This week, the end of March Madness drove thousands of hoops fans to their mobile devices to catch live action of the NCAA basketball championship. This type of view-anywhere, on-the-go connectivity is a long way from listening to sports on the radio or moving your television antenna to get the best reception.
It’s interesting to look back on the evolution of how we view content – rabbit ears gave way to cable and digital TV, which is now giving way to mobile streaming on smartphones and tablets. In 2013, there are 11.1 million people using over-the-air television. Meanwhile, over 5 million people have cut the cord completely and now rely exclusively on mobile connectivity for their viewing needs.
This shift in viewer demands has made mobile broadband more important than ever in the lives of American consumers. More than half of mobile users have smartphones, easily accessing the on-demand content that waits at their fingertips. In fact, video content accounts for 52% of all mobile data traffic.
In order to stay ahead of these consumer trends, mobile companies are looking for more spectrum to support rapid innovation and growing user demand. Right now, the FCC is working to implement a first-of-its-kind incentive auction to repurpose underused broadcast spectrum for mobile use. The Obama Administration has also committed to repurposing under-utilized, government-held spectrum to further aid the expansion of our nation’s mobile Internet capacity.
In the interim, secondary market transactions are allowing companies to put existing spectrum to its most efficient use to meet the growing needs of U.S. consumers and businesses. As T-Mobile looks to merge with MetroPCS, Softbank works to acquire Sprint, and Verizon, AT&T and Grain Spectrum seek to swap airwaves, wireless users are the ones who will benefit from continued high-speed, reliable mobile connectivity.
All of the wireless innovations that consumers not only expect but demand, depend on advanced communications infrastructure that provides seamless high-speed connectivity from coast to coast. Whether you were cheering for Louisville or Michigan on Monday night, chances are, your mobile phone was a big part of the action.