Don’t Just Talk the Talk… Walk the Walk

Is it as fast as it is shiny?

I heard a rumor today that we might finally be getting a 3G connection in Lebanon. This is pretty much old news to most subscribers round the world, especially considering that most telcos round the world are currently providing3G+ (or 3.5G) networks (capable of up to 21Mbps per client) and some are even moving to 4G (LTE and LTE Advanced– 100’s of Mbps). But seeing that we are the nation with the worst (refer to my previous post for proof, The Best at Being the Worst) internet connection in the world, this is definitely an upgrade.

Screenshot taken on HTC Thunderbolt connected to Verizon's LTE network, picture courtesy of Engadget.

“Great news!” you’d say, but the downside of this is that by the time the service is rolled out and people and business begin to take advantage, I have a feeling that the rest of the world will already be looking into the next 5G network.

So why are we settling for 3G and rejoicing for this deprecated technology, when we should be aiming for much better?

In comes LTE, a wireless technology that outperforms most traditional wired connectivity technologies, such as ADSL. It may imply a total revamp to the telcos’ infrastructures, but since we are “building for the future” (yeah right), why not take advantage of the latest technologies?

But for now, forget all that, there’s one other point that worries me even more. Considering that we are currently operating on an EDGE network (i.e. 2.5G), which should be capable of providing up to 384 kbps per client, on some days I go as far as completely losing connectivity (even with all network signal bars full). That could only mean one thing, the internet access line that the mobile telcos are leasing cannot even handle the bandwidth requirements to perform well for an EDGE network, now can you imagine the load that they’re going to have to put up with once/if 3G is rolled out?

I just hope that when the time comes and we are finally granted an already-deprecated wireless communications network that we get more than just a pretty new symbol on our phones informing us that we are connected to a 3G network that performs like my ancient 56 kbps dial-up connection; so who’s with me? 😉


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