Apple’s decision not to use 3G in their iPhone has left one question unasked, “Does 3G really improve the user experience dramatically?” Carl Howe asks for SeekingAlpha.
“Bandwidth doesn’t affect the mobile phone experience nearly as much as most people think. And in some cases, high bandwidth Internet is actually worse for the user than a low-bandwidth one,” Howe writes. “How can this be?”
• People confuse network bandwidth with latency
• High bandwidth radio networks are more error-prone
• Phone processors and software don’t necessarily keep up with fast data transmission
• High bandwidth networks drain batteries
Howe writes, “Carriers, analysts, and consumers alike have an unhealthy obsession with bandwidth to the exclusion of other important factors that affect the user experience with a phone. Just as the computer industry finally figured out that more gigahertz wasn’t necessarily better for users, the phone industry is going to discover the same point (and for the same reasons). And companies that use limited bandwidth in smarter ways to deliver a better user experience — like Apple — are going to have a leg up on their competitors no matter what network they use.”
Much more in the full article, including explanations of the above bullet points, here.