Wireless World Impacts Contractors Bottom Line

March 2013, Vol. 68 No. 3

The white paper says that cloud-based field service management can operate smart phones and tablets with native apps now available at a fraction of the cost of legacy systems because they eliminate the need for proprietary software and hardware, enabling every member of a service team to share information over the Internet and streamline the field service management process using Apple or Android mobile devices.

Clearly a growing number of organizations -- including those involved in utility construction and maintenance -- are taking advantage of the benefits from wireless communications. Rapidly increasing business usage, along with demands from other users, are accounting for a growing percentage of available wireless broadband capacity.

Spectrum crisis
Spectrum (the radio frequencies designated for specific uses) is the backbone of the wireless industry, including wireless data. The federal government allocates spectrum, designates specific uses and assigns frequencies within allocations. Mobile communications assignments are granted both to commercial service providers and private users.

There are those in the government and communications industry concerned that the demand for wireless broadband soon will use up available spectrum.

“Spectrum is to wireless communications what lanes of a highway are to motor vehicles,” said Amy Storey, CTIA assistant vice president, public affairs. “Just as clogged highways can slow or stop traffic, mobile devices must have adequate spectrum to communicate.”

Already, carriers are limiting data services available to individual smart phone users.

“Looking ahead, spectrum availability is an issue facing the wireless industry,” said Storey. “Spectrum is a finite resource. For the future, it is critical that service provides be able to purchase unused and under-utilized spectrum.”

Telecommunications industry analyst Jeff Kagan warns data transmission will begin to slow in 2013, and that too much is at stake not to immediately find solutions to expand wireless broadband capacity.