Broadcast frequency limits could hit cloud connectivity, warns Rackspace

News Jane McCallion Nov 19, 2012
cable over capacity
cable over capacity

Cloud hosting giant's vice president of technology warns of looming "capacity crunch"

Urgent action is needed to solve the looming ‘capacity crunch’ if IT innovation is to continue accelerating at the pace we have seen over the past decade, Rackspace vice president of technology Nigel Beighton has warned.

Speaking to Cloud Pro, he claims we need to find a solution to the current limitations of magnetic frequency transmission as we move into a world where everyone is using multiple connected devices.

“The laws of physics dictate that on your magnetic frequency, there is a sweet spot for getting enough quality data through walls to our mobile phones and to a television and that is utterly crammed full,” he said.

“Why are we only getting LTE/4G communications next year and even then only partially getting it? It is nothing to do with the mobile phone technology, it is to do with that frequency sweet spot,” he added.

Beighton’s comments came as Ofcom announced plans to free up some of the 700 MHz band to launch a possible 5G service, which could be completed by 2018.

However, this frequency is currently used to broadcast digital terrestrial television signals, leading to concerns viewers - who have recently dealt with the digital switchover - may face further disruption.

Beighton said the limited amounts of broadcasting spectrum available could also hit cloud services.

“Cloud is inherently connected to mobility as people want to use commercial cloud services that use big commercial services underneath,” he explained.

“We have had mobile phones for 15 years and the limiting factor is not technology, it is that frequency, that law of science. We have started pushing at the edges of it, but what we need is some very clever person to figure out how to [overcome its limitations] in order to move forward,” he concluded.