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Mobile data - all about the uplink

In all my years writing about technology, I've never paid much attention to uplink data rates. I'll bet many of you are the same - we've been sucked into worrying only about the downlink and the time it takes to download movies and music (remember leaving your PC running all night when downloading content?)

But, the advent of mobile data and social networks is changing all that, and making the uplink every bit as important as downlink.

Huawei recently commented on this while revealing it has demonstrated a peak upload rate of 20-Mbps. In it's press release the firm states. The mobile broadband era of is gradually changing the habits of end users in ways that put higher uplink rate demands on wireless networks. Uplink rates, however, are far lower than downlink rates, which leads to the bottlenecking of user experience of data services like video or image uploading. Huawei set to work on an uplink breakthrough to bring a vastly improved experience to mobile users.

The vendor has a point. We increasingly want to share information immediately - uploading pictures to social networks, for example. But, with all eyes on downlink data rates, there's a risk mobile networks won't be able to cope with growing demand for instant upload and sharing. I'm not sure even 4G networks will make much difference, particularly once machine-to-machine communication takes off.

I'm curious what other vendors are doing to address this issue, and indeed, why current uplink rates are so low relative to downlink. Is there some technical reason, or have we just overlooked it in the rush to offer the fastest downloads possible? Add a comment or message me.