Use the word “bandwidth” around CommScope folks, and you’re sure to see grins appear. Bandwidth is our specialty, it’s what we enable and we have a pretty impressive record at supporting our customers in addressing the ever-growing need for it. Here are a couple of recent happenings that add to the bandwidth grins:
• At a recent 4G Americas event, chairman Neville Ray, who also holds a day job as chief technology officer at T-Mobile USA, presented interesting tidbits about the current state of the wireless world. Neville pointed out the drastic shift in wireless subscribers’ behaviors in just the past few years, from being consumers of information to becoming creators of information. And that has had a dramatic effect on the entire wireless ecosystem, as we all know. A few of those aforementioned facts:
- At T-Mobile, the average usage of data on a 4G smartphone in August was more than one gigabit per month. That is more than triple the rate of a 3G smartphone.
- In August, video comprised 45 percent of all data usage on T-Mobile’s network. Streaming audio was another 15 percent. The remaining 40 percent was your run-of-the-mill messaging and downloading of text.
- 4G is spurring innovation beyond just the communications industry. Existing industries are rapidly configuring for mobile workers, while new industries are emerging centered on wireless connectivity.
- Machine-to-machine looks to be huge. By 2015, there will be nearly one billion wirelessly connected consumer electronics.
- Mobile data is growing 10 times faster than voice. The amount of mobile data consumed in 2010 is three times greater than the amount of global traffic carried on the Internet in 2000. Wow.
- Tablets will generate as much traffic in 2015 as the entire global mobile network did in 2010. Wow, again.
- There are 193 4G networks in service around the world, with 39 in the Americas.
- HSPA+ networksnumber 163 in 80 countries, and they are supported by 182 different types of mobile devices.
- Thirty LTE networks are in existence in 20 nations, with 161 devices announced so far.
- And the limits of spectrum availability, the “raw material” that fuels growth in the wireless industry, has only just begun to be tested by the seemingly insatiable demand for bandwidth.
You get the picture. Our appetite for information, entertainment and other forms of data expands more and more each day, and we love to consume it, share it and create it. Lots of it.
• Amazon recently jumped into the tablet frenzy with its new Fire. News stories and blogs instantly played up the competition with Apple’s iPad and the perceived trouble for Amazon’s competitors in the electronic book market. That’s all interesting and maybe deserving of the headlines. But my eyes were drawn to some comments buried within some of the coverage of the new tablet.
One news story explained that Amazon’s tablet could have a unique advantage—it will be connected to the company’s massive cloud computing network, a worldwide system of high speed servers that can quickly send video, music and Web pages to the device. I read that and thought of one thing—more bandwidth!
Other coverage made mention that, with its new tablet, Amazon has “bet on bandwidth.”
Indeed! Whether it’s the Fire, the iPad or any other device that pulls loads of data from—or sends huge amounts to—the Internet, a private network, the cloud or who-cares-where, there is network infrastructure making it all happen. And devices such as these mean more and more traffic flowing across networks.
Bandwidth is our friend, for certain. Grin.