Fibre vs 5G

Chris Keall writes at NBR:

“Right now, the internet, with all our mobile devices is consuming about 10% of all the energy we produce as a species,” former British Telecom chief technology officer Peter Cochrane says.

He’s explaining why the so-called internet-of-things will be huge, 5G and other wireless technologies will never make redundant (, of course, being close to the heart of Chorus, which is hosting his New Zealand visit). …

Some say the nightmare scenario for Chorus is that just as the UFB fibre rollout wraps up at the end of 2019, Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees will be upgrading their mobile data networks to 5G, with bandwidth matching what most people get from a landline fibre connection today. The UFB will be finally complete, and suddenly surplus to requirements.

But the ex-BT CTO says there’s “not a chance” that will happen.

People who say that don’t understand the nature of wireless or the capabilities of fibre, he says. And nearly every pundit would agree with him, NBR would have to say – at least with data compression technology as it stands today. The bands of spectrum that suit mobile data transmission can only get so crowded and are subject to interference. But you always lay more fibre or upgrade its capacity.

You can get amazing speeds now on mobile, but fibre will always be able to be faster, with greater capacity and less latency.

How does New Zealand’s UFB rollout stand up internationally? Is it world-class, as our government says?

Mr Cochrane reckons so. He says it’s “ahead of the UK and every other country in Europe.”

High praise.

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