On the brink of another communication revolution?

17 Sep 2010|Added Value

As reported in the NYT, later this month the FCC will approve the opening of unlicensed bands of airwaves. It is expected that availability of unlicensed bands of airwaves will make “supercharged” Wi-Fi networks that blanket campuses, universities etc a reality, doing away with the need for looking for Wi-Fi hotspots.    Industry pundits are unanimous in heralding the impending Wi-Fi revolution as “Wi-Fi on steroids.”

In the recent past, there have been several ongoing competing experiments that have been working on delivering fast data connectivity to users from Wi-Max to LTE networks. The battle for supremacy to provide faster wireless Internet is still being fought with companies investing millions of dollars in the two competing technologies.   While Sprint and Clearwire have invested their dollars in setting up a Wi-Max network, Verizon and AT&T have hedged their bets on LTE because it supports their foundational GSM technology.

But what makes the impending FCC action interesting and worth paying attention to is that they are opening up unlicensed bands of airwaves allowing any organization – big or small — to set up a cheap Wi-Fi network.  And this is the primary reason why pundits are enthused about the impending FCC action. We can expect many new players, new uses and experimentation with the availability of the unlicensed bands of airwaves similar to the wireless communication and consumer electronics (think TV remotes, garage doors and baby monitors) revolution that occurred after the FCC opened up unlicensed radiowaves in the late 1930s.

prev next