In today’s Wall Street Journal, Randall Stephenson CEO of AT&T is making the case that the wireless world is facing a shortage of wireless spectrum.
He is absolutely right. This will affect not only every wireless carrier, but wireless customers who use smart phones as well.
Wireless carriers and customers are going to start to experience significant slowdowns beginning next year.
Stephenson was speaking at the Telecommunications Industry Association last week and said this is an industry wide problem.
I have been warning this is a coming disaster that is building and it will affect every carrier and so many customers in the next few years. This needs to be solved, now.
Stephenson said regulators need to quickly figure out how to get more spectrum into the hands of wireless operators or the industry will soon run out.
That is a dire warning that everyone needs to take seriously if we want our smart phones and table computers to keep working the way we want them to.
That means every competitor including Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, C Spire Wireless, US Cellular and all the smaller wireless networks. It also means all smart phone and table computer users as well.
Otherwise the next few years will be a painfully slow time in the industry.
Both AT&T and the FCC say demand will pass supply by next year. NEXT YEAR!
This is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. If we don’t act NOW this will become the real screaming problem the entire wireless industry has to deal with.
If not solved, we will see countless articles and opinion pieces lambasting carriers when it is not their fault. Carriers want solutions.
Unfortunately there are not a lot of long-term solutions. There are plenty of short-term solutions we can use now however to buy more time.
The real problem started five years ago with the first Apple iPhone. Then Google Android. The App market exploded from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands. Apps need wireless spectrum.
The funny thing is our voice telephone will still work. That’s not the problem. The problem is all the wireless data applications we have fallen in love with.
Many of these are just games and not really important, but many are important and deal with things like our money and our health and business Apps as well.
This is a long-term problem and all the solutions that are mentioned are short-term fixes. We need long-term solutions.
But we must stay ahead of this rapidly growing problem.
And we need solutions now. We need to act now. We don’t have several years. We have to solve this problem right now. This year. This quarter.
If we don’t, the shortage will start to impact every customer and every carrier next year.
I fully agree with Stephenson, AT&T and the FCC on this.
My column this week will be about this topic and I will post a link here when it is online Thursday morning.
Other press releases from Jeff KAGAN Tech Industry Analyst, Columnist and Author
- Apple iPhone Sales Weaker Than Expected | Jeff Kagan Industry Analyst - January 14th, 2013
- Will FACEBOOK Launch Phone This Week? | Jeff Kagan Industry Analyst - January 13th, 2013
- Nokia Not Out of Woods Yet | Jeff Kagan Wireless Analyst - January 10th, 2013
- Why Microsoft Windows 8 Holiday Sales Were Soft, Jeff Kagan Tech Analyst - January 5th, 2013
- Sprint Nextel Acquiring Clearwire for Wireless Data | Jeff Kagan Industry Analyst - December 17th, 2012
Contact InformationJeff KAGAN
Title: Tech Industry Analyst ~ Columnist ~ Wireless Analyst ~ Telecom Industry Analyst
Jeff KAGAN Tech Industry Analyst, Columnist and Author
PO Box 670562
Marietta, GA 30066
Phone: 770 579 5810