Some elements transmitted on the internet can be compressed by a factor of 2 or 3 or even more.
Other elements simply cannot be further compressed by any useful factor. These are elements that have already been highly compressed, such as most video and music. The only way to reduce size here is to recompress with less information (lower quality). That is something that cannot reasonably be done on the fly.
You can check this out on any desktop computer, with applications that package and compress files into files like rar and zip. Documents will often compress well, as will HTML pages. But not music and video. This simply basic "information theory" -- check out the meaning and implications of a file's "entropy."
RIM's compression is effective for web pages, email, most email attachments. It will not be very effective for music and especially video. As music and especially video begins to dominate that data that consumers use, RIM's compression loses its advantage for consumers. It still offers advantages for enterprises, but less so as data costs drop on higher speed networks.
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