Spectrum is the engine that drives the wheels of wireless – and the virtuous cycle on which we’re all riding. That cycle is delivering unparalleled opportunities to communicate when, where, and with whomever we want, as the U.S. wireless industry continually develops products, services, and capabilities that make us better at doing our jobs and our lives easier. That new freedom is possible because of more sophisticated devices and operating systems, faster networks, and novel applications, but spectrum is absolutely essential to powering the wireless virtuous cycle of innovation.
Watch Wireless Virtuous Cycle at Work
This cycle is a chain of symbiotic relationships, all of which are totally dependent on spectrum. Consumer demand is certainly an important part of the cycle. There are more than 300 million wireless subscriber connections in the U.S. today, and Cisco predicts mobile traffic is going to increase nine times between 2012 and 2017. So, the appetite is clearly there.
What satisfies it? It appears we have a hunger for applications. In the last three years, the two largest apps stores have gone from offering about 186,000 applications to about one-and-a-half million! And they’re adding an average of about 50,000 every month.
Those apps are running on enhanced operating systems, spurring development of fantastic new devices that include tablets, smartphones, and machine-to-machine units. They’re working on increasingly faster fourth generation (4G) networks, which cover more than 90 per cent of Americans. That’s by far the greatest coverage of any country in the world, and according to Cisco, the network speeds we’re enjoying today are going to be about six times faster in 2017 than at the end of last year.
U.S. consumers enjoy that world-leading service thanks in large part to the financial commitment made by American carriers, which last year invested a record $30 billion in capital expenditures in network infrastructure.
Consumer demand. New apps. Better operating systems. Cool devices. Faster networks. Those pieces feed off of each other. But it’s spectrum that makes them all go. The timely auctioning of more spectrum for commercial use is vital to ensuring we have a sufficient supply of the ingredient necessary to continue driving the wireless virtuous cycle, from which we all benefit.
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