Apple Siri Can Do Even More

January 30, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Yeah, Siri’s awesome, too awesome to think beyond the awesomeness. But hey, is Siri just being there, doing all it can possibly do for you?

No, says Arieso. Siri is as much a bandwidth guzzler as a personal voice assistant, they say.

Let us explain. To make your wish her command, Siri floods your cell network with a stream of data; her responses require a similarly large flow in return.

Arieso says that the Siri-equipped iPhone 4S appears to unleash data consumption behaviors that have no precedent. The firm has found that the Siri-equipped iPhone 4S uses twice as much data as the iPhone 4 and nearly three times as much as the iPhone 3G.

According to The Post, the iPhone 4S requires far more data than most other advanced smartphones, which are pretty data-intensive themselves. Yes, Siri can do it all, but at a cost- the bill that comes at the end of the month.

But the awesome little Siri is not the big issue here. It is just a pointer to what is in store for the, let us say, future.

Cellphone contracts are tiered so that those who use a network more than others pay more for the privilege. Okay, so that is not the real issue. Then what is?

Cell and data networks are like any common resource; they have limits. And once they hit their limit, regardless of which group is using its share and then some, there’s no more to go around.

As networks become congested when it reaches its maximum capacity, everyone’s service deteriorates; calls drop, internet slows down, and it all pisses you. Then what is the way forward?

Expand the carrying capacity, keep on expanding. Well, until the limit is reached there as well.

This time, the limit is that of the electromagnetic spectrum, the invisible frequencies over which all electronic communications move. “If the United States can’t free up more bandwidth for mobile uses, more people than just cellphone users would be inconvenienced,” the government’s top airwaves cop, Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Julius Genachowski, has long warned about a looming spectrum crunch.

The lack of new capacity would threaten U.S. jobs in the telecom industry and stifle technical progress. Now that’s something.

All of the various parts of the airwaves have either been auctioned by the government to high bidders over the past 15 years or given away back when radio and TV started out. A reshuffle, perhaps?

Well, it is not easy, pushing aside old users to another part of the band to make way for the new guys.

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