Worried about driver and capacity shortages? Don’t forget the “spectrum crunch.”
Within 18 months, the U.S. is likely to run out of wireless bandwidth, thanks to the rapid spread of wireless devices, warned Christian Schenk, vice president of Xata.
“Smart phones account for 48 percent of the bandwidth used today,” Schenk said at the ALK Transportation Technology Summit in Princeton, N.J., Wednesday.
The proliferation of increasingly advanced smart phones and tablets is causing “a massive convergence” on wireless networks that are struggling to keep pace.
“We have more than 327 million subscribers using wireless networks in North America,” Schenk told truckers, suppliers and shippers at the three-day event.
“Consumer adoption of smart phones is causing wireless carriers to repurpose spectrum,” Schenk said, converting it from older 2G to 3G and 4G networks.
“There is only enough spectrum right now to last 18 months” at the current rate of growth seen by wireless carriers and the spread of smart phones, Schenk said.
That should concern carriers, shippers, technology providers and truck drivers who increasingly integrate these products into their daily lives and businesses, he said.
Schenk noted that 86 percent of truck drivers use personal mobile devices, largely smart phones but also tablets, according to a recent Aberdeen Group study.
Xata Turnpike, a fleet management and electronic logging system, runs on more than 85 devices, including Android platform smart phones and tablets.
Those devices have an increasingly short life span as newer wireless technology and networks make them obsolete before they can be depreciated, he said.
“The constraints are not on the hardware, but on the networks on which it runs,” Schenk said. “Don’t get caught with your spectrum down.”