As consumers snap up smartphones and tap into tablets, wireless networks are struggling to keep up with the massive increase in Web browsing, gaming, image-sharing, video streaming and downloading. Mobile devices are now one of the chief means for consuming not only Web content but also TV shows, movies and other media. While providers have seen data services as their future, their success is coming home to roost. As current networks grow overloaded, flat-rate pricing is giving way to tiered or usage-based data plans to help wireless providers pay for such improvements as LTE and 4G networks. Does the next generation of mobile technology look viable as an economical content delivery system for either service providers or content companies? Do the new tablets demonstrate that mobile consumption is not just the future but the here and now? Should content providers and distributors help pay for upgrades? Are there examples we can draw on in foreign markets?
Executive Director, Institute of Communication Technology Management, USC
Senior Vice President, Portfolio and Device Product Management, Mobile Devices, Motorola Mobility
Worldwide Lead; Communications, Media and Entertainment Industry Solutions, Hewlett-Packard