Report Says Wireless Networks Outgrowing Capacity

A report from the Global Information Industry Center at the University of California, San Diego indicated that the wireless network demand is still growing rapidly, soon to overcome capacity.

“We’re currently experiencing a mass migration from wired networks to wireless networks, which under the best of circumstances have far less capacity,” said Michael Kleeman, author of the report and senior fellow at UC-San Diego.

The report said the total amount of data traveling through the nation’s wireless networks in 2010 total less than a day of the country’s video consumption. With the increase of demand, users are likely to experience delays and interruptions.

“We must understand and accept the trade-offs we will face for the convenience of accessing limited wireless capacity,” Kleeman said. “Alternatively, as citizens we need to dramatically lower our expectations for wireless services in the future.”

The report offers three strategies for approaching this issue. One includes increasing the amount of spectrum available for wireless, but the Federal Communications Commission is still awaiting congressional authorization of voluntary incentive auctions of spectrum.

Additional solutions include carriers managing network traffic and the wireless industry investing more into infrastructure. In terms of carrier monitoring, FCC net-neutrality rules ban discrimination, but this doesn’t apply to wireless firms meaning carriers could choose to limit access to large data consumers such as YouTube.

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