How many out there remember when the internet was simply a fad, nothing more than a passing fancy as Bill Gate’s even believed that, however the world has proved all of these folks wrong. However what about the future of the internet and I’m not talking about Web 2.0 or IP 6, as the world becomes more and more connected what will this mean for our somewhat fledgling [internet] friend?
A recent Cisco report lends a clue by pointing out that mobile data consumers will drive amazing 26 fold increase in demand by only 2015 which is a mere 4 years off as they pull bits from the wireless either. As we can see now why the venerable AT&T paid what they did ($39 Billion) for T-Mobile as the shear value of the mobile bandwidth typically referred to as spectrum was in itself more valuable than the business’s customer base if you will as how does one keep pace with such astronomical growth as there are only so many frequencies.
In the driver seat of this isn’t just the fact that there is an immense amount of rote growth in the user base by count alone, it’s also the average smartphone usage doubled reaching 79 MB per month which was up from only 35 MB per month in 2009. Even though the Cisco report is using lagging data, one can extrapolate the fact we are seeing non linear growth numbers meaning we are only at the “fast rise” of the sigmoidal curve and have nowhere to go but up. Also looking back at the data growth tells us that the devices are being used actively rather than passively which means the way we do things are changing. Hence our paradigms around the way we interact with our world are also changing at a similar pace as in doubling which will drive rapid progressions in “change” around the brick and mortar world.
It also isn’t just the wireless carries which will bear the brunt of this growth, as in 2010 almost a third of the smartphone traffic was offloaded onto wired land networks via dual-mode or Femtocells (small base stations connected to the internet). As to support this growth rate, carries will have to force down small site solutions as mentioned to accommodate the thirst of your smartphone as its demands more growth in its heated feeding frenzy and the handset moves from a lifestyle convenience to that of a necessity.
Least we “Westerners” think we’re all that as millions of people around the world will have cell phones yet no electricity, and by 2015 the majority of the consumer base in the Middle East and Southeast Asia will live “off-grid”, however “on-net” bringing massive changes to their world. The question will be how this new found connect-ability will affect a populous not use even being able to telephone across the village, yet they will be able to access the wares of the world wide web? As I can remember sitting in Dr Warren’s Sociology Class when he introduced the “Buck Rogers Affect” as a fallacy in that a person with today’s Norms & Mores where to be sent into the distant future, they in turn would be crushed like a diver in the depths of the ocean by incomprehensible social pressures. As the Chinese proverb says (which is really a curse) May we live in interesting times…