The CCA Voice - Fall/Winter 2017 - 21
E V ERY T HING CON N EC T ED: M A K ING IoT A R E A LI T Y
The Internet of Everything:
How Will We Meet the Demand for Data
When Everything is Connected?
By Joseph J. Euteneuer
Co-CEO, Rivada Networks
n the past decade, we've connected our
lives at a pace so breathtaking, it's easy
to miss it. The rise of the smartphone
has made social media a multibillion dollar
business while taking a sledgehammer
to the once fast-growing digital camera
market. It fueled the rise of an insurgent
presidential candidacy that upended
much of what the experts thought they
knew about American politics, and it has
helped crowdsource everything from
newsgathering to traffic data and homeimprovement ideas, to name just a few.
A decade ago, mobile data was a
rounding error in overall Internet traffic.
Most websites weren't optimized for
mobile, data speeds were painful, and
networks were built for coverage and
voice, not data capacity and speed.
And we're just getting started.
This connectivity revolution has been
driven, essentially by that single device
- the smartphone. The next wave of
connectivity will bring technologies that
are still in their infancy - connected cars,
smart appliances, home automation. In
the coming decade, anything that can be
"connected" will be - along with quite a
number of things that most of us wouldn't
expect or think we want.
The camera built into our
smartphones changed the way we take
pictures and use the pictures we take
in ways most did not expect. Likewise
connecting our cars, appliances, homes
and very likely our clothing - "wearables"
- won't just be watches.
What's coming - call it the Internet
of Everything - will require, most of all,
bandwidth. Lots and lots of bandwidth.
Enough to swamp the LTE networks we've
built and are building today.
The conventional wisdom says that
IoT and M2M can get by with small sips of
low-speed, high-latency data. But nobody
saw how profoundly smartphones would
change our data-consumption patterns
ten years ago either. Our best guesses
about future demand for network capacity
are almost certainly low, in part because
connecting everything will change datause behaviors and patterns every bit as
profoundly as that one little device - the
smartphone - did starting 10 years ago.
No doubt we will find ways to use
frequency bands currently considered
unsuitable. We will increase spectral
efficiency too in line with Cooper's Law,
which states that spectral efficiency should
double every 30 months.
But in order to grapple with this
coming data flood, we also need to use
what we've got - not just the spectrum,
but the installed base of network
infrastructure - much more efficiently.
Network operators can't control when
and where their users seek to access data.
And by definition, a network designed to
accommodate peak or near-peak loads
will be underutilized the rest of the time.
But that unused bandwidth has value.
And at the right price entrepreneurs and
innovators will find ways to use it.
Rivada's bandwidth trading platform
makes that possible by finding the
market-clearing price of unused
network capacity across different
locations and times of day through
a series of electronic auctions. If you
have installed network capacity that
isn't being used, you're selling it already
- for nothing. So, getting anything for
it, whether at off-peak hours or on the
edges of your network, is pure upside.
Enabling true price discovery
on the value of bandwidth also will
change behavior on the supply side, as
content providers and other users find
ways to "time shift" their data needs
when possible, to take advantage of
differential pricing. Operators need
not worry about defending their price
points in Rivada's auction model, as
peak times will yield peak pricing and
the vast majority of off-peak capacity
goes unused, and unmonetized, today.
A wireless network that uses only
a third of its capacity is like a factory
that sits dark 16 hours a day, the capital
invested in it stranded in an idle asset.
Rivada has spent years developing
the technology needed to unlock
this value and meet the next wave of
demand for wireless connectivity.
VOICE * www.ccamobile.org * Fall/Winter 2017 21