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11/18/2014 | 10:09:39 PM
Re: A chicken and egg question
Susan, good assumptions.  More is a good target, and as pointed out in this well-written blog, we probably don't know what we don't know yet.

I fully agree that the demand now is on the user side; not for capacity's sake, but to support the every-evolving array of devices, connections, etc., that we are developing. 

It will reach capacity at some point, but who knows what that point is?
Susan Fourtané
Susan Fourtané
11/7/2014 | 8:13:32 AM
A chicken and egg question
All this prediction about the future of networks going on will require serious crystal balls to predict how much bandwidth people will need in the future. The simple answer could be: More than what we have now.

As for the chicen and egg question of who is pushing the higher speeds, suppliers or users, I would say that suppliers were first the pushers and now the pushers are the users who always want more of whatever they get. 

10/10/2014 | 2:50:23 PM
It's the S-curve, stupid.
All growth is logistical.  The reductio ad absurdem of exponential growth in bandwidth demand is an end state where every nano-joule of energy in the universe carries a symbol of information.  At some point, there has to be an asymptote.

The question is not if, but rather when.  I think that time is approaching, and know I'm not alone.  

Media is approaching the limits of human perception.  How subjectively better is 4k than HD?  As much as HD was better than SD?  As much as SD was better than analog?  How much subjectively better than 4k will 8k be? Even if average viewers can percieve an improvement, is it enough for them tol pay for? 

Also, there is a tug-of-war between computing and communications.  The video coding folks haven't retired yet.  HD video was initially encoded in MPEG2 at 20 Mbit/s.  Netflix now reportedly transports HD video (HEVC?)  at 5-7 Mbits/s.  And they anticipate 4K will take between 10 and 15 Mbits/s.  I'm not close enough to the video folks to know whether they are pushing fundamental limits.  But until that point, we have to assume that evoloution of lower rate algorithms for higher resolution will reduce bandwidth demand.

Perhaps there will be another mass-market application which will consume more bandwidth than video.  We don't have a line-of-sight to one.  And how much are we willing to bet that it will emerge?


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