Excessive Streaming - Pressure on Airwaves
U.S. mobile phone customers are facing some bad news. The cell phone industry is facing a spectrum crunch. That mean the nation is running out of airwaves needed to provide voice, text and Internet service to cellular companies.
What does this mean for the consumer? Industry insiders say it will cause an increase in dropped calls, slower data rates but a bigger monthly bill.
Wireless spectrum is the invisible airwaves that transmits all wireless signals. At this point, wireless carriers have enough spectrum to keep their networks running, but some say that bandwidth is running dangerously low. According to the Federal Communications Commission, America has a small spectrum surplus. But the government agency warns that at the current growth rate, the surplus can turn into a deficit as early as 2013.
Just how did we get here? Industry insiders say our thirst for applications, checking email and streaming videos are major contributors. Every time you use your phone's Internet, you are pulling from the spectrum.
Cellular companies are working on finding solutions. They have spent billions of dollars building new cell towers and buying spectrum from companies with an excess. Analysts say those costs will be transferred to the customer. Many mobile companies are also putting caps on data limits and throttling the speed of users considered to be "data hogs."
Mobile officials say customers can help relieve capacity by using the Wi-Fi connection on their smart phone.
- CPJ report: Turkey world’s 10th most dangerous country for journalists
- Media freedom R.I.P.?
- Putin says Russia economy will be cured but offers no remedy
- Sony cancels N. Korea movie in apparent win for Pyongyang hackers
- EP member: Dream of European Turkey has become nightmare
- Statement from Samanyolu Group on detention of journalists in Turkey
- Zaman daily’s chief editor charged under anti-terror laws
- Turkey's Erdogan to start chairing cabinet meetings, extending power
- Chomsky says media crackdown 'very serious attack on press'
- Global perception of Turkey worsened by corruption