As I type these words, I’m downloading episodes of a TV show on Netflix. Within 15 minutes, I should be done. Fast internet is a beautiful thing. While we now need higher data limits, we’ve grown accustomed to not waiting for YouTube videos to load. This is what’s become the norm with 4G. And now there’s a new telecom operator in town offering such services: Hutch Sri Lanka.
Why is Hutch launching 4G in 2018?
Over the past few months, we’ve seen many telecom operators begin experimenting with 5G. So why is Hutch launching 4G now?
Speaking to ReadMe, Thirukumar Nadarasa – CEO of Hutchison Telecommunications Sri Lanka shared, “Although 4G network services have already been launched in Sri Lanka by other operators several years ago, its mass adoption till recently has been limited due to several factors including the availability & affordability of 4G phones and the requirement of applications that really needed 4G (instead of 3G) bandwidth.”
Thirukumar went onto say, “Today both these factors have been overcome. Almost 100% of new smartphones offered in the Sri Lankan market are 4G enabled and the increased use of high bandwidth video services may require 4G. The 4G market is, therefore, lifting off.”
At the moment, the company has begun building its new network. This network is expected to be operational by the second half of 2018. As such, there’s currently no word regarding the prices or other details about Hutch’s new services.
But isn’t 5G just around the corner?
So why isn’t Hutch exploring the possibilities of 5G at the moment? From a telecom operator’s perspective, investing in upcoming technologies is no small feat. As such, telecom operators like Hutch can’t sustain making heavy investments that have a risk of going wrong.
Furthermore, Thirukumar added, “There are few devices supporting 5G and the search is on to find applications that again really need 5G (instead of 4G) bandwidth. Hutch does not want to pre-maturely burden the Sri Lankan market with unaffordable services trying to address yet to be identified mass market applications.”
But from the perspective of a consumer Hutch is late to the party. In the short and medium term, it means we have more options. But in the long term, when 5G devices start appearing we will clamor faster speeds. Because fast internet is a beautiful thing.
Yet, Thirukumar shared, “Hutch does not believe it is “late to the party” because the 4G party for everyone in Sri Lanka is only beginning.” Ultimately, with Hutch introducing 4G, it is now the third telecom operator to introduce these services to the market. Hopefully, we’ll see high speeds with high data limits at low prices from Hutch.
So what are your thoughts on Hutch introducing 4G? Do you think the company was wise waiting for it to become more accessible? Or should it have gone ahead and invested in 5G instead? Let us know in the comments below.
Update: The article has been updated with additional responses from Thirukumar Nadarasa – CEO of Hutchison Telecommunications Sri Lanka