Mobile technologies have changed the way we work, play, and connect with each other. In March 2012, smart phone penetration in the U.S. surpassed traditional mobile phone penetration. Today, two of every three phones sold in the U.S. is a smart phone. This has caused mobile broadband data traffic to skyrocket, a burgeoning trend that leads the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to estimate there will be 35 times more mobile data traffic in 2014 than was experienced in 2009.

To ensure that technology continues to bring the global community closer together, ITI works to develop and promote policies that will result in advancing deployment of next-generation broadband networks, both wired and wireless. Through forward-looking telecommunications and spectrum policy, the U.S. can promote investment, create jobs, and drive innovation.

The United States has led the world in the mobile broadband marketplace, in large part due to smart spectrum policy. As the FCC’s National Broadband Plan pointed out, “wireless broadband is poised to become the key platform for innovation over the next decade.” To recognize this potential, however, spectrum must be available to meet the needs of consumers. Smart spectrum and telecommunications policies must be in place to meet this demand if we hope to continue seeing innovation and investment in the mobile marketplace.

ITI started 2012 with a major victory in the spectrum arena. After nearly two years of advocacy for spectrum legislation in Congress and with the Administration, the President in February signed the authorization for incentive auctions and making more spectrum available for commercial broadband. In the critical final weeks of Congressional debate, ITI worked to broker a compromise with our member companies, key law enforcement and telecomm stakeholders, the White House, and Congressional leaders that advanced the public safety wireless network while allowing for more spectrum to be made available for commercial development.

Going forward, ITI will continue to work with members of Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to build on this success. We want to be sure that relevant entities are continuing to move underutilized spectrum to higher­value commercial use.

Global Mobile Data Traffic, 2011 to 2016

Links to additional material: