How the iPhone Is Driving a Wireless Bandwidth Boom

28 thoughts on “How the iPhone Is Driving a Wireless Bandwidth Boom”

      1. I will agree that wireless needs improvement, but what I don’t understand is why Apple pushes a model where everybody but themselves are allowed to use embedded media. It took four months for us to get an application approved for a music label which potentially challenges music delivery models, but in the end we had to stream music. We embedded 200 megs of video, but the 20 megs of music had to be streamed. Silly. As you can tell from your iPhone experience, just getting a connection is sometimes a challenge.

        Many of the most challenging issues are not even allowed at the moment, or are made so difficult that they are worthless. Media, VOIP and other communication models are all hindered on the eve of this transformation. It is not the technology that needs to change so much as the perspectives of telecoms and device manufacturers. They all think that they can still own the landscape.

        This is the app that was approved, and is a good indication of some possibilities in music marketing (itms://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=312319713&mt=8&s=143441). What if I could essentially download the album in the app and release it on purchase? What if a user could browse other materials within the application? I am trying to get this model to work on Android, where it will perhaps be allowed. As we can see there are many modes of media consumption and iTunes is only one.

  1. thank you Om. i’m glad someone is talking about the constrained bw at towers. got another one for you – the crap WiMax spectrum in the USA. it can’t deliver what it promises.

  2. Om, the future of mobile broadband (or mobile service in general) isn’t going to be bright unless the FCC acts on the issue of “special access” (see my article at http://bennett.com/blog/2009/06/whats-this-i-hear-about-special-axes/). We’ll wind up not only with high prices but with a cellular duopoly.

    Perhaps, on one of your trips, you’d care to sit down and talk about what it’s like to be a wireless broadband provider.

  3. Of course as the apps are growing day by day for smart phones, mobile industry has to forecast and develop mobile devices with a greater capacity , with the ability to adapt massive extensions in future. The scalability is to be the primary concern.

  4. we really have not seen anything yet. i expect a massive switchover from wired/WiFi to 3G/4G in the form of subsidiezed netbooks and USB dongles for laptops(and even desktops); plus a surge in popularity of tethering as an only internet connection. the iphone’s strain on the networks is nothing compared to what this will be.

    1. +1

      Tom nailed it. This pending sea change will make the iPhone bandwidth problem look and feel like a needle prick. I think the carriers are maintaining high prices and draconian usage caps to keep the laptop/netbook bandwidth problem from cratering their networks.

      My $.02….

      Best

  5. I agree that more broadband needs to become available to wireless devices and soon. The problem is how will that happen? It costs billions and by the time a 4G network is in place there is already need for faster service. Hopefully not, but maybe wireless networks will become similar to our highways, congested and always unable to handle demand.

  6. As the guy from ADC said, less than 10% of cell sites today are connected by fiber. I recall a similar statistic of the number of commercial building connected by fiber in the early 2000’s (back then it was 8%).According to the Vertical Systems Group this number is still below 20% in 2008.
    The fact is the megabucks needed to run fiber even a few hundred yards make it unlikely that fiber will be the default transport medium to the cellsite for mobile networks.
    Microwave, on the other hand, already connects well over half of the world’s 2.5 million base stations, and has evolved to transport high speed IP over long distances and can scale up to a gigabit of capacity or more.
    The most likely scenario for the backhaul networks of tomorrow will be a hybrid fiber/microwave architecture where fiber will be primarily used in the core and metro, and occasionally in the access network out to the cellsite, with microwave used where fiber can’t reach economically.
    The problem with the iPhone effect in the US is AT&T’s heavy reliance on copper T1s for backhaul. You don’t hear so much of backhaul bottleneck issues in Europe where microwave is the primary solution for last mile cell site links for the past 20 years.

  7. I found your article to be extremely useful. I was very interested in possibly investing, working, or getting involved with companies that provide solutions for the current bandwidth issues almost all Cellular companies are suffering from.

    Do you have some names such as ADC Telecom which you mentioned above that provide solutions for ATT, Verizon, Sprint, T Mobile?

    I would greatly appreciate it.

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