As the spread of personal communication devices grows, so will the viral aspects of our world as in the past it was something to just have a cell phone. Now that same device is not only a phone, it’s a radio, a TV, eBook reader (love the Kindle App) and most importantly, an Internet access point for multiple devices! The later is very interesting as it’s a truly a disruptive aspect as we started out the last decade with two copper lines coming into our homes with one being a phone line and the other for cable TV. Now the home phone line is pretty much a thing of the past (almost a decade for me), next “cable” is coming under threat by the “wireless revolution”.
With new 4G technologies coming into the consumer market place there will be no need for the large scale, and expensive copper backbone as used by cable providers today. It will be replaced with cheap flexible wireless technologies which will allow our phones to be our one to many devices, as we walk into our home it will stream our TV and movies to wall mounted screens and projectors. In addition, of course it will still bring our phone calls as well as the general internet.
As our copper world starts to fade into the past, the density of cell sites will grow along with advancements in time based multiplexing to pack every last piece of air-wave “white space” with a data stream.
It is at this point in time the “swarms” will start to rise up forming autonomous “micro groups”, where no longer will we be tied in “point to source” fashion as we are in today’s current cellular landscape. Instead, the world will turn to work much like a large bit torrent engine. Our cellular devices will start speaking to various nearby peers to find either the data needed or the best path to get the data by talking to say 10 different local “peers” who maybe talking to 10 more and so on. This will unlock our current dependency to a single point to source cellular streams as is the case today.
Here in the minds eye, one can quickly see as the number of potential “connections” increase, so will use and then so will again the number of users. As this result will be faster, cheaper better service, created by a fast growing “reinforcing loop” which will become self supporting to the point where the limits of local frequency density is saturated. In summary as 4G based cellular technology deploys and 5G (the swarm) starts to take shape there will be significant effects upon our societal framework, as economies again shift workforces will be displaced as the need (an example) for cable installers, repair persons and the like will no longer be required.
This in turn will create a negative “causal” link in the viral chain; however we have to keep in mind that for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This being the case, while there will be one larger positive loop (swarm information), there will be many smaller negative loops which will distribute the “negative” pressure over a larger area. Long story short and all the technical mumbo jumbo aide, what will these people do for a living? How fast can human capital be retreaded? Are companies and governments thinking about this? Has anyone finally figured out that the down side of Moore’s Law is the obsolescence of our workforce at the same rate?