The Future of Wireless Networks


Three decades ago, there were nearly 3 million users on the Internet using PCs connected with wires to access the Internet.  Today, nearly 5 billion people are on the Internet generating an incredible amount of data.  2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day.  Each day!  That’s a million, million, million bytes (18 zeros in a quintillion).  Most of which is accessed by mobile devices (more than half of all web site traffic comes from mobile devices). 

Therefore, it should not be surprising that wireless service providers have seen strain on their networks as more devices are connected to the Internet.  It’s the primary driver for the fifth generation of wireless (5G).  But mobile phones are not the only contributors to this growth.  There are now more IoT devices than there are people on the planet, and these devices are being connected over wireless connections to private and public networks.

Who is building these networks and how will we be able to keep up with the exponential growth of devices and data?    

Service Providers

A service provider, in this context, is a company that provides its subscribers access to the Internet.  There are many types of providers, including mobile network operators like AT&T, multi-system operators like Comcast, wireless ISPs like Starry Internet and virtual operators like Mint Mobile.  In all of these cases, the service provider owns the customer relationship and most likely charges the subscriber to access the Internet.

Yet there are many differences between these service providers.  Are they providing service to mobile devices or devices that are fixed to a location in the home or office? Are they delivering Internet access over wired lines or wireless?  Do they own access points and the core network or utilize the services of other companies?

While there are many types of service providers, one thing is common across of these companies.  Their customers are increasingly using wireless devices to access the Internet and they are generating more data than ever before.

Access Point Hosts

Service providers rely on wireless access points to connect devices to the Internet.  Mobile phones, as an example, connect over wireless to cell towers which typically have wired connections to the core of the Internet.  These access points may range from small Wi-Fi routers to large 200-foot towers, but they all have the same goal.  They service wireless devices within range and act as the gateway to the Internet. 

The issue is that millions of access points need to be constructed in the next few years to support the growth of wireless data.  This means millions of new locations.  It presents an opportunity for property owners to collaborate with service providers to earn income as hosts for these wireless access points.  This model is the future of wireless networks.



March 14, 2021

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