FCC Report: Number of Wireless Transmitters Up 400%

On the heels of a push to free up spectrum, commission says number of devices with 3 transmitters has increased by 700 percent

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski warned at the Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Friday that the explosive growth of mobile devices would soon lead to a spectrum crunch.

In prepared remarks, he urged broadcasters to make more of the federally controlled airwaves available to mobile and broadband devices to deal with the rising demand.

Now the FCC chair has the numbers to back up his claims. According to a report released by the commission, the number of wireless transmitters authorized by the FCC in 2010 was nearly 12,000 — an increase of almost four times the amount from a decade ago.

There was also a 700 percent increase since 2008 in the number of devices with more than three or more transmitters, up from 7 percent of total devices in 2008 to more than 50 percent today.

As these devices become more complicated, they also require more spectrum, increasing the chances of interference.