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Thread: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

  1. #33
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    Re: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

    Quote Originally Posted by Bagpuss View Post
    ..and in reference to the above post I'm getting ping times of 35-50ms when i tried it for online gaming, which was another surprise compared to the 20-25ms I got with Virgin.
    That's... actually pretty bad for a wired connection And the 35-50ms is even worse.
    I'm usually getting 6-15ms via VDSL (not even fibre). Deliberately didn't pick the closest server: http://www.speedtest.net/result/7794327957.png

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    Their 2014 One Plan whcih i had was unlimited with a teeny tiny asterisk. If you did more than 60GB a week, they would throttle your remaining time till next statement at 2.3mbps. It was "unlimited".
    The basic concept of that is basically what all mobile providers in Germany are doing. Advertise it as unlimited and have it say in the fine print "if you use more than X GB per month we'll throttle you to 64kbps for the rest of the month" somewhere. Basically throttled to complete uselessness, but not cut off entirely so they're on the safe side from a legality standpoint. I probably don't need to tell you that even using something like Whatsapp is a painus in the anus at 64kbps...

    On some (usually more expensive) 4G/LTE contracts the throttled limit is higher ("up to" 1mbps) but still. There's basically no way to get a truly unlimited mobile data connection here, but they all advertise them as such. All of the providers will throttle the connection after a specified limit (most you can get is 50-75GB IIRC) or they have some very vaguely worded "fair use" clauses telling you that there's a limit, but not what it actually is so they can change it at will.

    And as for the 60GB a week limit you mentioned... Downloading a single triple-A game title would easily eat up 1 to 2 weeks worth of that traffic limit... wtf
    Even an older game like GTA5/Online clocks in at 70.5GB fully updated, and considering Red Dead Redemption 2 on consoles is already pushing past 100GB, I don't even want to know how big the PC version would be (if they'll ever release it on PC).

    I mean what the heck... till 5 or 6 years ago we were still on 6mbps DSL with 3 people in this household, and we easily used up more than 200GB/month just from watching Youtube etc. (which I assume was the biggest factor, since we all watched very regularly). Right now on my own PC alone, Netspeedmonitor tells me I've been using between 700GB-1.5TB per month in the last 6 months. I'd go insane trying to deal with a mobile internet plan with traffic limits.
    Reminds me of e-cars' range anxiety translated to the internet... traffic limit anxiety basically
    Last edited by Bambooz; 13-11-2018 at 05:00 AM.

  2. #34
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    Re: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

    Truly unlimited data plans at uncapped speed are impractical in the real world. People act like it's some evil corporate thing but ignore the realities of providing such a service. A single mobile cell, with a finite capacity, will be serving lots of devices - maybe hundreds active to many thousands standby. If many of these users suddenly want to start using this like an unlimited fixed-line connection it quickly becomes a problem, and that hundreds of megabits total capacity dries up to ~ADSL speeds or worse for the users if it's equally divided. But that's a drastic over-simplification, and something of a best-case scenario.

    If you're expecting 5G as a revolutionary technology capable of changing that, you're likely to be disappointed. Data caps may well rise if the operators feel it is profitable to do so, but any truly unlimited data plans at the sort of speeds now available on cellular connections will surely be abused by a few, spoiling it for everyone else. Bandwidth is not free to ISPs, radio bandwidth is finite, and it doesn't take many heavy users on a cell to degrade performance for everyone else. So... what's their motivation for offering it? Sure, they might lose a handful of people who refuse to accept this, but it preserves the service for the rest of their customers, and they were very likely making a substantial net loss on those customers anyway.

    It's a similar reason smaller fixed-line ISPs have data caps - while bigger ISPs can absorb the losses caused by a few heavy customers into their averages, smaller ones don't necessarily have that luxury, and they'd likely have to raise prices across the board to uncompetitive levels to even things out.

    TBH I'm kinda surprised there isn't more effort, for either customers or content providers like PSN, XBL, Steam, etc to at least try to schedule downloads/updates for off-peak times. ISPs/CDNs have to pay for and build networks capable of handling peak demand, even though that might only be seen for a couple of hours per day, and the graph varies massively throughout a day, especially for residential users. Scheduling non-critical downloads outside of these hours would be almost 'free' as far as the ISPs were concerned! It's just a generally helpful thing to do for everyone involved, provided the PC/console/etc was going to be on/in standby anyway.

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    Re: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

    There is no such thing as unlimited download unless you have infinite bandwidth. You are always going to be capped by the speed of the line. The volume is he integral of the speed with respect to time.
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    Re: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

    In my area EE coverage via BT is abysmal. 'Lucky' to get any kind of signal in many areas of the city.
    I have to use Wifi calling at home due to poor coverage.
    I resent paying for that, so sure as eggs is eggs I'm not going to shell out 5G, which will be grossly stupidly expensive.

  5. #37
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    Re: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    There is no such thing as unlimited download unless you have infinite bandwidth. You are always going to be capped by the speed of the line. The volume is he integral of the speed with respect to time.
    I would expect the cell tower to vary your effective line speed depending on how congested it is, so if they define unlimited as "you can use anything we have spare" then that could either be plenty or it could be a problem.

    On a fixed line that is no longer a sane cap. The VDSL connection here can manage 79Mb/s down and 16Mb/s up, so 95Mbit in total. Let's call that 9.5Mbyte/s though packets would have to be pretty small to have that much overhead. Run that flat out for a minute, that's just over half a gigabyte. Multiply that up, it's 821GByte per day. Over a 30 day month, that would be 34.6TB. You would have to be torrent filesharing to maintain that level of use, and I don't think many people could afford to fork out for 35TB of disk storage every month to maintain somewhere to put all that data.

    In reality the router says it has been up 163 hours and during that time it has received 165GB and transmitted 27GB, so that's about 200GB in a week. That feels about right, I know a few years ago we used 500GB per month so was expecting about 1TB now that the kids are both teenagers.

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMoose View Post
    I resent paying for that, so sure as eggs is eggs I'm not going to shell out 5G, which will be grossly stupidly expensive.
    That was once true of 4G, but then the 2G service started getting shut down and 4G popped up all over the place for no extra cost. If 5G includes voice calls as standard rather than dropping back to 3G for calls (I never got 4G VoLTE to work) then it could be a win.

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    Re: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

    Quote Originally Posted by chj View Post
    It would be good to see some figures on latency because I can't imagine this being an option for online gamers.
    I currently use LTE for online gaming and latency in my area is mostly very competitive with fixed lines.
    Latency is higher, but still great.

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    Re: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

    Quote Originally Posted by Bagpuss View Post
    I just moved house from a Virgin wired 210Mbps service to one that couldn't get it, It does have one of the very newest 350Mbps BT fibre connection though but costing £65 a month and requiring an 18mth contract, nope.
    You don't have to order via BT, you can use any ISP that supports FTTP broadband, you can also order a cheaper package than the top speed package, so there are plenty of deals available at much less than £65 a month.

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    There is no such thing as unlimited download unless you have infinite bandwidth. You are always going to be capped by the speed of the line. The volume is he integral of the speed with respect to time.
    I would assume most people see 'unlimited' in this context to mean you will never be stopped from downloading regardless of how much you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    That was once true of 4G, but then the 2G service started getting shut down and 4G popped up all over the place for no extra cost. If 5G includes voice calls as standard rather than dropping back to 3G for calls (I never got 4G VoLTE to work) then it could be a win.
    I've experimented with VoLTE on Three due to their 800MHz band being extremely useful indoors in some areas, but it doesn't seem to work perfectly with my phone (though I didn't buy the phone from Three and they don't advertise it as working so it's just a bonus really). When I leave VoLTE enabled, a fairly large percentage of calls will drop immediately after being connected, i.e. when either end answers. When this happens I've observed the signal change from 4G to 3G so I'm not sure if it has something to do with SRVCC, but now I tend to switch it off unless I'm in an area with otherwise poor reception.

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    Re: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

    5G cannot be an "alternative" to fibre since almost nobody in UK got fibre

  10. #42
    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

    Quote Originally Posted by ALFRDO View Post
    5G cannot be an "alternative" to fibre since almost nobody in UK got fibre
    Actually everyone in the UK uses fibre as it carries all the backbone traffic. 5G might be an alternative to Fibre-To-The Home (FTTH) because as you say, at the moment that is quite rare because of the difficulties and expense of providing it - not because the fibre itself is expensive, but the cost of the optical multiplexers and de-multiplexers and other network terminal equipment.
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    Re: Three UK touts 5G as "genuine alternative" to fixed line fibre

    The cost of the ground work to actually install it likely costs substantially more than even that for most installations. GPON equipment isn't all that expensive in comparison to equivalent VDSL or DOCSIS equipment per home passed, last I checked. Less so in some cases.

    Then come the issues with clearing collapsed ducting, getting permission to dig up roads, going out and installing a new drop to every house, etc. The cable TV companies didn't do too well financially when they did their initial rollouts because of similar issues.

    The thing is though, once the network is in place, it has huge headroom vs the existing networks. Even GPON is likely overkill for some time for the vast majority of residential customers, but the likes of XG-PON and NG-PON2 are already standardised allowing subscriber download speeds in excess of 10Gbps. And that's all running simultaneously to existing standards along the same fibres, and with plenty of spectrum still untapped!

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