When Vodafone announced New Zealand’s first 4G network last month, the company didn’t announce larger data caps allowing customers to make full use of faster downloads.
In the short-term, this may not matter. Early adopters put up with less than ideal conditions – many see this as the price they pay to get access to new technology.
Long term it will matter. Telecom will launch a competing 4G network before the end of the year and 2degrees will no doubt follow. The could be another market entrant.
Either way, data is one area where competitors can differentiate products.
Make no mistake, data use will increase. According to numbers from this year’s Mobile World Congress, mobile devices exchanged 0.9 exabytes per month in 2012. An exabyte is a billion gigabytes.
Last year more mobile data moved through the airwaves than in all human history.
Mobile data traffic is growing at a compound rate of 66%. By 2017 wireless networks will move 11.2 exabytes.
The fastest growing sector will be machine to machine (M2M) communication which is growing at a compound rate of 89%.