New Coalition Seeks to Bust Through the WiFi Barrier

New Coalition Seeks to Bust Through the WiFi Barrier

There are more mobile devices on planet Earth than there are people, and they are all using saturating WiFi signals. In fact, Cisco has predicted that by 2017, the majority of Internet traffic will come from mobile devices, severely impacting performance and availability. This bottleneck is looming, and 18 tech companies including Comcast, CompTia, Google, and Microsoft, have joined together in a partnership to approach the issue before it becomes an even larger problem. Not surprisingly, AT&T and Verizon are not currently part of the coalition. A bigger spectrum means less consumer lock-in for carrier services and a freely accessible web would bite into the AT&T and Verizon revenue streams.

Currently, WiFi accounts for about 57% of mobile data traffic, and that's expected to rise to 64% by 2018. In 2013, data use was 1.4GB per month, but that data use could top 9GB per month in 2018.

Called WifiForward, the new organization officially announced its intentions on February 13, 2014 to solicit the FCC to make available unused, or unlicensed, portions of the TV spectrum. This is a very important step for companies like Microsoft and Google, whose Cloud success requires that consumers and businesses have free, unfettered access to the Internet.

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