Mobile Broadband’s Boom

Are wired data connections going the way of phone landlines?

1 min read
Infographic: Carl DeTorres
Infographic: Carl DeTorres

Throughout much of the world, growth in wired broadband connections is slowing. In some countries the market appears to be saturated at around 30 to 35 subscriptions per 100 people. In other countries the number of wired broadband subscriptions has even declined. Not so with wireless broadband, according to the latest figures released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which include data collected through June 2012.

This article originally appeared in print as “It’s a Mobile, Mobile World.”

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The Cellular Industry’s Clash Over the Movement to Remake Networks

The wireless industry is divided on Open RAN’s goal to make network components interoperable

13 min read
Photo: George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

We've all been told that 5G wireless is going to deliver amazing capabilities and services. But it won't come cheap. When all is said and done, 5G will cost almost US $1 trillion to deploy over the next half decade. That enormous expense will be borne mostly by network operators, companies like AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and dozens more around the world that provide cellular service to their customers. Facing such an immense cost, these operators asked a very reasonable question: How can we make this cheaper and more flexible?

Their answer: Make it possible to mix and match network components from different companies, with the goal of fostering more competition and driving down prices. At the same time, they sparked a schism within the industry over how wireless networks should be built. Their opponents—and sometimes begrudging partners—are the handful of telecom-equipment vendors capable of providing the hardware the network operators have been buying and deploying for years.

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