Telecommunications data rates as predictable as Moore's Law

Telecommunications data rates as predictable as Moore's Law

Summary: Edholm's Law, attributed to Phil Edholm, CTO of Nortel, states that wireless, nomadic and wireline telecommunications categories march almost in lock step--their data rates increase on similar exponential curves, the slower rates trailing the faster ones by a predictable time lag. Check out this cool chart for a visual explanation.

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TOPICS: Networking
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Edholm's Law, attributed to Phil Edholm, CTO of Nortel, states that wireless, nomadic and wireline telecommunications categories march almost in lock step--their data rates increase on similar exponential curves, the slower rates trailing the faster ones by a predictable time lag. Check out this cool chart for a visual explanation.

Projecting forward, Edholm's Law predicts that in about five years 3G
wireless will routinely deliver 1-megabit per second, Wi-Fi will bring nomadic access to 10-megabits per second, and office desktops will connect at a standard of 1-gigabit per second. As the data rates of these transport modes increase, applications can successfully migrate from wireline to nomadic to wireless.

Supporting this concept, Hossein Eslambolchi, president of AT&T Labs asserted that telecommunications data rates are rising at exactly the Moore's Law rate: doubling every 18 months. If the state of home access in 1980 was a 1200-bit-per-second narrowband modem, we would expect a thousandfold increase in 21 years. Sure enough, Eslambolchi says, 2001 was the year we started to see consumer adoption of broadband faster than 1-megabit per second.

Sooner or later all telecommunications will have the capability to be mobile, which presents a whole new world not just in mobile communications, but in data centers, physical infrastructure and security.

Topic: Networking

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