Multichannel monetization should beat piracy

Nick Bilton writes, "Internet Pirates Will Always Win" and provokes some interesting ideas: is preventing piracy just a game of whack-a-mole?  Certainly, in the current paradigm, it can seem that way.  

I wrote to colleagues in 2007, when Razorfish was in discusions with NewCo (the nascent NBC/Fox JV that would become Hulu) that fighting the desire of content to be easily available (even if not free) was not a viable business strategy.  

Then, as now, this is a matter of ideology, because the people with the biggest ideas about content are rarely in charge of setting its price or licensing terms.  

But in the multi-channel world, with connected devices now a threatening alternative to STB-connected distribution, content players should not forget the power of an engaged audience.  They are a monetizable asset, and even if watching for a far lower prixce, creating a low-price tier with identifiable audience members can produce email opt-ins, social discussions, merchandise/DVD/other revenue, and tune-in for other programs.  

Mr. Bilton quotes Holmes Wilson, co-director of Fight for the Future, in the article:

The hit HBO show "Game of Thrones" is a quintessential example of this. The show is sometimes downloaded illegally more times each week than it is watched on cable television. But even if HBO put the shows online, the price it could charge would still pale in comparison to the money it makes through cable operators. Mr. Wilson believes that the big media companies don?t really want to solve the piracy problem. "
"If every TV show was offered at a fair price to everyone in the world, there would definitely be much less copyright infringement," he said. "But because of the monopoly power of the cable companies and content creators, they might actually make less money."

Mr. Holmes is not wrong about the exciting power dynamic in play - it certainly could be empowering to do something the "man" doesn't want you to do. Nevertheless, exercising our inner Che Guevara is neither an effective mechanism of revolution against the industry nor a stricly pleasurable experience (corrupt and low quality BitTorrrent downloads mostly waste our time, if not our money).  Wouldn't a low-price on-demand stream or download just be...easier?

It's myopic to think that adding many more low-revenue streams is going to lose money; it certainly will if the HBO/HBO Go are your only revenue source.  The MSOs and the premium TV providers have to work together to create experiences and tiers whose scope is beyond the cable system, and where even if the price is lower, the experience is better than piracy, which is, after all, a pain in the butt.  But I'm just an idealist, I know.

Could your ISP track your Roaming via CableWiFi?

The downside of the CableWifi roaming partneship is clearly about privacy.  TheNextWeb reports that five major ISPs team up for massive Wi-Fi sharing effort across the US.

Imagine the ad targeting possibilities – with a single sign on as you roam the country, your ISP/MSO record is now going to follow you around he country.   Now with a slick landing page over wifi, or a flag on your addressable cable box, your surfing and travcel habits are now even more interesting fodder for multi-screen ad targeting.  It would be fascinating to know whether the CableWifi folks will be partnering with an offline/online cookie solution.  

According to the article:

In what will be a massive win for US cable company subscribers, five of the country’s largest cable providers have announced that they will combine to offer each other’s customers access to their own metropolitan Wi-Fi networks — the largest such project in the US to date.

The partnership will include Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable and will include access to over 50,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the US under the CableWiFi brand.


In order to connect to the hotspots, subscribers simply have to look for a CableWiFi network and then connect using the same details that they use when connecting to their existing provider’s networks. Over the next couple of months, those networks will automatically connect to these networks when they are near a CableWiFi hotspot.  

Reminder: free wifi is hardly EVER free.

A great wide warzone full of nuclear brothers?

Watched Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead a 1995 classic, and was particulalry struck by this quote (which is more or less humourous in context) and its relevance to technology. By the year 2000...I don't know.\

Rather than a racially-polarized warzone, Urban america has had a more commerically driven fate, with a transformation that made it hip to live in Bushwick or in an industrial building converted to condos.  in the last few years, with the impact of wireless communications and the destruction/revival of cities like Detroit, or the reinvestment in Downtown LA that has gentrified parts the "innner city"- all these cities represent technology consumption enabled by population density, rather than a warzone devoid of it.

Baby Sinister: The fact of the matter is by the year 2000 every city will be black. Thanks to the fax, the modem, conference call, federal-f**king express, the beast will be able to conduct his business from his home in the white suburb leaving the city a great wide warzone full of nuclear brothers.
Rooster: That's what I'm saying man, the fax, modem, FTD...
Baby Sinister: What the f**k you talking about, FTD? Rooster: You got to have flowers in the warzone, Baby.


GOOG 3G/4G Spectrum Patents from Nortel Key to World Domination

Over at SAI, the chart of the day suggests that ChromeOS is a jab at Windwows (duh) and that Google needs the OS to succeed because it is the best hope to kill a weaker Microsoft.  Despite Microsoft's attempts to break out of the doldrums, and the extreme diversification of their product offerings (many of which never stood a chance of working)- Windows remains the cash cow for the giant.

If I were Google, I wouldn't try to win the war against Windows under current conditions; I would need more things to fall into place.

Android users are wising up to the Google Platform, and applications for Android are proliferating.  Windows Phone 7, how are you feeling?

Bing is getting better, has differentiated itself and is integrating with Facebook more obviously (the future of social search is very scary for any company that does not follow Bing's lead)- that's got to be scary for Google.

ChromeOS apps would all be web apps, and the value proposition would have to involve the cloud, and applications that are enhanced by always on-data networks.  WiFi in the current sense just will not cut it.  You know what would?  3G/4G wireless connectivity built in.  

ChromeOS laptops might be a miserable failure like the Nexus one, but if Google sold them at a loss, they'd exact a far more painful loss on Microsoft.  With onerous license fees from the essential connectivity, Google has to own the key patents in order to reduce its costs.  This illuminates why Google may be fighting so hard against Apple and RIM for Nortel's 3G/4G patents.

When yo sign into Google Apps, use email, docs, spreadsheets, watch Youtube videos in the Chrome browser, and android apps all day, getting served advertising by Doubleclick until you remotely program your Google TV from your android phone and watch The Office when it's convenient for you...that's when Microsoft dies.  And with the exception of GoogleTV, I haven't named one thing above that sucks.  

To do the same thing on Windows/microsoft/Bing/MSN/Xbox, you're making some compromises along the way, for sure.  It's not a done deal, but it's for all the marbles.

Is Android really "open"?

Reading The dirty little secret about Google Android, I've been enjoying the insightful analysis of how Apple's decision to free the device from the restrictions of the carrier were key to the identity of the device, and seem more in keeping with what Google originally promised with the Nexus One.  

Unfortunately, the Nexus One flopped.  The non-Apple customers buy their wireless devices and service very differently.  Mass-market phones, even smart phones, need marketing spend behind them, and those campaigns are linked to carrier restrictions and modifications which compromise the "open" vision.  The upshot, according to the article:

the consequence of not putting any walls around your product is that both the good guys and the bad guys can do anything they want with it. And for Android, that means that it’s being manipulated, modified, and maimed by companies that care more about preserving their old business models than empowering people with the next great wave of computing devices. 

I think this rolls back into the S-Curve of technology adoption.  

[credit: Wikipedia]

As the market matures and a it becomes a mass market product,  smart phones and apps become both more standardized and more understandable for the average community.  We see and hear idiotic advertisements exhorting us to be "twin texting turbos" with the Droid 2.  And this is great for Verizon's bottom line, for marketers and developers launching Android apps, and for mobile web content growth.  But it basically sucks for the innovators who want to be able to get a great device and move from carrier to carrier in the US market.

Other perspectives: Nic Brisbourne of DFJEsprit writes

[T]he longevity of the app paradigm versus open web standards will depend in large measure on who wins the hardware battle.  Open standards at the software level probably will probably only prevail if hardware manufacturers with a PC mindset prevail over those with a preference for closed ecosystems...

Unfortunately, the principles of openness have been interpreted to mean an open app ecosystem, and haven't changed the economics of the closed carrier/device model in the US.  Google wants a big market for Android apps and as many users as possible, and that motivation is at cross-purposes with the open-ness that geeks want.



iPhone Customer Experience Retains customers, freaks out Monopolistic long-distance carriers

USA Today has a piece today suggesting that the new iPHone "gulps network capacity" in such amounts that AT&T is having having tough time keeping up.

According to Nielsen's Roger Entner, "the average iPhone user eats up around 400 megabytes of capacity each month. Average smartphone usage is 40 to 80 megabytes. "

Poor, poor AT&T...all these customers who can't get enough of your product and can't switch to a competitor!

But what's really happening with the claim that "network demands are only going to increase as pricing on the current iPhone 3G drops to $99"?  The article skips over at least one link in the syllogism by concluding that as price drops the number of devices increases in absolute terms (notwithstanding the millions of iPhone early adopters who will surely be buying their second or even third iphone, as loyal AT&T customers).  This is inaccurate rather than plainly untrue. 

Imagine it: a device manufacturer finally built a device that represents valuable customers who demand good data service (even though Sprint's network can probably deliver as much throughput as AT&T, there's no way I'm going to demand that much data on my Blackberry Curve- the browsing experience sucks, but the email is great).

The iPhone's competitive advantage is the customer experience, from the interface to the data connection, so AT&T's iPhone business goes to hell if they stop investing in the network.  Great customer experiences, at some pricepoints ("every purse and purpose" is not the play here) are what retain customers. 

AT&T likes locked-in customers, though- it always has, from back when AT&T was....(ahem) AT&T.  I don't know if I see that attitude changing at the company until my generation is managing it; people who have always had a cell phone but have switched six times before they turn 25.

Liveblogging: the Focus on Locus- Panel 1

Intro: maybe people are late because the iPhone 3G went on sale this morning.

  • Eli Noam: mobile on a personal device level used to be impossible unless you were on 4-star general or a CEO.  "the focus on the locus begs the wuestion where is the hocus and the pocus?" [laughter] if custom mobile advertising is such as slam dunk, why isn;t location based advertising available on Cable TV or internet in general.  Who is keeping the database of businesses that are open/still functioning- won't a bad database restrict the growth here? 

Chris Loh (conference organizer, visiting scholar, IDC Analyst): Background

  • The internet was "re-born" by web 2.0, like a phoenix rising from the ashes
  • Mobile developers are strtuggling against a carrier/ government regulation environment. is mobile growth going to require a new diruption of this environment. 
  • Many large incumnbents moving slowly, but there are new entrants such as apple moving into prevviously iuntouched adjacent markets
  • iPhone and mobile services estimates that 34% of apple's 2012 revenues
  • devices are nice but open APIs are a huge enabler, iPhone OS< Android, symbian, others, poised to to help LBS break out and enable real growth.  The winds and winbreaks of change?

Henning Schulzrinne (Columbia UNiversity dept. of CS/EE)

  • time information is everywhere, but space- where we are- is not
  • goals: universzally available, anywhere in the world, independent of networkr connectivity; non-proprietary, energy efficient, and accurate to the level of precsion of a room ( 10m or so) these currentlyt do onot exist in one system
  • location  detrminartion methods have many individual trade-offs
    • gps is highly accurate but does not work well indoors
  • location delivery protocols:
    • LLDP- ethernet prtocol switches continuously broadcvast their location to connected devices
    • DHCP being extended to location info, especially interesting to Wireless aceesss points and internet service providers
    • HELD: allows a device to query aanother for its device, mapping location infromation to a port
  • specialized / closed location based applications wilkl not scale to serve all niche m,arkewts.  geocasting for example was popssible but not a predicted demand for LBS.
  • securing things based on locatrion is well-known asnd used (e.g. securty of a lightswitch)
  • cool examples:
    • inbound call routing (phone only rings if I'm in a relevant location)
    • outbound call routing - send e-mail to to the nerarest branch
    • location based events- subscribe to events in a location, not people
  • Will we see a convergence of LBS service devices which are missing data services, with connected mobile platforms missing location info?
  • Standardization efforts IETF: HEOPRIV and SIMPLE
    • requires a rulemaker to govern the queries and notifications sent and allowed between applications and devices
  • not all LBS services are privancuy sensiteve, e.g "where is the m125 bus?" (the bus doesn;t really have an expectation of rpivacy)
  • what;'s sensitive is when identitiy is mixed with that location information.  even location information by itself, constinuous streams of location information might allow you to identify a person.
  • Privacy:
    • reveal device anonymously (where's the nearest gas station?)
    • revceal identity and location to a service -0- lice firenfd finder service
    • reveal to indiviudal: frient, other, etc.  should delivery drivers be tracked after they leave their shift?  how will devices allow that context?
    • rules must be both technical and legal
    • we're ikssing systems integration more than technical capabilities

Hassaan Wahla(TeleNav): first us launch of stanbdalone GPS applications devices, founded after E911 mandate first launch was in 2002.  deployed globally

  • GPS as being able to change our lives when it comes to LBS
  • why so long to take off?  well, the internet took 30 yearsd to take off, GPS took 20 + from military to commercial/civillian use
  • most GPS cvhips sub $1 at wholesale
  • Both internet and GPS backed by Al Gore. LOL
  • for tier 1 carriers, GPS is a competitive necessity not a differentiator
  • Nokia will ship 35 million gps phones gloablly in 2008
  • GPS not ideal cuatomer experience, assited (AGPS) is becoming popoular.  The era of paying for GPS navigation is over
  • by 2015, the leading GPS devices will be the handsets and not the Garmin/Navtek devices ofw which are specialized PND.  I car still has a huge advantage, but this month, more people will by phioen based GPS than specialized PNDs

Frederic Servais, Qualcomm Internet services:  producty manager for LBS

  • demand estimates: ease of use and dicovery are paramount.  automartic location/ push
  • progression of services 2006 to 2009: navigation, family finder, serach, social networking, aggregation, integration- location will be availablke to all applications
  • personal security, navigation, enterprisxe (geo-fencing, asset monitoring, fleet managtement)

Ted Morgan, CEO, Skyhook wireless\

  • yes location techs have evolved, but consumer demands have changed substatially
  • consumers are far less willing to put up with experience challnegesd, like stanfin outside for 5 minutes to get a fix on your position.  a bbusiness can telkl a driver that, but a consumer won;t stand for ity,.
  • carriers are worrying more about the devices/middleware layers (nokia, google, etc.) than about the other carriers
  • consumer location has high expectations: location available everywhere, consitrenty and high level of accuracy, and fast response time
  • GPS in iPhone 2.0 doesn't work as well in landscape mode as in portrait
  • usage of LBS will be a result of conumer TRUST; [ I wonder, is this an argument for not havbing lots of LBS advertising?  that we don't weanrt to spoil the market for a potential windfall later)
  • will consumers put up with this kokia experience?  don'tt use indoors, in a car, or on a cloudy day! Nokia tips for efficient GPS use
  • Awesome: Trapster a speed trap sharing network. >10,000 speed trapos entered.  ahuge amoutn of these in russia (apparently because bribes are really a dicey proposition and the ONLY way to get out of a traffic ticket) widespread amusement at this feature, but this seems like a great product.

I'm going to skip notes on MewetMoi since I've seen him present a couple of times.

Picking back up with 1020 placsat: spefcilaizingf in geo-functional media.

Marjet and technical challenges across multiple channels - selling campigns across all channels is 1020 placecast's business

Audience + Placement + creative that differes by location.  I can;t help but wonder, is this really that hard to do?  It's still just showing people ads.   I'm  ready for something compelling and not just impressions.

Ben Ezrick, Ogilvy Interactive

some intersting mobile campaigns, new experiment at MIT used RFID to deliver relevant mobile applications.  I'll have to look that one up.

Almost all of mobile ad buys will require MANY buys, not one buy, so that ytiou can reach customers regardless of carrier.  It is now seemingly even smarter that Google is developing Android.  No one can keep them off the phone if the platform is open, and oh yeah, they built it.

Helio CEO resigns

Even with hyper-active users, hard to keep you job atop a well-funded MVNO.  Ouch.

Link: Sky Dayton resigns as Helio CEO - FierceMobileContent - Mobile Content News, Mobile Marketing News.

  • An average of over 550 text messages per member per month
  • 95 percent of subscribers access the web via mobile device
  • Each month, 60 percent of subscribers access MySpace via Helio and average nearly 500 page views
  • In December, subscribers uploaded photos from their device to the web at a rate of five times the industry average
  • 57 percent of Ocean users downloaded Helio's exclusive YouTube application within two weeks of its launch

FCC way more useless than OfCom

When it's not restricting the ability of spectrum owners to use airwaves as they see fit, or stifling free expression, the Commission is bogging itself down in needless bureaucracy and partisan politicking.  As the US 700Mhz auction approaches, here comes british regularor Ofcom to show us how slow and pathetic our FCC really is. 

ink: UK's Ofcom to release spectrum for mobile television and satellite radio -

The 1452-1492 MHz band spectrum will be released on a technology and service neutral basis, allowing users the flexibility to decide on the technology they will use, and the services they will offer.


    All the licences will be tradable.

Google's Huge, Risky Wireless Plan Could Crush Cash Flow?

With SprintNextel's announcement that the company no longer plans to invest $4 billion is WiMAX to build a nationwide wireless 4G network, Google's plans seem all the more audacious.  However, I consider this a gutsy move, probably with better ROI possibilities than the telecoms.  If there is one thing GOOG knows how to do, it's monetize monetize monetize. 

So, Good luck, Google, and godspeed.


Link: Google's Huge, Risky Wireless Plan Could Crush Cash Flow (via Silicon Alley Insider)

The End of "Corporate Communications: U-Verse"

ATT taking a page from the TiVo support strategy and having its TSRs (at least it looks like they are tech support folk) patrol the user forums.  The site as a whole boasts " 31611 Posts in 3567 Topics by 9154 Members."  If members are complaining about your service, GO THERE!  Also, Kudos for the ATT forum "UTalk" which also seems like a nice implementation, if official.

Link: AT&T U-verse TV Hit by Nationwide Outages - 10/22/2007 10:54:00 AM - Multichannel News.

In online forums at AT&T’s own Web site and on, subscribers reported receiving error messages informing them they were not subscribed to certain channels.

skype and eBay: a losing proposition?

from the wsj deal book blog

Ebay’s 2005 acquisition of Skype was hatched when the telecom-over-the-Internet craze was in full bloom. The company was on the front of magazines (which reminds us of a certain social-networking site, by the way) and seemed destined to shake-up the world of communications.

There is little denying Skype has done that. But that didn’t make it worth the $3.1 billion eBay CEO Meg Whitman paid for it. Last quarter the unit produced more than $90 million in revenue, according to this WSJ article. But not enough profit to help offset the purchase price.

My dad and I were exchanging e-mails about this.  My position is that the WSJ blog post his is almost an indictment of economies of scope achieved by acquisition.  That angst is misplaced. EBay's acquisition of Paypal was arguably a way better idea than trying to pick off every auction site with an acquisition.

We could probably have anticipated this (eBay's "we made a booboo" charge)  based on Skype's limited pricing power in VoIP (indeed all voice telecom products pretty much have this problem).

In talking to my dad, I said "I'm not intimately familiar with the structure of that deal but I wonder about the impact of cheap debt markets as of the acquisition date-would it have been approved by eBay's board if corporate paper and bonds hadn't been so cheap?"  eBay doesn't appear to have had much if any debt dating back to 2005 or so, so that probbaly didn;t have an impact.

From what I recall from examining their fee structures and anti-fraud measures, this company is a cash machine- ut seems like a valid question to ask if they foresaw gaining more than a billion dollars or so in goodwill, less Skype's revenue bcontribution.

I need to look at the WSJ piece but I wouldn't dismiss this from strategic behavior, especially of the "strategic options" variety.

Verizon v. Google in 700Mhz

I checked out the Silicon Alley Insider, a local NYC Tech scene blog, and saw their post about the fight between Google and Verizon Wireless over the terms of the 700Mhz spectrum auction. 

I think the Open access idea is is great.  The idea that licensing for spectrum should not specify a particular device has been around for some time- Google is likely preparing for a situation in which they want to be able to wholesale to retail wireless providers. 

It's not possib le because of the way spectrum licenses work now, though the idea has beeen around for a few years in the spectrum scarcity and property rights literature (see for example Gerry Faulhaber and Dave Farber's work or the TPRC paper archive).  Cellular telephones, for example, use particular bands for which service providers must purchase a license.  This license specifies the services to be provided.  So if by some chance you purchased one of Verizon's licenses for, say, a CDMA frequency in Montana, you still would only be able to offer CDMA based cell service.  No other uses  are legal.

Go get em, Google!

Another reason to skip the iPhone: WLAN pwnage!

According to Network World, Duke University is experiencing iPhones suddenly crying out in terror, and taking down WLAN access points with "18,000 requests per second from iPhones knocking out dozens of access points."  Hardware aside, the big deal to me is this:

So far, the communication with Apple has been “one-way,” Miller says, with the Duke team filing the problem ticket. He says Apple has told him the problem is being “escalated” but as of midafternoon Monday, nothing substantive had been heard from Apple.

I hope Apple understands that their response to this will be measured in Internet Time now. 

Why would we not do that? Maybe becuase you never have been good at it!

Today's NYT has the two CEOs of ATT and Apple justifying their decision to cripple the beautiful and fun iPhone device with a  network David Pogue called  “slow, and horrible."

The two executives said they were comfortable with the unexplored implications of the business relationship they have forged. In a break with the tradition of the cellphone industry, Apple is taking responsibility for the activation of the iPhone as well as account maintenance through its iTunes software on a customer’s Mac or PC. Account control has been jealously guarded by the cellphone carriers.

Mr. Stephenson remarked: “That’s what the customers want, and you can give them a good experience. Why would we not do that? I like this model a lot.

Might I be permitted to answer that SBC/AT&T has never exactly had a wonderful record of 1. vision or 2. customer experience excellence?  AT&T wireless had excellent customer service, but that ended with its acquisition by Cingular.  Maybe this is the new AT&T...but history is not in their favor?

MySpace Allows Photobucket Images and Videos to Return

I read that "MySpace Unblocks User-Generated Videos Hosted on Photobucket" and couldn't help but recall a meeting I sat in on in 2001 when I was working at the FCC's Office of Plans and Policy.  Cable and Wireless was talking about some really cool fiber multiplexing technologies, and also addressed their decision to de-peer PSINet

It occurred to me that another sign of the 'net evolution is that interconnection of web services  has replaced the interconnection of backbone networks.   MySpace flexing its pageview-driven market power doesn't seem so different.

There is a great working paper on peering agreements in the OPP white paper library [pdf link].

Dear investors in Vonage

Someone asked me, rhetorically, what exit strategy Vonage could possibly have.  At the time, I thought the worst of it was probably worthless stock as a result of selling a commoditized product, competing with vertically integrated operators, who have a better link to customers and more downward pricing flexibility than Vonage.

It's worse than that.

"A judge has effectively barred Internet phone carrier Vonage from signing up new customers as punishment for infringing on patents held by Verizon, though the company will be allowed to continue servicing existing customers. Vonage is planning to appeal."-WSJ

Dear Vonage Shareholders and customers,



Jeff Citron

Mobile Advertising: Come Get Some

Cory Trefiti of MediaPost writes about the future possibilities of online social networking and advertising, especially wiuth GPS-enabled handsets in: Mobile Social Networking Opens The Door For Advertisers.  I think he misses a big chunk of the solution. 

This post is clearly missing major insight.  What about Bluetooth enabled physical ads- billboards, subway posters, etc?  This is sweeping Europe and its scores of GSM/bluetooth enabled headsets.

What about M-commerce linked to a mobile phone billing system?  This is huge in Japan and something that could see real growth there.  One thing that holds back the explosion of mobile payment that has been seen elsewhere in the world is probably the fact that most mobile subs here do have a bank account, whereas in latim america for example, prepaid mobile is almost a substitute for a bank account.

As to the BMW or Chuck E Cheese alerts, maybe some people would want such an alert, but I think the idea behind advancers in advertising targeting is to use data to influence messaging on the environment a user requests, rather than just bombard him with a zillion offers and things he could visit.

Verizon & FairPoint Agree to Merge Verizon's Wireline Businesses in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont

Saw this coming months ago when Verizon didn't want to commit to putting FIOS everywhere.  There were also many articles on speculation that VZ would not be interested in the legacy wireline businesses.

This is interesting.  On the one hand, perhaps this is good from a media
de-concentration perspective, though it probably doesn't affect industry
HHI very much.

On the other hand, this is really unfortunate for people who thought that VZ
scale and scope would give them access to FIOS at some point.  I think
the headline should more accurately read "Verizon  Chickens Out- Admits
Bloated Operations Stand in the Way of Serving Customers."

Three cheers for VermonTel?

Overhaul the backhaul?

I just re-read "Overhaul the backhaul" by Gaby Junowicz and was thinking about how bad the problem of wireless backhaul in cellular/data networks is going to be.  I think what the article probably leaves out is the the effect on congestion and serivce associated with usage.  Increasing the bitrate for a data service frees up packet data spectrum only if usage becomes constant.  The promise of HSDPA seems to be high bandwidth to the user device. 

I remember when I got to college, and I was on the fastest broadband network I had until that point ever encountered.  You better believe I dowloaded eveything in sight and expected the netowrk to keep up!  This is anecdotal, but I think the data back me up: when people get higher badwidth connectivity their usage goes up.  So perhaps I am missing something.  I promise to find the data and report back- how much do user habits change compared to increased available bandwidth at any given time, and how many additional users could be served if the higher-bandwidth service does indeed shave the MhZ * users total?