March 7, 2011

HQME, Mobile Internet on a Flash Drive

HQME, besides sounding like a misspelled website name, is a proposed standard by SanDisk and others, which in simple terms, will download a movie from your NetFlix queue, while you are on a WiFi network, so you can watch it later while away from a WiFi network.

HQME (High Quality Mobile Experience) is a proposed industry standard that leverages local storage and intelligent content caching to relieve network congestion and accelerate data delivery to the mobile device. HQME aims to create a more enjoyable mobile multimedia experience by more efficiently delivering bandwidth-intensive content and allowing users to consume it while bypassing common data delivery pitfalls and reducing negative impact to the overall network

The need given for HQME (High Quality Mobile Experience) is both the poor quality of mobile Internet connections and the very high cost of mobile data e.g. with Verizon 4G LTE, prepare to pay $50 per Movie just for the mobile data. While both are very valid issues, HQME is a convoluted solution to the problem. Being proposed by a storage vendor, SanDisk, it appears more as a hammer to which everything looks like a nail rather than a realistic solution to the issues listed above.

Verizon Data plan for iPhone 4

Verizon ATT iPad Data Plan - source: AllThingsD

The Internet is useful because it is spontaneous, because it is real-time. And if you do want to plan ahead to watch a movie later, there are many solutions already available HQME is not needed.

The mobile Internet in the US needs to improve, and significantly, both with lower Data prices for users and reliable connectivity. Mobile Internet providers in other countries already provide fast mobile Internet very inexpensively e.g. NTT DoCoMo Xi, 37.5 Mbps service for Yen 4,935/month.