Inside Mobile is written by J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D.,
Principal Analyst with MobileTrax and
is published each Wednesday.
“CTIA Wireless – Wi-Fi Offloading to Meet Rich Media Demands”
2012 Mobility Awards Dinner
By J. Gerry Purdy on 5/16/2012
The main theme of this year’s annual CTIA Wireless trade show and conference seemed to revolve around the tremendous growth in transmittal of rich media such as photos, songs and videos. Smartphones now comprise more than 50% of total cell phone sales (vs. feature phones) and each smartphone either creates rich media to upload and share elsewhere on places like Facebook or they consume rich media from such sources as YouTube or TV segments covering news, weather and sports. One HD video can be a number of gigabytes.
It doesn’t take long for most anyone to realize that trying to transmit millions HD videos every day challenges wireless broadband networks originally designed to transmit kilobytes of voice calls.
Long-term, the Federal Government and private industry need to work together to allocate significantly more wireless spectrum akin to building more highways to accommodate a gigantic increase in traffic. It will likely take something akin to creating the Interstate highway system for wireless.
In the short-term, there is a push to move traffic off the cellular networks and on to Wi-Fi networks. Relatively speaking, Wi-Fi can provide up to 300M bps vs. 5M bps over cellular (constrained by the Internet access backhaul). In addition, the operators are using small Pico cells to provide more access points.
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