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.

5 of 5
BACKNEXT
Getting creative
Getting creative
Despite all these changes, data demand growth is still outpacing advances in network technologies.

"There's simply a deluge of data, and carriers are experiencing congestion because they can't build out their networks fast enough," said Jonathan Gordon, director of marketing at Allot Communications, a company that helps Internet providers optimize their service. "They want to keep adding more customers to their service, but they're struggling to do that and keep the network experience at a high level."

As a result, experts say more creative solutions need to be tried too. Some suggest adoption of smart network technologies, which could cache, or store, popular content locally and send one stream of a much-viewed piece of data to a location and use a router to multicast it. For instance, if an area has a lot of children, the wireless company could locally cache Nickelodeon videos and divide up the signal locally, rather than sending 1,000 individual clips of Blue's Clues.

Wireless companies have already started using so-called femtocell technology (pictured at right) to deliver wireless networks over customers' broadband connections, and many are building up Wi-Fi networks in public areas.

Changes to the mobile devices themselves have also been suggested, including allowing devices to automatically switch to Wi-Fi when it becomes available.



NEXT
Last updated December 27 2010: 5:35 PM ET
More Galleries
Five most expensive cars sold at Pebble Beach These classic cars went for seven figure sums at the world's premier classic car event. More
Seats that move! Rain! Movie-watching goes beyond 3D How can movie theaters compete when many prefer to watch streaming video from their own comfy couches? Some hope a new interactive technology will lure audiences with immersive effects. More
15 cool cars for sale at Pebble Beach While these events are best known for seven-figure classics, just about everything crosses the block at Pebble Beach. More

Special Offer