So much for mobile broadband

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Seems like Nextel-Sprint just keeps on finding ways to tie more stones around its ankles as it sinks further and further into the ocean of companies not to work with. Betanews is talking about Sprint’s upcoming implementation of a 5GB cap, effectively killing any sort of mobile multimedia experience you may have dreamed of in the future. This is not particularly bothersome today because the state of 3G networks in USA can at times rival the speeds of modems in the late 90’s… You have to try damn hard to get 5GB of data transferred over a 3G card.

So, why is Sprint going to do this? Why are they implementing a software cap that 99% of the customer base cannot hit today? Because WiMAX 4G networks that are getting built right now make all sorts of media things possible, and when WiFi can replace your broadband cable/DSL connection Sprint does not want to have to deal with the issues of network caps, bandwidth throttling, crippling applications and then some.

Establish the precedent early is the name of the game.

Ironic, this being announced on a day that Roku announces the Netflix device, allowing you to get this $100 box and play 100,000 movies from your Netflix subscription for $9 a month.

What we are seeing here is a ton of people all of which want a cut not off the services they deliver, but from the companies actually making money. It’s like me going out to my ExchangeDefender customer, all pissed off that they are making more money than me, and asking them for some extra money! Except the people asking are government organizations (State tax revenues from Internet sales), phone and television companies (free phone calls, free TV) and the list goes on.

What I hope someone points out is that the growth everyone is seeing is due to the things being open and as more interesting things show up online more people part with their hard earned money for the service – a scenario in which everyone makes more money. But as the greater fool theory crashes with the first participant trying to change the rules of the game to capture higher percentage of the transactions, their growth goes away. In this case, Sprint wants to make its network more profitable, but in doing so it will sacrifice any opportunity to grow. 3G is still a premium service, and premium services don’t succeed if you’re indistinguishable from the alternatives yet crippled….

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