Mobile data & Telstra’s little hiccup

Mobile data, we have it, but do we have enough? With the use of 4G some of us can get quicker speeds on LTE / 4G now rather than hard wired broadband.

As part of my working career I used to work at Telstra and was one of the more technical members of staff. I started a forum post around the time of the 5S coming out in our staff internal forums about data use sky rocketing on the iPhone. Low and behold we had a lot of questions about it, and yes there were some settings that weren’t right on the phone.

People now consume more data on the move than you do at your desk. When was the last time you heard a person making a phone call when you are out and about, or is it more heads down and just looking at Facebook or messaging on Watsapp, people tweeting each other, or even browsing Linkedin.

A couple of weeks ago I posted how 5G is going to revolutionise the industry, of tech and devices. 5G will allow us the capacity to have more devices connected in our globally connected world ‘vision’. It will allow increased speed of streaming to devices over the internet. Why will this matter? One quick example is that more content is now in HD or even 4K. With this years phones due to be shown off at World Mobile Congress in a couple of weeks, there will be another push to 4K video and beyond. This however begins the nasty spike of using more. 4GB’s – 8GB’s will not be enough because it we will be able to use more MB’s in shorter time frames as everything will be faster. Back in the day, buffering use to help save our data.

AT&T is one of America’s largest internet provider who is looking at 5G roll out at present.

In 2015, about 60 percent of AT&T’s mobile web traffic came from video consumption, according to the company. It wants to move forward with 5G LTE as soon as possible to make headroom for the oncoming proliferation of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, 4K video streaming, and self-driving cars.

This matches what Nokia are predicting for the way the industry is going.

Being from the UK, I used to live in a regional area which was hindered by the infrastructure for broadband, and with 5G we are getting to speeds where it is viable to ditch cabling and go to pure wireless infrastructure. I feel the same thing will happen for the US and Australia. This would really help WA for instance, as it will make the NBN superseeded before its even started. Newer suburbs that are being built could be instantly connected and no need to wait for ports to be free etc.

“The driving event there for us is we’re a big broadband provider, we have merger commitments that we’ve agreed to, and we’ve agreed to serve some rural areas with wireless broadband,” said John Donovan, chief strategy officer for AT&T Technology and Operations, in a USA Today interview. “Ultimately as an integrated carrier we have a lot of incentive to [add] any new technology [to our] footprint, particularly if that 5G for fixed usage has better economics than fiber in certain locales.”

However in the past week there was a mishap that you probably heard about and were most probably affected by. Telstra had an outage of one of their core nodes. This left customers nationally without the use of their mobiles, and mobile data.

You may or may not have known, that Telstra gave everyone free data for the day on Sunday 14th as a gesture of good will for the mobile outage.

What happened…? People abused free data.

“By midnight, our customers had downloaded 1,841 terabytes of data. That’s the equivalent of around 2.3 million movies, or 5.1 million episodes of Game of Thrones, or 23 million downloads of Kanye’s new The Life of Pablo album, or 1.4 billion downloads of last year’s Miles Franklin winner, Eye of the Sheep – depending on the source and the quality of the file, of course.”

Telstra Group Managing Director Mike Wright said in a statement.

Their data usage jumped at midnight as people instantly logged on to use all the data they could. Telstra slightly buckled under as the service started to go very slow due to over-use.

However there was a great image on imgur that shows the extent of someone’s free usage, which makes me almost cringe as I am prone to going over my data and seeing fines, and could not imagine what the fine would be for this person if it happened. You can see the image below.

Are you waiting for 5G or do you not thing we will get it in a while? Did you take advantage of Telstra’s free Sunday data? Are you stuck on slow broadband and would get rid of it if you could? Let me know in the comments below.