Facing what it calls a "hockey stick" growth curve in the use of mobile data, the wireless industry is skating toward the bucks, investing billions to boost efficiency in advance of a 5G revolution.
That is according to a just-released report that shows wireless providers' have increased the efficiency of their spectrum use by 42-fold since 2010.
That is expressed as handling 39.9 billion megabytes (MB) for every one Megahertz (MHz) today versus 948 million MB for every one MHz of spectrum in 2010, according to a new analysis by CTIA-the Wireless Association.
The paper says that efficiency comes from "refarming existing spectrum, quickly deploying new spectrum assets, deploying denser wireless infrastructure and other efficiency-enhancing technologies."
CTIA said efficiency is important, but it does not obviate the need for the government to free up more low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum as the Administration prepares its National Spectrum Strategy.
Certainly the FCC has gotten the message, freeing up spectrum for 5G including through a couple of auctions in the past 12 months, with a third planned for December and another auction and/or redistribution of C-band satellite spectrum for 5G after that.
CTIA also points out that the President has set the goal that the U.S. should have more 5G spectrum than any other country by 2020.