Despite a slowdown in home computer sales, the demand for mobile devices (and mobile connections) is still growing. According to a recent press release from Canalys research firm, nearly 488 million smartphones were shipped worldwide, compared to 415 million PCs, in 2011. This is the first time smartphones sales have overtaken the PCs. Smartphones are more of a necessity now, not only for personal needs but also for businesses where online sales through mobile phones have doubled within the last year alone. Across America, people are using more and more applications via smartphones, and those applications are chipping away at the available bandwidth.
In response to this growing need for mobile bandwidth, Congress passed a payroll bill that allocates D-block spectrum to public safety and supports the creation of a national public safety broadband network. In addition, it authorized the FCC to auction off broadcast spectrum to wireless broadband providers to meet the growing demand for mobile broadband usage. According to Steve Largent, president of CTIA, “Today's action to make repurposed broadcast spectrum available for wireless broadband service is vital to ensuring America's wireless industry remains the world's leader in the deployment of 4G services."
Across the states surveyed by Connected Nation in 2011, 42% of adults access broadband on a cell phone or mobile device. This translates into approximately 98.5 million adults across the United States who access Internet while on the go.
Among the states surveyed by Connected Nation, Iowans are the least likely to use mobile broadband, with less than one in three adults going online via a cell phone or other mobile device. Conversely, Florida and Texas represent the largest share of mobile adopters, with nearly one-half of adults (48%) using mobile broadband in those states.