This is actually better than having it vary from 0 to 384 non-stop
Aaaa... Finally... Someone in a mobile operator noticing that the 3G MAC is a total and unmitigated disaster as far as data is concerned. Now the question is when will all the screaming baboons in the so called industry press and consultancy realise it.
The greatest advantage of 3G is its greatest bane. It can allocate bandwidth dynamically across a very wide range by giving different portions of the CDMA code tree to different clients.
It is a very expensive operation to continuously adjust that and each adjustment takes time. As a result, the adjustments lag after the demand. As a result if clients are dynamically adjusted across the full range even when the cell has spare capacity a fraction of them will always get less bandwidth than they need. This gets worse as the number of clients increase. In fact 3G is the only network technology where the bandwidth available to a single client DECREASES EXPONENTIALLY with the number of clients.
Further to this, in 3G the MAC layer which controls who gets how much bandwidth is centrally processed. In fact it eats around 90%+ of the resource on the RNC. So as a matter of fact if there are a lot of clients the RNC may end up being to busy and starts skipping opportunities to adjust bandwidths and clients who have 0 demand stay with allocated slots and clients with pending demand stay with no bandwidth allocated for prolonged amounts of time.
Some of this can be observed in the busier areas already (disclaimer - I am not on O2 myself, observations are from the other networks).
So regardless of the screams of thousand flacks and consultants whose whaledream has suddenly been violated this is something that makes lots of sense. Unfortunately, it is a stopgap measure. It will not be enough. The underlying problem is the technology itself and it cannot be fixed.
Paris - as the best approximation of the people who complain about this measure and pretend to have some technical knowledge on the subject.