The Future of Wireless: Visualized
By this year’s end, the number of active wireless subscriptions will surpass the Earth’s total population. Already, there are more wireless subscriptions than people in the U.S. In an effort to convey this incredible growth and to allow consumers to visualize the ubiquity of mobile devices today, the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP) created a set of info graphics detailing the “Expanding World of Wireless.”
Hispanics, in particular, are benefitting from this expansion in wireless usage. A 2010 Pew Internet and American Life study shows that Hispanics are the most active users of mobile devices for internet access, with 51 percent accessing the internet from their phone on average, as compared to 33 percent of whites and 46 percent of African Americans. However, usage of mobile Internet is growing across all demographics: 2011 alone saw a 16 percent increase in the number of text messages sent year-over-year.
While this growth is encouraging, it is also means carriers will need additional spectrum. As the wireless infrastructure becomes more taxed with more consumers logging onto the Internet on their mobile devices, the capacity of networks will be strained.
Congress recently took an encouraging step to reallocate underutilized broadcast spectrum through a reverse auction process. This will redeploy television broadcaster spectrum that is voluntarily relinquished; broadcasters will get a share of the auction proceeds provided by wireless broadband companies who will then redeploy the returned spectrum. Unfortunately, this may not be enough. As the info graphic shows, 10 billion mobile devices worldwide will be connected to wireless by 2016. Without faster action, the beneficial effects of mobile broadband networks will be threatened, thereby placing the Hispanic community, and the United States economy as a whole, at a disadvantage.
Read more here.