Wireless Connectivity Tsunami to Test Industry's Ability to Cope - Page 2

Meanwhile IoT connectivity is everywhere. There’s a major IoT presence at this conference, but that’s nothing compared to the vast demands for connectivity by IoT devices that I saw last week at CeBIT. At CeBIT it was more than just a few sensors installed at a few booths. Instead it seemed as if the IoT was connected to everything.

While there are products being sold that don’t need wireless access, the percentage that do is growing as each type of smart device is introduced to the market. It’s more than just the obvious. For every smart light bulb and every smart refrigerator, there are dozens of small sensors and other small devices doing various data collection or transmission chore.

Each of those devices requires WiFi or some other type of wireless connection. By themselves each of those devices requires just a little bandwidth. But altogether the demands are already enormous. But as each day brings a steady stream of new devices with new bandwidth demands. The growth is inexorable.

Wright asked a question he asks repeatedly in a variety of circumstances. He asks everyone, “what are you going to do?” He suggests that greatly increasing investment in technology is only the start. But he observes the investment and the preparation need to be in well advance of the growth just to keep up, otherwise the wireless infrastructure won’t be there when it’s needed.

Part of the problem is that too many in the wireless business are looking to the past as an indicator of how to prepare for the future. The problem with that approach is that nothing in the past approximates the explosive growth that has already started.

There is no model that describes how to manage the combination of sensors, personal devices, machine to machine communications and the hundreds of other demands for wireless connectivity.

And that’s just scratching the surface. Here at this wireless show I see people from companies that are delivering new types of wireless connectivity. I see new ways that the connectivity will be accomplished. I hear people talking about wireless demands for products I’ve never heard about until now.

Meanwhile, my email is filled with new devices and services that will bring new demands for wireless communications.

But if there’s a problem with Wright’s vision, it’s that it may be too conservative. I think the explosion is happening now and the wireless industry is going to have to deal with the growth and the consequences as best as it can.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...