I am a huge fan of mobile broadband. My Vodafone 3G card allows me to connect to the Internet almost anywhere populated in NZ. However I have never regarded mobile broadband as a replacement for DSL over the cooper local loop. Others have argued the existence of mobile broadband means the local loop is not a monopoly.
The Institute of Professional Engineers, in a submission headed by Telecom’s former chief technology officer, has put some useful numbers to this debate.
IPENZ say NZ would need 100,000 cellphone towers (which I reckon would take around 1,000 years under the RMA) to provide 5Mbps connections to 90 per cent of New Zealanders using wireless technology.
Mobile broadband is a great thing, and complements the fixed line broadband well. It is however not a nationwide solution.