Where will our data go? To mobile operators? Or to Wi-fi providers?  The answer seems to be blowing in the wind – but there’s a storm coming, obviously,,,


Cisco’s mobile VNI forecast (the shorthand for Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Forecast), issued last week, is widely regarded as the leading source of information on how the mobile data market will evolve over the next five years.  Policymakers including the FCC use it in their decisions about how to allocate wireless spectrum.

However, like every forecast, the VNI has its flaws — namely that it may overestimate the future demand for mobile data on cellular networks, while understating the need for additional unlicensed spectrum allocations.

Earlier predictions didn’t pan out

Last October, I wrote an article for GigaOm pointing out the dramatic slowdown in mobile data traffic seen in the CTIA’s semi-annual wireless industry survey and asking whether the supposed “spectrum crisis” was a myth. Of course, that didn’t go down well with some people, and CTIA executives lined up to proclaim that It is No Trick –…

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