Wireless: What A Difference a Decade Makes - HotHardware
Wireless: What A Difference a Decade Makes

Wireless: What A Difference a Decade Makes

The year is 2001. Alas, videoconferencing hasn't replaced the home phone (and neither Dave nor Hal have embarked on a manned mission to Jupiter). Instead 2G wireless networks, running at 0.006 MB/second, are the best Earth has to offer. Fast forward one decade and 4G LTE networks are the rage, promising speeds of up to 100 Mbps (and reliably delivering on average 7-9 Mbps). This is just one of the stats that document the amazing decade in the U.S. wireless industry put together by services provider Nexius to celebrate its 10-year anniversary.

The company crafted an infographic that shows staggering growth in the last ten years. [PDF].

Here are a few snapshots:

By 2011, everybody and their grandmothers have a cell phone.


Nokia fell from mighty heights into Microsoft's arms.

You need less imagination to see a snake with today's realistic graphics.

But wait, there's more ...

  • U.S. Wireless Subscriber Growth: 202%
  • Phone Usage: 575% increase in the number of minutes/month in the average subscriber plan
  • Cell Site Growth: 163% increase in the number of cell towers covering the nation.
  • Network Speeds: as much as 1,666,567% faster (for those lucky enough to get 100MB/sec speeds)
  • Handset Churn: We are holding onto our phones 18% longer
  • Text Messaging Growth: From almost no texting to an average of 591.5 text messages per user per month.
  • Mobile Internet Usage: From practically no one to 27%, with 110% growth in the last year alone.

What will the next decade bring? 1G speeds? Smartphones replacing laptops altogether (aka the Motorola Atrix model)? Devices becoming part smartphone, part TV, part high-performance gaming device? (Wait, we have that already.) As for Jupiter, Google Earth already covers it, but manned spacecraft driving directions and traffic information would be nice.

0
+ -

"Network Speeds: as much as 1,666,567% faster (for those lucky enough to get 100MB/sec speeds)"

lol... this statistic is a little unfair tho lol

If you compare the slowest speeds you can still find today to the fastest speeds you can get anywhere on the planet... the difference will be pretty close to this same statistic lol

But, network speeds have come a long way regardless.

Also, this statement is somewhat comfusing "What will the next decade bring? 1G speeds?" lol given how Cell phone carriers call there networks 2G, 3G, 4G, etc. 1gig, or 1Gb is less confusing... and it most defintely is on the way!

+1
+ -

snake never fell. ask youtube.

0
+ -

They are going to have to come up with some other broadcast standard or something. There are just not enough channels/signal's it seems.

0
+ -

You can use the same channels over and over as long as the signal is not overlapping. Even if it is overlapping somewhat you can still get a good connection without interference, or minimal interference.

If you can make 2.4Ghz wifi work in an enterprise scenario with only 3 (usable) channels... i'd assume the cell phone carriers should be able to do it too with no problem. Placement is key.

I also recently saw some new technology where they are condensing a cellphone tower's capabilities in a small box(Basically an AP for cell phones) They just need an ethernet cable and a power source. They might even use POE. I'm not sure how exactly they would do all the wiring... they would need a switch/router somewhere.

Also there is a new standard coming with 802.11 that will enable session transfers from cell towers to wifi APs for continued service. So all of those hot spots the cell companies have been laying down... could also provide cell coverage in the near future.

Cell towers may dissapear entirely except for where large distances need to be covered... which they would probably opt for fiber anyway....

0
+ -

lol acarzt, 1G works for us. im sure we won't get confused. But those clueless ones out there ;P lol

Progress is always good, But it needs to slow down for us to catch up to :D.

0
+ -

What really needs to happen is for the rural wireless networks to get upgraded since most of those towers are still running off of old T1 lines and not hooked into direct fiber which is needed desperately if this country plans on having an all encompassing decent internet for all.

0
+ -

With all the growth in smartphone usage I wonder how long its gonna be till IP adresses run out and they implement that new IP Adress system...

Also I fear bandwidth and speed of so many devices connected to the internet at once..

Allthough I am looking forward to Motorola Atrix like devices and the point where smartphones will replace laptops, netbooks and tablets completely :)

0
+ -

I agree with OSunday. I am looking forward to the day when my smartphone will have enough functionality that I can leave my laptop at home for short trips. The Atrix definitely gets us a step closer to this. Of course, I may miss having a bigger screen, but maybe a pico projector could solve that issue?

0
+ -

True it may work now, but there are still a large part of the population that does not rely on smart phones as of yet.

0
+ -

I cant wait for phones to be able to do hardcore gaming! Imagine how different lan parties would be if your phone harnessed enough power to play games on it ;P

Hmm the screen size might have to get bigger!

0
+ -

i think we need to bring back all the old games for the phone but in one package and HD :D

0
+ -

Hey HHGrrl we will most likely have a portable screen sometime in the next 5 years or at least so it would seem as I know I saw the E-paper screen things first a year back now.

0
+ -

Yeah, that 1,666,567% thing is a bit unfair. LTE isn't really properly available yet, and where it is available, it doesn't offer 100Mbps speeds. In my experience, you could probably claim 5Mbps speeds as being available today to a wide portion of the population. I regularly see HSDPA phones produce those sorts of speeds in Montreal.

As for the 0.006 Mbps speeds claimed for 2G, that's not accurate either. Pre-EDGE GSM protocols, those in use in 2000, such as HSCSD and GPRS, offered 30-80 Kbps. Let's be really conservative there and say, dialup-type speeds, you'd get 40Kbps in practice.. That's 0.04Mbps. The new percentage increase, from 0.04 to 5.0, would be 12500%. That's still a big number, but a bit more reasonable.

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: