Does Your Petabyte?

CTIA_TWA_K_BIGAvoiding Wireless Network Traffic Clog

The next time you’re driving to work in the morning, look at the road or highway you’re on and imagine there being the same number of lanes, but nine times more traffic on it. How much fun would that be?

Watch how Petabytes ‘Chomp’ Wireless Capacity

That’s the kind of traffic jam the U.S. wireless industry is facing in the next few years, an increase driven by how much we’re using the latest and greatest wireless devices. Smartphones, designed to operate on fourth-generation (4G) networks, generate four times the traffic of non-4G devices – and the number of these new devices is expected to increase 450 percent over the next four years.

That means we’ll go from transmitting about 206 petabytes of data on wireless networks every month, to almost 2,000 petabytes a month.

What’s a petabyte? Well, it has nothing to do with a dog, and it certainly doesn’t hurt. A petabyte is a measurement of digital data. It takes a little more than one billion megabytes to make up one petabyte. In 2017, it’s expected that wireless customers will be using 1,946 petabytes a month – downloading and uploading files and apps, watching hours of videos, listening to hours of audio, and making video calls every month.

Wireless companies need more spectrum to keep up with that incredible increase in demand.

That’s why CTIA-The Wireless Association endorsed the President’s call to free up another 500 MHz of commercial wireless spectrum when he announced the National Broadband Plan in 2011. Chris Guttman-McCabe, CTIA’s Vice-President of Regulatory Affairs, articulated the benefits of initiating that process via a spectrum auction in a hearing yesterday (April 24) before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.

The burgeoning demand is also why America’s wireless companies are investing tens of billions of dollars every year to deploy newer and faster technologies, rebuilding and expanding their networks, in a never-ending virtuous cycle of investment, innovation, and competition.

EnvironmentWireless is Limitless

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