and focus on a book for very long as you weren't expected to read. If they did then you were probably just written off as slow.

>All opinion, and I'm not arguing that ADD isn't a disease, just that our technological environment has a lot to do with it.

Well, you're kinda getting into some pseudoscience here. I seriously doubt ADD is some kind of learned response. If anything, ADD-like symptoms help in many contexts. Moving around from one item of focus to another can help in spotting predators, getting a superficial level of learning quickly, being creative, etc.

Re:Holy crap that's a lot (1)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31718362)

15 years ago, would be 1995 - there were search engines back then. Mainly gopher, and Windows 95 did come with Internet Explorer. You would find the file you were looking for by running a gopher search on a keyword - that would list the ftp site you wanted, and then you would send an E-mail to have the file uuencoded to you, or you could download it directly. My workplace had a 64K ISDN line to the nearest university, whose own internet access was referred to "as reliable a wet piece of string".

20 years ago, would be 1990 - that would have been a totally different environment. You would be lucky to have ISDN, or even a phone line that was reliable enough to support a 9600 baud modem. International internet access was restricted to academic researchers and corporations. Look at the distribution of class A/B/C internet domain ranges. All the UNIX workstation vendor had their own class-A IP address - a whole 16 million+ addresses each.

To find any reference (book or paper), you would have to go down to the library or local technical book store. The book store would be able to make a special order for you, but you would have to wait two weeks. If the library didn't have the book or paper/journal in physical form, you would have to fill out an inter-library loan request as a hand-written form. You would have to get the author, title, journal spelled exactly as described, otherwise the request would fail - even a single full stop in the wrong place would lead to a miss.

Sometime the library would have documents in micro-fiche cache archive form (early Byte magazines or SIGGRAPH papers). You'd get a iphone size paper box with a whole bunch of transparent sheets with each A4 page shrunk to the size of a SIM card. Using the magnifier you would have to search through the set of cards to find the correct index like Z-18, or Q-34 which was the row and column of the first page. To get a print-out copy, you would have to fill out another form listing the references you wanted printed out. There was a special printer that could handle micro-fiche caches, but it was operated manually.

Re:Holy crap that's a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31719884)

That's absolutely false. It sounds like you have no idea what ADHD actually is.

I'm not saying don't joke about it, I mean, the people with ADHD I know will probably laugh with you, but please refrain from basing your understanding of the condition on jokes.

It makes you sound like an aspie :P

4G (2, Interesting)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716520)

The interesting thing about LTE is that its entirely packet-switched. Voice will essentially be VOIP over the packet-switched network. Although operators will continue running their legacy circuit-switched networks for several more years (if only because they've already sunk billions into it), once voice transitions entirely over to digital transmission Verizon and co. will have to come up with another pricing scheme to extract higher ARPU from their customers.

Re:4G (2, Informative)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31717556)

That doesn't mean they won't sell minutes and bill by the meg.

Re:4G (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31717928)

Or, more lucratively, bill by the TXT.
(aka, "What do you mean these 160 bytes cost 4000x more than other bytes?")

You know what they say... (1)

Animal Farm Pig (1600047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716896)

A picture is worth a thousand words. I wonder how much a video costs...

Re:You know what they say... (1)

thaddeusthudpucker (1082657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31719164)

Well, depends on the quality of the video. If we assume that video is 30 frames a second, that would make 30,000 words a second and 1,800,000 words a minute. A full length movie at this rate (assuming 1.5 hours) 162,000,000 words, plus dialog. This is of course high-quality video, but its pretty amazing how quickly that adds up.

Mobile does not mean what you think it means. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31717796)

I live in a rural area and LOVE my home. I'm not selling it and moving for better bandwidth. Having said that my only options are ~28k dialup on the rotting landlines, satellite or Verizon Wireless VZAccess mobile. I download at _least_ four or five gig a month on my mobile card and it never leaves my living room computer.

Until rural USA has a better option "mobile" may not be the proper word for these connections.

On a personal level (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31718700)

My data traffic ( dedicated to direct communication between humans, not just idle data use like downloads or forum posts ) exceeded 'voice' communication decades ago.

We need net neutral wireless now (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722054)

I think it's imperative that net neutrality apply to the cell carriers, too.

And we're quite a long way from that.

Australia (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31757088)

the nations with the largest data service revenues were: the US, Japan, China, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Spain and Korea, respectively."

I'm not surprised. Optus et al will charge you 55c / KB if you exceed your allotted data, and many plans don't include any. The more economical options are 300 MB for $10 (Virgin) or 1 GB for $20 (ThinkMobile), but they're rather difficult to find, so it's no surprise that they're collecting so much revenue from this.
On the plus side, at least we're allowed to tether.

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