The LTE World Summit 2012 finished earlier this week, and by and large it was a great success – with the great and the good of the mobile industry interested in LTE (which is pretty much everyone), attending in some form or another.
While it was a success an issue did crop up was that while wifi was available in the exhibition hall, it was not freely available in he Plenary. For anyone who enjoys tweeting this is something of an issue. Tweeting is a spontaneous art form, and once you’ve memorised what you want to say, left the room, gone down two floors, gone into the exhibition hall and waiting for your phone, your tweet may well have gone stale.
Fundamentally, the root cause of the issue is one that strikes at the heart of the issues that the conference was addressing – that I could not tweet as I refused to turn on my data connection for fear of the outrageous roaming charges. There has been movement in this area – the EU has recommended caps on reducing charges and O2 has responded by announcing rates much lower than there – but they won’t kick on until July this year. (I’m on Giffgaff, an o2 (Telefonica) MNVO, so we’ll see if this gets passed on).
Wifi offload was also one of the big topics of conversation at the conference and while interference from multiple hotspots was not an issue, congestion from too many requests was – highlighting one of that technology’s drawbacks.
What we’re all dreaming of is to be able to use our phones abroad as we would at home – on fast, effective LTE networks. That’s the vision we’re all driving towards. Of course if we were already there – living the dream, or at least, tweeting the dream, they’d probably be no need for an LTE conference in the first place, which would just not do at all. As such, I’m looking forward to great LTE coverage at affordable prices – at the 5G conference coming your way soon.