Broadband Data Costs

Ericsson just released an interesting report ,written by Greger Blennerud, that dispels a lot of mumbo-jumbo that routinely plagues the mobile data industry. Given Ericsson’s prominence in the industry, and the fact that they have built some of the worlds most populated networks, it bodes well that they predict that broadband costs have nowhere to go but down. From their analysis it seems that mobile data can be as cheap as borscht if you run your network correctly.

Just the facts

… mobile broadband operators use unconditional throttling today, which means that once the fair-use level is reached, the throughput drops to a predetermined level. Typically, though, these speeds don’t allow for meaningful use of the broadband connection.

Greger Blennerud

Not being network weenies we have to believe that Ericsson knows how to configure and operate an efficient network and that is covered in the overview of their method. In reading this report we gleaned the following;

  1. Data could (should) cost less than C$2 per Gigabyte,
  2. Mobile broadband is probably cheaper than DSL,
  3. Economies of scale enable operators to move from 7.2Mbit/s to 21 Mbit/s i.e. 15% cost increase but 70% capacity increase,
  4. The sweet spot seems to be about 2M subscribers,
  5. Backhaul, Controller, Transport and Packet in aggregate costs are already cheaper than borscht.

You can also view a presentation which looks at the data (and introduces some more) in a summarized fashion.


So can someone tell us why our broadband package cost us roughly $20 per GB? Seems someone is a bit overpriced?

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