Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

4 of 5
BACKNEXT
Backhaul
Carriers are also hiring networking companies like Cisco and Juniper to help dramatically improve their backhaul -- the engines that power the traffic through the networks.

For instance, Cisco recently unveiled a router that can offer download speeds of 322 Terabits per second, which is fast enough to download the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress in 1 second.

"Before the iPhone, we couldn't imagine who would need a terabit router," Sharma said. "But soon that won't be nearly big enough."

The on-ramps and off-ramps to and from the cell sites are also getting improved. AT&T is growing their number of fiber-optic connections, and Clearwire is deploying microwave connections at its towers.



NEXT: Getting creative
Last updated December 27 2010: 5:35 PM ET
More Galleries
14 last-minute tech gifts under $100 From wireless headphones and smart speakers to game consoles and unlimited movie tickets, here are the best bets under $100. More
8 cool things cars of the future will do The coolest features that tease the future of driving, from windshield projections to never needing to park again. More
The best gadget gifts for 2017 A holiday gift guide for anyone who wants to spread some techie joy. More

Special Offer