Mobile Future

Mobile Future Infographic Puts Spectrum Crunch in Perspective

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mobile Future today released an infographic, “Growing Demand for Wireless Spectrum,” that offers a graphic snapshot contrasting booming consumer demand for mobile with the small percentage of airwaves available to support that demand in the future.

“Rapidly growing adoption and limited spectrum resources is a losing combination for the 330 million wireless connections used by American consumers,” said Jonathan Spalter, chairman of Mobile Future. “With consumers already starting to see the affects from near capacity mobile networks, it is critical that government act swiftly and responsibly to free up more spectrum to help keep pace with exploding consumer demand for wireless connectivity.”

The U.S. government has assigned just 409.5 MHz of spectrum to support commercial wireless services according to CTIA. With the radio waves best suited for providing high speed, commercial wireless broadband services situated between 400 MHz and 3 GHz, that means wireless network operators have access to just less than 16 percent of these critical airwaves. A significant majority – nearly 85 percent – of the crucial spectrum needed to support consumer demand is occupied primarily by government agencies and television broadcasters.

With three billion networked devices expected in the U.S. by 2016 – translating to more than nine devices for every man, woman and child – wireless providers are staggering to keep up with consumer demand. Since the release of the iPhone in 2007, for example, data traffic on AT&T’s network has increased 20,000%. During that same period, carriers have invested $133 billion on wireless infrastructure to support consumer demand. And there is no end in sight with Cisco predicting U.S. mobile data traffic will grow 16 fold from 2011 – 2016.

Yet, despite the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimate that mobile data demand will exceed available spectrum capacity by 2013, spectrum allocation for mobile has not kept pace.

The Growing Demand for Wireless Spectrum infographic can be viewed here:


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Mobile Future is a broad-based coalition of businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals interested in and dedicated to advocating for an environment in which innovations in wireless technology and services are enabled and encouraged.  Our mission is to educate the public and key decision makers on innovations in the wireless industry that have transformed the way Americans work and play and to advocate continued investment in wireless technologies.