Is The Digital Future In Jeopardy?
The much-hyped mobile future may not even happen at all, according to a Ericsson CTO Ulf Ewaldsson in a piece over at TechCruch. Ewaldsson says that in next five years, there will be a thousand times more web traffic than there is now, yet fears that current 4G networks are simply not robust enough to cater for this level of demand. He says that a “global alignment” is needed on spectrum policy to ensure that they future that has been promised can become a sustainable reality.
Working Hard to Bring Plans to Life
Ewelsson predicts that spectrum will become scarcer than oil as we move further into this future. Some of the items that are due to become commonplace in the 21st century include self-driving cars and intelligent devices that we wear to improve our lives, which are both big demands on spectrum reserves. The term ‘spectrum’ itself is short for electromagnetic spectrum, and the frequencies involved are owned by the relevant governments. The governments sell off the spectrum in blocks which they allocate to networks. However, there are fears that at some point, there won’t be enough spectrum to realistically go round and serve everyone’s needs.
Moving Towards 5G
Nonetheless, there is optimism too, and Ewaldsson points to the fact that several major networks are working hard to ensure that these problems don’t arise. His own company puts $5 billion a year in research and development, offering funding, support and help to start ups operating in various sectors from healthcare and education to transportation. By the time we reach the 5G age, it’s been hinted at that even items such as dustbins will be able to go online, whilst cars will be able to converse with traffic management systems too. Scores of applications that go beyond 4G are already being developed.