Consumer’s use of mobile devices to watch TV and movies has garnered attention lately as a NYTimes piece, A Ballooning Megabyte Budget, examines consumers increasing demand for wireless video streaming made possible by innovative mobile devices and increasingly fast network speeds. The Washington Post’s TV critic also recently shared his thoughts on consumers watching video programming on mobile devices as the “cut-the-cable” movement gains traction. With half of Americans owning a smartphone and tablet adoption on the rise, this trend shows no sign of slowing. But to meet this growing consumer demand, we’re going to need more spectrum to support the mobile traffic. The FCC predicts we could run out of mobile spectrum as early as 2013 so there isn’t a minute to waste.
The U.S. government is starting the process now to reallocate both broadcast and government spectrum for mobile use, but the process will take years. The wireless community –network providers, handset manufacturers, app developers – are all working hard to meet the insatiable consumer demand for all things mobile, but now it’s time for government to act as quickly as possible to free up more spectrum for mobile.