Broadband News

Jersey fibre spend not needed according to Airtel-Vodafone

The announcement a couple of weeks ago that Jersey was looking to invest in ensuring a superfast broadband structure across the island by the treasury investing millions along with money from Jersey Telecom has gained a vocal opponent.

It appears that Airtel-Vodafone feels that spending on fibre is not needed and that mobile broadband technologies can achieve the same goal, particularly given the rise of smartphones and tablets.

Jersey Telecom themselves ran a small 4G trial on the island earlier this year, and AirTel-Vodafone claims to have the best 2G/3G coverage of the island. Alas 3G while it can provide speeds approaching ADSL connections, generally fails once people start to consume larger volumes of data. This is perhaps why mobile broadband usage in the UK runs at 0.24GB a month, versus 17GB for fixed broadband services.

4G does offer faster headline speeds, and if built around a suitable core network there is scope for much higher inclusive data allowances, but for business use options like unlimited data packages, static IP addressing, support for IPv6, custom reverse DNS and other factors are all too often missing from mobile broadband packages. In the UK even if a business user wanted to pay more to ensure a better slice of the pie at peak times, there is not that option.

Looking into the crystal ball, we can see tablets and mobile phones increasing their display resolution, and thus consumers will start to seek out HD feeds of films and catch-up TV services, creating a data consumption explosion. Additionally while tablets are fashion item of today, and can be useful in business, the standard business tasks are still based around larger devices and software services moving towards a cloud architecture favour the use of fixed infrastructure to ensure quality of service. A fibre based solution also offers a clear and easy upgrade path in the future, with 1 Gbps possible now, compared to the current promise of 25 Mbps real world, perhaps 50 Mbps from a 4G service.

Jersey Telecom is state owned, so to see a commercial operator that was hoping to expand its mobile broadband usage, worried that ubiquitous fibre would result in people not using 3G or 4G very much is perhaps to be expected.


Hmm can't see mobile offering the same goal, not long term anyway. If they've got money to spend spend it right and spent it once.

  • GMAN99
  • over 9 years ago

There's a need for both. No one or the other!

  • timmay
  • over 9 years ago

They would say that, wouldn't they! They have a vested interest in 4G.
The geography of Jersey means that several areas may well not receive 4G signals, so a fibre solution offers better coverage and s good degree of 'future proofing'. Those who want WiFi services can run their own systems or pay for publicly available services in areas where they can be reliably received.
WiFi, in the 3G or 4G form is not the universal panacea some seem to think.

  • michaels_perry
  • over 9 years ago

This is indicative of how cut throat the telecoms sector is and why you can't really take as gospel anything that is said by one about the other... e.g. BT, VM, Geo, Fujitsu.... they all ahve their own interests and will put there spin on anything for their own benefit... and no one elses!

  • themanstan
  • over 9 years ago

I don't see mobile as a competitor but as a compliment unless the cable option poor.

Vodafone has a past history of under investing in its network, speed is a lot of places is the same as Three which offers unlimited plans compared to a max of 2GB with Vodafone.

  • otester
  • over 9 years ago

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