LOS ANGELES—In the virtual pages of Digital Radio Update recently, we’ve been following the debate regarding the ability of mobile networks (as currently built-out) to support the amount of data needed to essentially supplant over-the-air radio.
Here’s one more thing to consider: With the coming of the internet of things, mobile network operators are trying to figure out how to handle a dramatic increase in data demand on their networks.
A recent guest entry (“reader forum”) on rcrwireless.com asked and attempted to answer this question: “According to an industry report, a massive 86% of operators admit they are not ready for IoT, so with many industry experts expecting mobile to be the key to making the concept a success, just how can the industry ensure end users will be satisfied?”
The article, written by Adax’s Robin Kent, continues: “IoT clearly presents mobile operators with huge potential for market growth, and with the phenomenon giving the end user a greater control of their connected devices from their handset than ever before, there’s a clear demand from both sides for it to work. However, if this tech revolution is to truly take off and its full capabilities are to be fully realized, IoT developers and mobile operators must first conquer the key issues preventing it reaching its full potential. In particular, in the telecom world, network capacity should be viewed as the biggest concern.
Also, Kent writes, “It’s clear IoT and the promises it brings are set to heavily shape the telecom industry. Consumer demand to be consistently connected and to digitally communicate with anything from another phone to our kettle, highlights this phenomenon is not going away anytime soon. As a result, the reliability of these connections will become vital for the growth and success of the IoT revolution. Dedicated IoT networks are being implemented and many are predicting that “5G” technologies will go some way to supporting the vast number of connections, but there are still likely to be problems with performance and reliability if the right solutions aren’t implemented.”
I invite you to read the entire article (here). Keep in mind these are the opinions of organizations in the mobile network space; it’s safe to say they know a little about what they are talking about.
Again, I want to say that, while I believe in the importance of reaching our listeners by any and every means, I would implore broadcasters to not “throw the baby out with the bathwater” and to continue emphasizing the importance of over-the-air radio.
I would hate to think, years from now, that we gave up the unencumbered spectrum we were in control of, only to find ourselves contending for the limited capacity of mobile networks, especially when the “kettle” needs to make an important data transmission.