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Blog Posts by Robert Alderfer

Demand for mobile broadband

February 10, 2011 - 12:11 PM

Cisco recently released an update to its Visual Networking Index: Mobile Data Traffic Forecast report, which contains projections of data usage on mobile wireless networks over the next five years. The report is widely followed because Cisco’s role as a network equipment supplier throughout the network ecosystem – including wireline networks, cellular networks, and consumer WiFi networks – gives them some unique insights into where network trends are heading. Last year’s VNI report, which projected surging demand on wireless networks, was an input into the spectrum demand analysis we released this past fall. We were therefore interested to see how Cisco’s report changed since the prior edition.

The bottom line is that Cisco continues to foresee an enormous surge in wireless demand. Let’s take a look at their North American regional breakout. Cisco estimates that in 2010, North Americans transmitted 49 Petabytes (PB)per month over mobile networks. That’s about 4,900 times the amount of information in the printed collection of the Library of Congress. By 2015, Cisco expects this number will grow to 986 Petabytes – nearly one Exabyte, equivalent to almost 100,000 Libraries of Congress.

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Data Innovation Initiative: Spectrum Auctions - Data, Benefits Abound

August 4, 2010 - 12:06 PM


Data is important to the success of the FCC in carrying out its responsibilities. One such responsibility is management of wireless spectrum, including the FCC's spectrum auction program. Spectrum auctions are widely recognized as the most efficient, effective, and transparent means to assign initial commercial licenses to use the nation's airwaves. They help to ensure that spectrum resources are put to their best economic use – and wireless service has taken off as a result.


CTIA, the Wireless Association, estimates that there are now over 285 million wireless subscribers in the US, generating revenue of over $150 billion annually. And, FCC spectrum auctions have generated $52 billion in revenue since the program's inception. When one considers the additional tax revenue from a growing industry, as well as the "consumer surplus" of wireless services, the benefit of auctions look even more significant as a means to facilitate wireless growth.

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