Cell execs say more steps needed to meet demand

Mar 23, 2010 By OSKAR GARCIA , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- Cell phone company executives support a proposal by federal regulators to find more wireless spectrum for mobile broadband services, but say the industry needs to do more to help networks keep up with the demand for wireless data over the next four years.

Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T Inc., said Tuesday that stands to be this decade's engine for driving the economy.

"It's going to drive innovation, capital investment and is driving job creation," Stephenson said. "As a country, we can't afford to mess this up at this stage."

Stephenson spoke during a keynote at the country's largest wireless trade show, put on by trade group CTIA - The Wireless Association in Las Vegas.

Wireless data traffic in the U.S. jumped 30 times in the last three years - 50 times for AT&T, Stephenson said.

The carrier has struggled with the network load caused by iPhone users and is increasing its network investments by billions this year to cope.

Ralph de la Vega, chairman of CTIA and the head of AT&T's consumer business, said the volume of data transferred over mobile lines is expected to keep growing and reach 40 times today's level by 2014.

Vega said in addition to added spectrum, phones need to be better at offloading traffic to wireless hotspots, and software needs to use the airwaves more efficiently.

"Much the same way that car makers are trying to be more fuel efficient, we need to take that same efficient approach on how we use the spectrum," Vega said. "This should be a national imperative for all of us in the wireless ecosystem."

The Federal Communications Commission proposed last month to take airwaves now assigned to television broadcasters and others and sell them to wireless carriers. The plan - part of federal plans to bring affordable high-speed Internet connections to all Americans - calls for freeing 500 megahertz of over the next decade, roughly doubling what the wireless industry has available.

The increase in data traffic is due to the popularity of "smart" phones like Apple Inc.'s iPhone. J.K. Shin, president of Samsung Electronics Co.'s cell phone division, said smart phones that use mobile broadband will make up one-quarter of all handsets sold in the United States by 2013.

Explore further: Creating the fastest outdoor wireless Internet connection in the world

1 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FCC seeking more spectrum for wireless broadband

Feb 24, 2010

(AP) -- Federal regulators are hoping to find more wireless spectrum for mobile broadband services by reallocating some airwaves now in the hands of television broadcasters and other users.

AT&T: In Cell Phones, Simple Is the New Sexy

Mar 28, 2007

ORLANDO -- The new killer app for wireless is ease of use. That's the word that Randall Stephenson, chief operating officer of AT&T, delivered in his keynote speech at the 2007 CTIA Wireless conference here.

Explosion of wireless devices causing data traffic jam

Feb 15, 2010

With the exploding popularity of smartphones, wireless laptops and, if Steve Jobs has his way, tablet computers, it's fast becoming a wireless world. But the breakneck growth of all things wireless is threatening to cause ...

Obama administration seeks more wireless spectrum

Jan 04, 2010

(AP) -- The Obama administration is calling on federal regulators to make more radio spectrum available for wireless Internet services to compete with broadband plans provided by the major phone and cable companies.

Recommended for you

Cyclist's helmet, Volvo car to communicate for safety

9 hours ago

Volvo calls it "a wearable life-saving wearable cycling tech concept." The car maker is referring to a connected car and helmet prototype that enables two-way communication between Volvo drivers and cyclists ...

California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

10 hours ago

California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles ...

Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

10 hours ago

UK Independence Party (UKIP), the British anti-European Union party, has ordered a crackdown on the use of social media by supporters and members following a series of controversies.

Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage

10 hours ago

The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.