Faster networks: Bye-bye buffering
ground breaking technologies

Google's (GOOG, Fortune 500) new fiber-optic network in Kansas City can provide download speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second -- about 200 times faster than the average American Internet connection. Most wireless carriers are upgrading their networks to super-fast 4G-LTE technologies, and some are beginning to explore even faster LTE-Advanced networks.

Faster speeds promise to bring about a new era of Internet technologies we haven't even conceived of yet -- just as no one with a 56k modem could have ever imagined a day when you could watch YouTube on your phone.

The problem with these technologies is they're expensive to deploy. Fiber-optic installation often involves ripping up a customer's lawn. Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) is not planning to expand its FiOS fiber-optic network, and AT&T (T, Fortune 500) recently pledged to bring fiber to its neighborhood networking nodes -- but not to homes. Similarly, wireless infrastructure upgrades cost carriers tens of billions of dollars each year. And as consumers eat up more bandwidth, cell phone companies will need to buy up more wireless spectrum to serve up all that data.


  @DavidGoldmanCNN - Last updated April 01 2013 05:54 AM ET
Join the Conversation
The State of Tech
Buying stuff with your phone: Not coming soon

Smartphone purchasing is a hot technology, but there are many impediments to its success.

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.