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Introduction

Mobile networks have had a growing impact on business and residential life as their capacities and speed have improved. Until the early 2000s, mobile networks carried mainly voice; now, they support a growing volume of instant messages, e-mail, and applications, as well as Internet access. Business people and consumers alike are able to easily carry around their most important voice and data communications information in lightweight smartphones and tablet computers. Today, staff members can create proposals, check on orders, and conduct most business functions from within their office building, while away on a business trip, or from a home office.

For carriers, most of which have experienced large losses in home telephone services, mobile services are a growing percentage of revenue. However, their success in attracting customers who transmit large amounts of data has increased pressure to upgrade networks to carry more data on finite amounts of spectrum. Spectrum, as the word is used with respect to the telecommunications industry, is the range of all radio frequency signals (invisible electromagnetic waves) upon which wireless traffic is transmitted.


  

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