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Leaked AT&T filing shows full LTE coverage would cost additional $3.8B

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
According to an accidentally leaked letter from AT&T, the company estimates that expanding 4G LTE coverage from its original plan of 80 percent of the population to 97 percent of Americans would cost $3.8 billion.

The partially redacted letter appeared briefly on the Federal Communications Commission website on Friday before being taken down, as reported by Wireless Week. AT&T reportedly indicated in the letter, which was posted by the company's law firm, that carrying through on its pledge to provide LTE service to 55 million rural Americans would require $3.8 billion in additional capital expenditures.

Executives from both T-Mobile and AT&T have touted expanded 4G coverage as one of the key consumer benefits to the $39 billion merger. According to the letter, the deal would help AT&T to better absorb the increased capital investment and lower returns associated with deploying LTE to over 97 percent of the U.S. population.

Providing coverage to the extra 17 percent of the population would require nearly tripling the land mass covered by the network. AT&T's original plan reached 80 percent of the U.S. with just 20 percent of the country's land mass, but providing LTE to 97 percent of Americans would require covering 55 percent of the land mass in the U.S.

According to the ex parte document, AT&T plans to upgrade 44,000 nodes to LTE over the next two years: 8,000 nodes this year, 16,000 nodes next year and 20,000 nodes in 2013. Providing the additional coverage as promised reportedly involves 18,000 cell sites.

AT&T has moved up its plans for LTE deployment by a year and plans to have the network "largely complete" by the end of 2013. The company plans to reach 70 million customers with 4G service by the end of this year.


Meanwhile, rival Verizon has almost a year-long head start with LTE. The carrier launched its 4G network in 38 markets, covering 110 million people, last December. It plans to reach nationwide coverage by 2013.

AT&T responded to the leak by claiming that any confidential information contained within agrees with the company's prior statements.

There is no real news here, said spokeswoman Margaret Boles. The confidential information in the latest letter is fully consistent with AT&Ts prior filings. It demonstrates the significance of our commitment to build out 4G LTE mobile broadband to 97% of the population following our merger with T-Mobile. Without this merger, AT&T could not make this expanded commitment. This merger will unleash billions of dollars in badly needed investment, creating many thousands of well-paying jobs that are vitally needed given our weakened economy.

However, the letter has been taken by some to be damaging to AT&T's argument that its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile is vital to its expansion to rural markets. Critics have questioned why a $3.8 billion expansion requires an acquisition more than ten times the size.

For its part, competing carrier Sprint has cast doubt on AT&T's claim that the T-Mobile merger would help provide LTE coverage to 97 percent of U.S. residents. "We do not believe this merger facilitates that goal, but even if it did -- at what cost? Is it worth removing a competitor?" Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said during a Senate hearing in May.

AT&T announced its deal with T-Mobile in March. Antitrust reviews of the merger are expected to take about a year. The carrier has reportedly hired bankers to help facilitate the possible sale of assets should it be required to divest customers or spectrum to win regulatory approval.
post #2 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to an accidentally leaked letter from AT&T, the company estimates that expanding 4G LTE coverage from its original plan of 80 percent of the population to 97 percent of Americans would cost $3.8 billion.

What does this have to do with Apple? They will not have a 4G phone for a long, long time. Heck, the first iPhone wasn't even 3G, and it changed the whole industry.

We don't need no stinking 4G.
post #3 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

What does this have to do with Apple? .

Yeah, I don't get it either.
post #4 of 41
My advice to AT&T: Get busy, or get your arses handed to you by Verizon.

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

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post #5 of 41
Is it going to be "REAL" LTE or the bastardized "4G" that they are marketing? None of the 4G phones will work in Europe or anywhere else in the world as 4G.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

Is it going to be "REAL" LTE or the bastardized "4G" that they are marketing? None of the 4G phones will work in Europe or anywhere else in the world as 4G.

I was wondering the same thing. From what I can tell it's the later. Companies love to lock you in to their system. \ Too bad to because a real world phone would be BADA. Although if anyone could put the telecoms in check it might be Apple.
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turtles all the way up and turtles all the way down... infinite context means infinite possibility
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post #7 of 41
Me hopes that T-Mobile will get the iPhone so Deutsche Telekom will think twice about selling T-Mobile USA again when this merger gets turned down.
post #8 of 41
It has something to do with every hardware manufacturer. If people don't start complaining real loud, AT&T is about to possess enormous power over every hardware manufacturer. If Apple or another manufacturer doesn't like AT&T's terms, AT&T will easily be able to say, fine go somewhere else. Apple's only choices will be Sprint and Verizon (not exactly a hardware manufacturer or consumer friendly company).

Innovation is created by the manufacturers, not the carriers. Eliminating one competitor will lead to less innovation.





Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

What does this have to do with Apple? They will not have a 4G phone for a long, long time. Heck, the first iPhone wasn't even 3G, and it changed the whole industry.

We don't need no stinking 4G.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Me hopes that T-Mobile will get the iPhone so Deutsche Telekom will think twice about selling T-Mobile USA again when this merger gets turned down.

Yes, I am waiting for iPhone5 on T-Mobile - their 49.99 unlimited plan per phone is a killer. My 2 year contract with ATT expires in 2 weeks.
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Marquiz d' Gabber von Gabberaarde

... and Windows Vista...
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post #10 of 41
Well that demolishes AT&T's case for the merger.
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabberattack View Post

Yes, I am waiting for iPhone5 on T-Mobile - their 49.99 unlimited plan per phone is a killer. My 2 year contract with ATT expires in 2 weeks.

You can't seriously believe that T-Mobile will ever offer that plan for a single iphone.

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

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Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

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post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Me hopes that T-Mobile will get the iPhone so Deutsche Telekom will think twice about selling T-Mobile USA again when this merger gets turned down.

Merger won't get turned down.

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete...

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Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

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post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

What does this have to do with Apple? ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Yeah, I don't get it either.

You guys are like people who read The New York Times and wonder what a story about the European debt crisis has to do with New York.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

It has something to do with every hardware manufacturer. If people don't start complaining real loud, AT&T is about to possess enormous power over every hardware manufacturer. If Apple or another manufacturer doesn't like AT&T's terms, AT&T will easily be able to say, fine go somewhere else. Apple's only choices will be Sprint and Verizon (not exactly a hardware manufacturer or consumer friendly company).

I don't think T-Mobile really adds or subtracts much from this very weak argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Innovation is created by the manufacturers, not the carriers. Eliminating one competitor will lead to less innovation.

If this is true, then why would eliminating T-Mobile (a carrier) lead to less innovation?

Say what you mean and mean what you say! If you don't know what you are saying then don't bother saying it.

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete...

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Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete...

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post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

I don't think T-Mobile really adds or subtracts much from this very weak argument.



If this is true, then why would eliminating T-Mobile (a carrier) lead to less innovation?

Say what you mean and mean what you say! If you don't know what you are saying then don't bother saying it.

It's not the phone itself it's the technology of the cell network. Instead of 4 major carries you will have 2 and a much smaller 3rd. Att and Verizon pretty much match each other on price and sometimes match price increases (data limits). If the merger is approved I can probably bet that Verizon and ATT will raise prices to pay for this "improved" network and magically their prices will just match each other while Sprint will undercut them but they still haven't made money in quite a while so I'm not sure how much longer Sprint will be around
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Me hopes that T-Mobile will get the iPhone so Deutsche Telekom will think twice about selling T-Mobile USA again when this merger gets turned down.

I seriously doubt this merger will get turned down. Even if AT&T takes T-Mobile lock, stock, and barrel, the combination is still less than 50% of the market.

The only thing I think is up in the air is what AT&T/T-Mobile may be forced to sell. Despite the network compatibility issue, this has to be the only reason Sprint is making any noise about this merger. Normally, a company has no problem seeing their competitor list shrink from three to two. Sprint's rants are all about what they can acquire from a merged AT&T/T-Mobile, IMHO.
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Me hopes that T-Mobile will get the iPhone so Deutsche Telekom will think twice about selling T-Mobile USA again when this merger gets turned down.

DT has pretty much said they will be selling T-Mobile USA to someone or shutting it down. So if the ATT merger goes through you can expect Sprint to try again.

As for T-Mobile getting the iPhone, given the spectrum differences with the 3g issue, I wouldn't count on it. Unless of course the merger goes through and T-Mobiles new phones are put on ATT's service for 3g

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by IVK View Post

Well that demolishes AT&T's case for the merger.

How so?
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

How so?

He's holding on to the false hope that our government isn't 100% corrupt and hadn't already assured AT&T that their huge payoffs would make the merger would go through months before AT&T even announced it.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

You guys are like people who read The New York Times and wonder what a story about the European debt crisis has to do with New York.

Is it because there are Greek immigrants living in NYC?
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Is it because there are Greek immigrants living in NYC?

Or people from NYC living in Greece. Remember it wasn't the greeks that came up with the money schemes it was Goldman Sachs.


On a related note, 3.8 Billion is nothing. Basically a joke for ATT. Their Net Income was 20 billion in 2010 alone. They just want to milk existing technology for as long as possible. And just think if our government never went into Iraq (or at least had some allies going in) we could have built 4G 100 times over every year for the last 8 years or so with that kind of money.
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post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

And just think if our government never went into Iraq (or at least had some allies going in) we could have built 4G 100 times over every year for the last 8 years or so.

You need to end that with something like "with an amount of money equivalent to the amount spent there."

Otherwise it looks like you're implying the government would have spent that money on such a project. Which is abject nonsense. And should be kept in PoliticalOutsider.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #23 of 41
This is a nit, but what is an accidental leak? Was ATT or someone leaking other documents and this one was accidentally included? Or was it an accidental release or disclosure?
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

What does this have to do with Apple?

No, cellphone signal quality has nothing to do with how satisfactory your iPhone experience is. And service charges and a wide variety of plans to choose from, has also nothing to do with on total cost of ownership of an iPhone. And the total cost of ownership also nothing to do with the size of the addressable market for iPhones.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Meanwhile, rival Verizon has almost a year-long head start with LTE. The carrier launched its 4G network in 38 markets, covering 110 million people, last December. It plans to reach nationwide coverage by 2013.

Its just shocking, shocking I tell you, that AT&T finds itself behind Verizon on LTE. While AT&T touts its "4G" HSPA+, Verizon is going to hand them their asses when it comes to LTE. What a joke of a company. New motto from AT&T's next ad campaign: Day late and a dollar short.
post #26 of 41
I like how there is almost no coverage in Nebraska. The whole state is pretty much white in that map.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

You guys are like people who read The New York Times and wonder what a story about the European debt crisis has to do with New York.

True and funny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

You can't seriously believe that T-Mobile will ever offer that plan for a single iphone.

No, but they may offer it for all the iPhones (that's the extent of my humor for the day)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

We don't need no stinking 4G.

You may not, bit dont speak for all of us, because I do want 4G/LTE/3.5G or whatever it is they offer. I'm holding onto my 3GS until they launch an LTE iPhone. Your comment is like saying, "We don't need no high-speed cable-modem this 56k modem line is good enough."
post #28 of 41
You say it is a weak argument, but you don't explain why. The argument is strong because common sense dictates that hardware manufacturers, like regular consumers, benefit from choice. T-Mobile has 33 million subscribers. It is the only other GSM carrier. Let us say AT&T and Apple had a falling out with the four major carriers still in tack. Apple could say screw AT&T and embrace Verizon's 100 million subscribers, T-Mobile's 33 millions subscribers, and Sprint's roughly 55 million subscribers for a roughly 188 million people market. If the sale goes through with a similar falling out, Apple's potential market drops by T-Mobile's 33 million and Apple losses the only other GSM provider. With both T-Mobile and Sprint being around, Apple can use those carriers as leverage to gain concessions because even though Apple wouldn't want to do so, it could drop both Verizon and AT&T. The more carriers is better, not just for Apple, but for all hardware manufacturers. With the exception of Microsoft (who is desperate to keep AT&T happy), you do not hear any hardware manufacturers publicly supporting the take over. With everybody else taking AT&T's money to come out in support of the sale, you think you'd hear one hardware manufacturers. For good reason. With the exception of Apple, they all have to kiss the carriers asses to get their phones on their networks.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

I don't think T-Mobile really adds or subtracts much from this very weak argument.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

If this is true, then why would eliminating T-Mobile (a carrier) lead to less innovation?


As stated above, more carriers is better for hardware manufactures because they can leverage the various carriers against each other to gain concessions. Before the iPhone came out, the carriers were solely responsible for the applications and features installed on the phones (most Android phones still come installed with hard to get rid of unwanted applications, and Verizon forces many customers to use services such as Bing), signing customers up, and customer support. You'd always read about phones like the Blackberry that had such and such feature that was turned off by the carrier. When the phone broke, you'd call the carrier.

When Apple wanted to come out with the iPhone, it wanted total control over the customer experience. To gain that concession, it leveraged the carriers against one another to strike a deal. At the time Verizon was stealing AT&T customers and was the clear market leader (Verizon publicly acknowledges this). Apple was able to leverage AT&T's desire to over take Verizon (as well as sell more data) and strike an unheard of deal.

In summary, less carriers, means less leverage to force carriers to implement innovative features manufactures want to bring to market.

Please don't bother to respond if all you have is my argument is weak.
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

You say it is a weak argument, but you don't explain why. The argument is strong because common sense dictates that hardware manufacturers, like regular consumers, benefit from choice. T-Mobile has 33 million subscribers. It is the only other GSM carrier. Let us say AT&T and Apple had a falling out with the four major carriers still in tack. Apple could say screw AT&T and embrace Verizon's 100 million subscribers, T-Mobile's 33 millions subscribers, and Sprint's roughly 55 million subscribers for a roughly 188 million people market. If the sale goes through with a similar falling out, Apple's potential market drops by T-Mobile's 33 million and Apple losses the only other GSM provider. With both T-Mobile and Sprint being around, Apple can use those carriers as leverage to gain concessions because even though Apple wouldn't want to do so, it could drop both Verizon and AT&T. The more carriers is better, not just for Apple, but for all hardware manufacturers. With the exception of Microsoft (who is desperate to keep AT&T happy), you do not hear any hardware manufacturers publicly supporting the take over. With everybody else taking AT&T's money to come out in support of the sale, you think you'd hear one hardware manufacturers. For good reason. With the exception of Apple, they all have to kiss the carriers asses to get their phones on their networks.

....

As stated above, more carriers is better for hardware manufactures because they can leverage the various carriers against each other to gain concessions. Before the iPhone came out, the carriers were solely responsible for the applications and features installed on the phones (most Android phones still come installed with hard to get rid of unwanted applications, and Verizon forces many customers to use services such as Bing), signing customers up, and customer support. You'd always read about phones like the Blackberry that had such and such feature that was turned off by the carrier. When the phone broke, you'd call the carrier.

When Apple wanted to come out with the iPhone, it wanted total control over the customer experience. To gain that concession, it leveraged the carriers against one another to strike a deal. At the time Verizon was stealing AT&T customers and was the clear market leader (Verizon publicly acknowledges this). Apple was able to leverage AT&T's desire to over take Verizon (as well as sell more data) and strike an unheard of deal.

In summary, less carriers, means less leverage to force carriers to implement innovative features manufactures want to bring to market.

Please don't bother to respond if all you have is my argument is weak.

I don't disagree with your points but I'm not sure they are all that relevant, either. Anti-trust laws almost always are applied looking downstream, not up. First and foremost, they are for the protection of consumers. In fact, I can't recall a case where they were argued for the protection of a supplier. If anyone knows of one, I'd certainly be interested in knowing the details and outcome.
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

The more carriers is better, not just for Apple, but for all hardware manufacturers. With the exception of Microsoft (who is desperate to keep AT&T happy), you do not hear any hardware manufacturers publicly supporting the take over. With everybody else taking AT&T's money to come out in support of the sale, you think you'd hear one hardware manufacturers. For good reason. With the exception of Apple, they all have to kiss the carriers asses to get their phones on their networks.

While you're obviously correct that carriers are the customers for vendors, and that consolidation of carriers has a competition implication for them - I'm not convinced that it's at the point where it would be enough to be the main concern for the FTC in this merger.

For starters vendors, unlike consumers are playing in a global market - they can sell to carriers anywhere. The US is a big important market but vendors can use international markets to launch a product, once the product is a big seller carriers in the US will inevitably be eager to get it.

If the carrier situation in the US got too bad for OEMs then we'd likely see a rise in virtual networks, indeed that might be the best option from the FTC's perspective. To allow this merger to go through but to ensure that AT&T stands ready to support virtual networks with a fair wholesale pricing structure.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

I don't disagree with your points but I'm not sure they are all that relevant, either. Anti-trust laws almost always are applied looking downstream, not up. First and foremost, they are for the protection of consumers. In fact, I can't recall a case where they were argued for the protection of a supplier. If anyone knows of one, I'd certainly be interested in knowing the details and outcome.

B2B cartels certainly get some attention too.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2001...ancenew…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Beer...ust_Litigation

there are plenty of others.
post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

B2B cartels certainly get some attention too.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2001...alfinancenew
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Beer...ust_Litigation

there are plenty of others.

Your first link doesn't work and the second (DeBeers case) was about collusion enabled by a 90% share of the distribution channel. I don't see how that relates to a global wireless market where no one provider likely has even 10%.
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

B2B cartels certainly get some attention too.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2001...alfinancenew
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Beer...ust_Litigation

there are plenty of others.

The original post should have said customers instead of consumers. Most antitrust action targets situations where customers were disadvantaged, whether these customers are consumers or businesses. Even in the De Beers case, a cursory reading of the Wikipedia did not tell me whether De Beers was charged for disadvantaging the buyers of diamonds (rough and cut) or for disadvantaging the sellers of rough diamonds.
post #34 of 41
Greed beyond belief!
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

The original post should have said customers instead of consumers. Most antitrust action targets situations where customers were disadvantaged, whether these customers are consumers or businesses. Even in the De Beers case, a cursory reading of the Wikipedia did not tell me whether De Beers was charged for disadvantaging the buyers of diamonds (rough and cut) or for disadvantaging the sellers of rough diamonds.

Thank you and, yes, I meant customers.

I think in the DeBeers case there was some issue of unfair treatment of suppliers but that only stemmed from unusual situation that DeBeers had effectively found a way to prevent suppliers from selling to other people. At least that's my vague recollection of the story. Needless to say it was a very unusual situation brought on by DeBeers controlling something like 90+% of the distribution channel. There's nothing in the current topic of handset makers and wireless carriers that has any resemblence to that.
post #36 of 41
I'd settle for AT&T's 3G service not sucking completely. And it does.
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post #37 of 41
I see negative value from an AT&T <-> T-Mobile merger, however, they should be free to do as they wish and merge without government intervention. I also believe corporate "rights" should be stripped -- no corporation should be afforded any rights as fictitious citizens -- only citizens should be afforded rights.

Spring should have merged with T-Mobile -- now THAT would have made sense for the end users, IMHO.
post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

I see negative value from an AT&T <-> T-Mobile merger, however, they should be free to do as they wish and merge without government intervention. I also believe corporate "rights" should be stripped -- no corporation should be afforded any rights as fictitious citizens -- only citizens should be afforded rights.

Spring should have merged with T-Mobile -- now THAT would have made sense for the end users, IMHO.

Interesting idea but I'm not sure I know what you're saying. What "rights" do corporations have today that are the same or even analogous to individual citizen's rights?
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

no corporation should be afforded any rights as fictitious citizens --

Should they have the right to defend themselves in court when sued? Should they have the right to protect their IP? Should they have the right to sell their wares?
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

True and funny.



No, but they may offer it for all the iPhones (that's the extent of my humor for the day)



You may not, bit dont speak for all of us, because I do want 4G/LTE/3.5G or whatever it is they offer. I'm holding onto my 3GS until they launch an LTE iPhone. Your comment is like saying, "We don't need no high-speed cable-modem this 56k modem line is good enough."


Do you know all the potential innovation that was stifled by allowing bandwidths to get as high as they are. Had we simply set a hard bandwidth cap at 56k, we might be streaming HD video with just 28.8k of bandwidth. All of this bandwidth has potentially set back theoretical compression technology by as much as two decades, possibly even more.
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