By James Carlini, Certified Infrastructure Consultant
James Carlini will be a featured speaker at the AGL Regional Conference, Sept. 19, in Chicago
What good is a Ferrari if you can only drive it on side streets and alleys? You need to have access to superhighways to really experience its performance and get what it was built for. Speed.
The same holds true with smartphones. What good is some slick smartphone if you don’t have access to a communications superhighway with gigabit connectivity for instantaneous downloads?
Having lightning-fast speed for network connectivity is the latest status symbol. More video-based applications that require big bandwidth are coming on-line. People are switching out to smart phones. Even in business, Blackberries are out, smart phones are in.
With 1 Gbps service, you can download something like a ninety-minute movie (which takes up about one gigabyte of storage) in less than ten seconds. This speed is perfect for those using a lot of video-based applications.
What about wireless networks made up of Wi-Fi and DAS networks? The next step is to see real gigabit connectivity from a wireless provider to those subscribers with their smart phones.
When Bandwidth is Not an Issue
Some have argued in the past about how gigabit speeds were unnecessary. They have always been proven wrong. You will always find ways to utilize bandwidth, especially if you are using smart phones today.
Thirty years ago, network speeds for corporate applications were mostly around 2.4 Kbps and 4.8 Kbps. That was all on analog lines as well, not digital services.
“High speed” was considered to be 9.6 Kbps at the time, and the modems were about $7,000 – APIECE!
If you really had money, “new” 56 Kbps digital service was available – but only in certain cities across the United States. Back in 1981, transmission facilities for corporations and their internal networks were still mostly analog.
Arguments for new applications always ended with, “Well, maybe we could do that but we just don’t have the bandwidth.” Bandwidth was always the stumbling block that killed many applications before they left the feasibility stage.
When bandwidth is so bountiful that it becomes a non-issue, new applications will grow exponentially and provide very different benefits. That is why some countries are very astute in upgrading their entire network infrastructure because they have made the strategic discovery that economic development equals broadband connectivity and broadband connectivity equals jobs in today’s global economy.
Having more bandwidth will accelerate the amount of applications that are feasible for customer service, social networking and so many other applications.
There will be an explosion of video-based applications that will be able to work because they will not be constrained by a lack of bandwidth.
You can see some of this explosion now with the increase in usage of smart phones. As more people get on board with a smart phone, the networks are becoming utilized to a point where some network carriers are trying to stifle usage. Why would a carrier want to ration bandwidth if their networks could handle the increased usage?
It looks like the network carriers have not expanded their networks to handle all of this growth as well as provide high speeds for data transmission. This is not good when everyone is competing for global marketshare and having communications is such a new concept. Even at sports venues like football stadiums and baseball fields, new Wi-Fi and DAS networks that were initially installed have been re-engineered and expanded to handle the unexpected traffic loads that were not expected in initial design concepts.
Where Networks Should be Headed
This is a time for real renovation and renaissance across the United States. Chattanooga has set the standard when it comes to where other cities should be in aiming at: one gigabit per second subscriber access to the network.
Since 2012, South Korea has 1 Gbps access for subscribers is also leading the charge for true broadband connectivity (1 Gbps or above).
GOOGLE is working on gigabit networks for several cities here in the United States. , Austin, Texas, Kansas City, Kansas (and Missouri) and Provo, Utah. Funny how as soon as they announce they are going to do something, the incumbent phone company (AT&T) announced they are going to upgrade their aging infrastructure (as they did in Austin).
With all of this activity between GOOGLE and some of the incumbent phone companies, the trend is definitely to get to elevate network subscriber access to one gigabit per second.
With new announcements for September coming out of Apple, SONY, and SAMSUNG for their next phones, the network infrastructure has to keep up. The Ferrari of phones demand having Autobahn network access, if you really want to get to utilize their full potential.
Copyright 2013 – James Carlini