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Wired or Wireless: Will the Distinction Matter?

Howard Baldwin - Photograph

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

How symbiotic is the relationship between wired and wireless technologies? Simple answer: very. Increasingly, the perceived gap between traditional cellular (3G, 4G), Wi-Fi, and wired technologies is narrowing.

There’s no question that the gap between wireless technologies is narrowing. Tiago Rodrigues, project director for the Wireless Business Alliance (WBA), sees venues such as sports stadiums, shopping malls, and even universities combining cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.

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Policy Implications in the Rise of Mobile Broadband and Heterogenous Network Access

Over the last few months, a growing consensus has emerged pointing to a dramatic change in the way people access the Internet.

In 2011, for the first time ever, worldwide annual demand for smart phones surpassed that of PCs, laptops and tablets combined. Then last month our Mobile Visual Networking Index (VNI) Update reported that global mobile data traffic is growing even faster than previously forecasted and will increase 18-fold over the next five years.

So by this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, the ‘top of mind’ for network operators, government officials and device manufacturers was the dramatic accelerating impact that mobile data consumption will have on Internet access, networks and users.

When we launched the mobile VNI report on February 14, a panel of industry, academia and government experts glimpsed into the future of mobile broadband and related policy issues, with three key takeaways:

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