Mikael Abrahamsson swmike at
Thu Dec 5 06:54:48 UTC 2013

On Wed, 4 Dec 2013, Owen DeLong wrote:

> Depends on your carrier. From AT&T, I have $29 unlimited and I have definitely cranked down more over that (faster) LTE connection in some months than through my $100+ cable connection.
> From VZW, I'm paying $100+/month and only getting 10GB over LTE, but I rarely exceed 10GB per month from my (again slower) cable connection.
> T-Mo is offering unlimited LTE for something like $100/mo IIRC. (Their plans change so often and so quickly right now that it's hard to keep up).
> Several of the MVNOs offer unlimited for $40/month.

Have you tried downloading 500 gigabytes in a month on any of these? I 
highly doubt any of the LTE solutions are "unlimited" then.

> Who cares? I'm talking about cost to the consumer which is absolutely 
> equivalent to price from the supplier since they are one and the same.

Your usage pattern makes wireless feasable. Watching two hours per day of 
Netflix 1080p on the above connections changes the equation completely.

> However, just like the mythical isotropic radiator, I don't expect any 
> of that to happen any time soon. So, in the meantime, wireless bandwidth 
> cost (from an end-user perspective) is rapidly approaching wireline 
> bandwidth cost as I said before. This is the reality that we currently 
> live in, regardless of how dysfunctional it may be.

For your usage pattern, I agree.

We have the same deal here, for the same price per month you can have 
access to ~80 megabit/s LTE, or you can have 100/10 cable. The problem is 
that with LTE you get 80 gigabytes/month in cap. The cable connection 
doesn't have a cap. Also, the cable connection actually delivers 100 
megabit/s at peak to you, which the LTE connection definitely doesn't 
(because you share the cell with hundreds of others).

What's been happening here is that the price for fixed access has remained 
approximately the same (10-50 USD per month for 100/10 or 100/100 
depending on if you have coax or fiber/CAT6), LTE is in the 20-50 USD 
range as well for 80 megabit/s, but you get capped and have to pay to 
increase your monthly cap. Thus, for light consumers this is fine, but for 
people who actually use their connection for video or bulk data, wireless 
is very much more expensive (which reflects actual cost of producing the 
service, wireline has a low marginal cost for bandwidth, there it's 
establishing the infrastructure that costs, whereas for wireless you have 
medium-high cost for establishing the infrastructure, but also a 
medium-high cost to increase the bandwidth in the cell).

Mikael Abrahamsson    email: swmike at

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