Could Verizon Wireless handle Apple’s tablet traffic?

Apple Online Store“Rumors are swirling that Apple’s yet-to-be-announced tablet will come with a connection to cellular networks like those run by Verizon and AT&T. Apple, in its infinite secrecy, hasn’t said a word about the tablet, let alone what deals they might be striking with wireless carriers,” Niraj Sheth reports for The Wall Street Journal. “But there’s another big question: Will any network be ready?”

“The tablet’s little brother, the iPhone, has already shown how an explosion in data usage can overload a network, in this case AT&T’s,” Sheth reports. “And the iPhone is hardly the kind of data guzzler the tablet is widely expected to be… ‘Clearly this is an issue that needs to be fixed,’ says Broadpoint Amtech analyst Brian Marshall. ‘It can grind the networks to a halt.'”

“Verizon, which touts its network as more dependable than AT&T’s, could prove better at handling data traffic. But ‘frankly, it hasn’t seen a device like the iPhone saturating its network,’ says Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu,” Sheth reports. “Apple is expected to unveil the yet-to-be-named tablet next Wednesday.”

Read more in the full article here.

24 Comments

  1. Prepare for inconveniences in the short term. For those of you old enough to remember the early days of television, your parents were constantly cursing lost signals, and in their frustration, and entire generation of boys were dispatched to the roof of their homes to adjust the TV antenna. Today, we barely think of that with TV.

    Cellular networks of today were hardly designed for the flood of data that is about to be pulled through them. Even 3G is woefully obsolete. WiFi is nice for a home or short distances in an office, but it was never really designed for the era of portable devices such as the iPhone or, if rumors pan out, a tablet.

    In the not too distant future, we will see entirely new networks take their place: 4G, 5G cell networks, LTE and WiMax might finally take root. Perhaps now you understand why Google kicked up so much dust with last year’s spectrum auctions, knowing what was to come. In the next 10 years, expect to see new networks arise, based on technologies we have not yet heard of, to handle the explosion of digital data.

    Maybe now you understand why Apple is investing in a vast data center in the southeastern US. And that is only the beginning.

    My forecast is for a few years of whining about dropped or slow signals as we make the transition to a world where portable computing devices far outnumber laptops or desktop Macs or PCs, and a world where high-speed connectivity is a given, not a dream.

    The catalyst for all of this will be coming on January 27. It will be Steve Jobs who will kick the snowball that starts an avalanche. Even if we’re frustrated or disappointed at first, I won’t mind. Because I know that the future will be great.

    Thanks, Steve!

  2. Obama should do like Ike and create the National Highway System by using defense funding…

    Wasn’t the National Highway system created so the armed forces could freely have access to any part of the country in a time of crisis and war?! Why can’t Obama hire all those unemployed people and create a cellular 4G network second to none found in Europe and Asia! Just a thought…

  3. It would make a lot of sense for Apple to have a tablet with wifi/wimax plus the ability to tether to ANY cellphone, whether CMDA or GSM for data and/or phone.

    That way the tablet would be great, and all the bandwidth problems and subscription resentment would be on the carrier…not Apple.

  4. Another question is how much Verizon thinks it can charge for tablet data service to a target audience that is likely already paying for an overpriced iPhone account on AT&T;(typically $100+/mo. after taxes and fees)…

    If they think people will happily pay an extra $50-60/mo. for this thing, in addition to any subscription fees for newspapers, magazines and or TV programming, I think they’re in for a rude awakening.

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