February 17th, 2009
04:38 PM GMT
BARCELONA, Spain - Cell phone manufacturers and network operators may be able to ride out the recession as consumers view their handsets as an essential rather than a luxury, but there's a potential dark cloud on the horizon for the mobile technology industry - the capacity crunch.
As our appetite for mobile internet and data services continues to grow, thanks to devices like the iPhone, mobile service providers are soon going to fiind that their networks won't cope with demand.
Too much traffic will clog the wireless highway and the networks know that they have to invest heavily in their infrastructures to head off the problem.
In the current economic downturn they'll find it hard to raise the required funds by borrowing and are reluctant to pass on the cost to consumers who are unwilling to pay more.
The most likely solutions, mobile advertising and peak time network congestion charging are also unpallatable. So there's no easy answer to this thorny issue, which is one of the main talking points here at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Watch more about the capacity crunch
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