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IPHONE

The availability of the iPhone on the Vodafone network may be nigh but does Ireland have the infrastructure to cope with this shift to mobility when it comes to surfing the Web?

A cautionary tale from the UK could easily apply to Ireland – if not more so given the truly appalling development of broadband here and the disproportionate reliance on mobile dongles.

The Sunday Times reports phone networks in Britain are beginning to clog up, causing outages and losses in speed. This was first noticed, strangely enough, after o2, the UK’s biggest network, lost exclusivity to the iPhone over Christmas.

“During the 18 months that o2 had an exclusive contract with the iPhone, the amount of traffic sent over its data network increased 20-fold,” the newspaper reports, warning “the really big increase is yet to come”.

“The amount of network traffic generated by just one average-length YouTube video is the equivalent of a staggering 500,000 text messages,” it says.

The solution? More masts. Now, what are the chances of that happening anytime soon given our planning laws?

Who would have thought at least a partial solution to this quandary could lie with Eircom? Today the former state-owned telco is due to increase the speed of its entry-level package from a slovenly 1MB to 8MB at no additional cost.

Adrian Weckler writes in The Sunday Business Post that “the move will bring huge swathes of the population into a new, faster broadband era”.

Will it be enough though to convince mobile users to dump their dongles and reinstall the fixed line with the commensurate costs involved in terms of line rental? Maybe.

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