Perhaps it's the fact that the Mobile World Conference is set for next week in Barcelona or simply that all things unwired are taking center stage. Whatever the reason, all the news-outside, perhaps, of Google's fiber-to-the-home plans -- points to what feels like an unprecedented acceleration of mobility.
I posted earlier this week on the latest release of Cisco's Visual Networking Index Global Data Forecast for 2009-2014. The company is predicting that mobile will drive a 39-fold increase in bandwidth demand in the term of the study. The industry is hard at work making that increase happen. Today, Network World reports that Juniper Networks announced a group called Junos Ready Software, which will add software and services to the company's Junos operating system. The bulk of the initiative is aimed at the wireless sector. It will work with Project Falcon, an initiative aimed at creating mobile applications for the OS.
The deluge of traffic has carriers and service providers scrambling. CNET, in a long and interesting report from Marguerite Reardon, outlines just how serious the problem is, and the money companies such as AT&T are pouring in to meet it. The company, which has had special struggles with the iPhone, says that it will increase capex spending by $2 billion, bringing the total to more than $18 billion for the year. The company also is enlisting Wi-Fi as a convenient conduit for some of the traffic being generated by the Apple iPhone.
Ars Technica, meanwhile, discussed the fallout from a BusinessWeek story that raised the possibility of compensating broadcasters for their bandwidth and giving it to the wireless industry. The compensation, the BW piece says, could come from the resulting auction of the spectrum they vacate. It says a lot that such a move is being contemplated. The tone of the story is that the Federal Communications Commission is desperate to keep the engines of the economy revving.
The bottom line is that the movement to cellular is unprecedented. Michael Paxton, a principal analyst for In-Stat, told me in an interview posted today that there is a tremendous increase in wired broadband speeds. At the end of the interview, he said the next step for In-Stat, and the industry at large, is to better understand the impact of the fast growth of wireless connectivity.